John Lithgow is no stranger to playing real-life figures, but the actor reveals that he won’t touch the role of Donald Trump.
In a clip released ahead of John Lithgow’s appearance on Sunday TODAY With Willie Geist, the actor revealed that he had been offered the role of President Donald Trump in a film.
Of course, Lithgow has played many other notable real-life historical figures, as host Willie Geist points out. He has portrayed Winston Churchill in Netflix’s series The Crown, and also played former president Bill Clinton in the Broadway play Hillary and Clinton.
Most recently, the actor took on the role of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes for the movie Bombshell, which also stars Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, and Margot Robbie. Ailes was accused of sexual harassment and resigned from the media company in 2016.
Geist asked Lithgow if playing real-life figures was a choice. “Well, it’s what was offered to me, you know,” the actor said, adding, “You get offered one, and they come after you for another.”
That’s when Lithgow revealed that he had been asked to take on the role of President Donald Trump, though he doesn’t specify who was putting the project together.
“They actually asked me to play Donald Trump in a project. I turned it down, mainly because I was doing something else,” Lithgow begins, though he continued, “I don’t think I would do it. It’s almost too close.”
Lithgow hasn’t been shy about his criticisms of Donald Trump.
The actor, who also happens to be a best-selling author, recently wrote a political satire book entitled Dumpty: The Age of Trump in Verse. It’s a satirical poetry collection that “takes readers verse by verse through the history of Donald Trump’s presidency.”
He also penned an op-ed for The New York Times: “Trump Is a Bad President. He’s an Even Worse Entertainer.” Lithgow details all of the reasons why Trump has shown himself as an “inept public servant,” but also “an even worse entertainer.”
“It is dispiriting to watch the wretched excesses of Mr. Trump’s slapstick presidency and the rabid audience he commands,” he writes.