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Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing/Movies on American Presidents and British Prime Ministers.


QUESTION: Dear Taylor‎‎


Are there English Movies made on American Presidents viz Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, John Kennedy, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama etc

Are there movies made on British Prime Ministers viz Margaret Thatcher, John Brown, David Cameron etc

2. How challenging is to portray a role of a President or Prime Minister of a country ?.

On a personal front if some film producer offers you this role, would you accept the offer ?.  

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: Hi Prashant,

Yes, there are films chronicaling leaders of the western world.
Usually they are done as films long after the leader's reign. Others are done as documentaries before that.

Recent examples are of Margarent Thatcher, Abraham Lincoln, etc.

In the case of Lincoln, a very good film staring the Englishman, Daniel Day Louis was done. They had to base him on references in books as all we have is a few pictures and writings about him and by him, because he was around before most mnodern media was invented. However, he did a wonderful job recreating our former president.

Would I attempt such a role? Only if I was right for the role. While the temptation of taking a role for personal advancement would be a lure, I could not accept such a role in good faith if I could not pull it off. Currently, I cannot think of a recent or historical figure that I would want to play. I certainly wouldn't want to play a "whitewashed" portrayal of any leader. The thing is, people often idolize public figures, and that is not acceptable to me. When you are playing a real person, you have to realize that they were human and prone to human weaknesses.
One of the last things you want to do is meet someone you hold in high regard if you insist on keeping them as an idol, because people will fail youre expectations. No one is perfect! One of the worst things to do as an actor is to play a drunk person or a "bad guy". No criminal ever sees himself as "bad". He has a reason or rational as to why he does the things he does. If you play him as bad, just to be bad, it will fail. You have to find a reason to believe why they are doing the things they do.
It's like playing a drunk person: drunk people don't try to act drunk! They try to appear sober. When you are sad in a scene, you don't break down and cry, you do as in life: you try to maintain a strong face! You try not to cry and the audience takes your side because of your struggle. When you finally are overcome, the ausience crys with you because you tried to be strong but failed. If you breakdown immediately, the audience hates your weakness.

I hope this helps!

Best, Taylor

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Taylor

Thank you.‎‎

The Key for giving justice to play the role character of a President or Prime Minister of a country in the film would be studying the Biography
in Depth ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Hello Prashant,

Any serious, competant actor would study any resources available to re-create the person they are playing. That would include reading books written by the figure and, more importantly, by people who knew them. While reading their own words helps to expose how they  think and view the world, you must remember they are writing to put themselves in a favorable light. Others are more likely to give you a more realistic presentation. Also, actors watch footage of the real person speaking and walking to get their mannerisms correct.
Often actors will employ dialect coaches: people native to where their subject came from, to train them how to sound like them. Often, an actor may look generally like the famouse person, but not completely, yet by imitating them well they create an acceptable characature of the person.

Best, Taylor

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Taylor Sheppard


I can answer questions: on starting a career in acting, mistakes in acting, etiquette when dealing with industry contacts, finer points on how to act, and things to avoid in the field.


I have been a professional actor 21 years, with appearances in TV, Film and commercials. I have made good decisions and potentially damaging mistakes. I believe anyone who has a dream deserves to explore it, and I take their aspirations seriously. That being said, I do not pull punches. I try to be tactful, but I will not lie to someone, honesty is more effective. My last film role was in "Teeth" which was picked for Sundance in January 2007. It was sold to Lionsgate and Weinstein Co. for somewhere over 2.5 million. The role was "Mr. Griffith", a sex-ed teacher.

Ciao Agency-Austin/Georgetown, Texas. (Formerly known as Donna Adams Agency. Matthew McConaughey was a good friend and fellow member. I also have belonged to agencies in three other Texas cities, but they have since closed.) TXMPA -Texas Motion Picture Alliance. Various other internet networking web rings as well as Actors Access. I was instrumental in advising actress Krista Allen on getting her career in acting started in Austin,Texas (we worked at the same Health Club in the early '90's).

Previously wrote on a now defunct website such as this one. I enjoyed helping new actors.

I have acted for 21 years. I studied under James Nelson Harrell as well as other talented actors at Southwest Texas State University. After college, I have taken classes with Julliard graduate Mona Lee, Bill Johnson, Van Brookes, Marco Perella and others in Austin Texas. I am constantly attending classes to maintain my edge and explore new directions. In addition to attending strictly acting classes, I have also taken business workshops with respected casting directors, such as Shari Rhodes ("Jaws","Close Encounters", "Raggedy Man".) Barbara Brinkley, Jo Edna Bolden and Donise Hardy, (Castingworks LA).

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