Presidential Candidates in the Movies

Seven GOP hopefuls in history who've dabbled in acting.

February 23, 2012, 6:02 PM

Feb. 24, 2012 -- intro: On the road to the white House, several presidential candidates have passed through Hollywood, making cameos in films along the way. In the lead up to the Oscars, here's a look at six GOP candidates - three from 2008 and three from 2012 - who not only spent their careers in politics but also made forays into acting. And, of course, there's the one candidate who stepped off the big screen and got to the White House, for real.

quicklist: 1category: Movie: 'Man of the House'title: Rick Perry url: text:

Rick Perry took his Texas swagger to the big screen when he made his acting debut in"Man of the House" in 2005.

The Texas governor, who ended his bid for the presidency in January, plays himself in the movie, which stars Tommy Lee Jones playing a Texas Ranger whom Perry tasks with protecting a group of cheerleaders from the University of Texas after they witness a murder.

Perry will flaunt his acting skills for a second time when he plays himself again in "Deep in the Heart," which comes out next year.

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quicklist: 2category: Movie: 'Bruno'title: Ron Paulurl:text:

Rep. Ron Paul found himself in an awkward situation when Sasha Baron Cohen, best known for his stunt interviews as "Ali G," tricked him into an interview that was later included in 2009's "Bruno."

In a scene filmed in early 2008, Paul believed he was giving an interview about Austrian economics, but Cohen, posing as the Austrian fashion commentator Bruno lured Paul into a hotel room and tried to seduce him, at which point Paul quickly left the room.

Paul recounted the incident in a 2009 WABC radio interview saying, "I was expecting an interview on Austrian economics. So, that didn't turn out that way. But by the time he started pulling his pants down, I ... what in, what is going on here? And I ran out of the room. ... When that happened ... when this all gets out, I'm probably going to have to apologize to my supporters because I think most of them are going to figure out why in the world didn't I sock this guy in the nose."


quicklist: 3category: Movie: 'Men in Black'title: Newt Gingrichurl: text:

Newt Gingrich has produced seven documentaries with wife Callista, but when it comes to acting, the former speaker of the House has only one brief and potentially unintended appearance on the big screen.

In the movie "Men in Black" starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, video of Gingrich is included that characterizes him as an "alien," along with other celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone, Al Roker and Dionne Warwick.

Gingrich made waves in the 2012 race when he promised the development of a lunar colony by the end of his second term as president. The moon proposal even spawned a sketch on "Saturday Night Live."


quicklist: 4category: Movie: 'Wedding Crashers'title: John McCainurl: text:

Before obtaining the 2008 Republican nomination for president, Sen. John McCain dabbled in a bit of acting, making a short cameo in the 2005 comedy "Wedding Crashers."

Joined by Democratic strategist James Carville, McCain is seen congratulating Christopher Walken, who plays the role of Treasury Secretary William Cleary, at his daughter's wedding. Before McCain's appearance on the screen, Vince Vaughn, whose character is crashing a wedding with another character played by Owen Wilson, mouths the word "Wow" when he sets eyes on McCain and Carville.


quicklist: 5category: Movie: 'Anger Management'title: Rudy Giulianiurl: text:

Rudy Giuliani squeezed in a little time for acting in between his stint as mayor of New York and his 2008 presidential bid.

In 2003, he appeared in the movie "Anger Management," starring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson. Giuliani, who plays himself, gives Sandler some words of encouragement as he tries to manage his anger: "You can do it!"

The line has been used by actor Ron Schneider in several movies starring Sandler, including "The Waterboy" and "50 First Dates."

In 2007, Sandler donated $2,100 to Giuliani's presidential campaign.


quicklist: 6category: Movie: 'Secretariat'title: Fred Thompsonurl: text:

This senator-turned-"Law & Order" star boasts a long resume of film and television credits. Fred Thompson began his early career as a lawyer but made his acting debut when he played himself in the 1985 movie "Marie."

Thompson joined the cast of "Law & Order" during the final months of his Senate stint, playing a district attorney on the show for five years.

While most candidates declare their candidacy in a speech or news interview, Thompson announced his 2008 presidential bid on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

Thompson recently appeared in the 2010 film "Secretariat."


quicklist: 8Category: Movie: 'Knute Rockne All American'title: Ronald Reaganurl:text:

A regular theme on the campaign trail this cycle echoes back to the era of Ronald Reagan, one of the Republican Party's most revered figures. But aside from his influence on politics, Reagan also cultivated a celebrated career as an actor.

Over two decades, Reagan appeared in 53 films, eventually serving as the president of the Screen Actors Guild.

Reagan's role in "Knute Rockne All American" gained him a nickname that stuck with him throughout his life: "The Gipper."

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