And the latest actor to play Ronald Reagan is. . . that kid from “Wizards of Waverly Place”?
Indeed, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed, David Henrie has been tapped to star in upcoming drama “Reagan,” an indie biopic of the former president. And yes, given that Henrie is 25, he will be playing Reagan in his younger days.
It’s a unique casting choice, but really, actors cast to play Reagan over the years have been all over the map — not surprising since the former president (a former actor himself) has been portrayed in everything from film to TV movies to online sketch comedies.
A look back at other actors cast as Reagan:
Jay Koch, a Reagan impersonator who carried on that role in spoofy movies like “Back to the Future Part II” (1989) and “Hot Shots! Part Deux” (1993).
Richard Crenna in “The Day Reagan Was Shot” (2001), a Showtime TV movie. At the time, Washington Post television critic Tom Shales wrote it was strange that Crenna “makes almost no attempt to look or sound like Reagan. Obviously he didn’t want to do an impersonation that might border on parody…but a few little Reaganesque mannerisms would have been all right. Crenna doesn’t seem sufficiently presidential, or at least not Reaganesque enough.”
James Brolin in “The Reagans,” (2003) a CBS miniseries so controversial it got pushed off the network and also wound up airing on Showtime. In a review, Shales wrote that Brolin “seems much too small to fill Ronald Reagan’s shoes or even replicas of them. His performance is a caricature and not a very convincing one.”
Jim Carrey in “Presidential Reunion” (2010), a sketch produced by the Funny or Die Web site.
Reginald Green in a fleeting role in the Margaret Thatcher biopic, “The Iron Lady” (2011).
Alan Rickman in “The Butler” (2013). “So heavily made up as Reagan, it’s as if he’s been melded with one of those animatronic creations at the Hall of Presidents in the Magic Kingdom,” wrote the Chicago Sun-Times.
Michael Douglas in “Reykjavik,” an upcoming film about the president’s historic 1986 summit with Mikhail Gorbachev.