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Who should play Bill Clinton in ‘Hillary,’ the NBC miniseries?

Hillary and Bill in 1998. (Courtesy of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library / via PBS)

It’s time once again to play everybody’s favorite game, “Cast the Clintons”! NBC announced this weekend it will soon produce “Hillary,” a major miniseries starring Diane Lane as the first lady-turned-secretary of state. (Which is not to be confused with “Rodham,” the still-in-development movie about Hillary in her 20s, with a bevy of young stars supposedly in play for the lead role.) For the TV version, set from 1998 to the present day, we already have our Hillary — but what fleshy-faced, voracious tower of charisma should play Bill? (Intentionally disqualifying John Travolta and Dennis Quaid, who already did the Clintonesque thing — the former well, the latter poorly — and have since aged out.) Our notes for the casting directors:

Jordan Strrauss / Invision/AP Jordan Strrauss / Invision/AP



Jeff Bridges Pro: Shave the “True Grit” grizzle and he looks just right. Con: Too old to play Bill in ’98. Too A-list for TV.

(Andreas Rentz / Getty Images)



Matthew Modine Pro: Right age, not too distractingly famous. Con: “Tower of charisma”? Hardly. Also, too skinny.



(Matt Sayles / Invision/AP) (Matt Sayles / Invision/AP)



Josh Brolin Pro: Charisma to burn, already played a POTUS (in “W.”). Con: Newly divorced from Diane Lane.



(Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)



Neal McDonough Pro: Veteran TV actor with a cocky manner, can tackle good/bad ambiguity. Con: Meh.



Evan Agostini / Invision/AP) Evan Agostini / Invision/AP)



Woody Harrelson Pro: True Southerner. Loads of swagger. Cons: Too big for network TV. Too short. Too hard to envision with hair.


(Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images) (Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images)



Thomas Haden Church Pro: Right fame level for this project. Con: Quite possibly too craggy.



(Abraham Caro Marin / AP) (Abraham Caro Marin / AP)



Russell Crowe Pro: Unrivaled talent, face like a slab of beef. Con: Waaaaay too A-list for TV.



(Jonathan Short / AP) (Jonathan Short / AP)



Dominic West Pro: Suave, rakish. Nailed the U.S. accent on “The Wire.” Con: Too rakish. Can he truly feel our pain?



(Chris Pizzello / AP/Invision) (Chris Pizzello / AP/Invision)


Billy Bob Thornton Pro: Arkansas native. Nice blend of charm and darkness. Probably available. Con: None.


(Justin Tallis / AFP/Getty Images) (Justin Tallis / AFP/Getty Images)



Sean Bean Pro: The “Game of Thrones” star has gravitas, a cult following, maybe a decent Southern accent in his back pocket. Con: None we can see. Call him!

Are we forgetting someone? We’re sure you’ll let us know. . .


Earlier: NBC sets Hillary Clinton miniseries; Diane Lane as former first lady, secretary of state

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Amy Argetsinger · July 26, 2013

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