Chastain, Johansson, Seyfried and Witherspoon chase the role of Hillary 'Rodham'

Posted by · 11:30 am · May 28th, 2013

One has to imagine that the role of Hillary Rodham Clinton in the developing biopic “Rodham” is a bit of a coveted one for the industry’s top actresses. The project is already fascinating from the outside, stemming from a 2012 Black List script penned by Korean screenwriter Young Il Kim spear-headed by “The Twilight Saga” producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen with indie filmmaker James Pondsoldt on board to direct. When the casting news finally does hit, it will be just one more level of intrigue.

Two years ago at the Kennedy Center Honors, the late Nora Ephron quipped of Meryl Streep’s versatility (amid the flurry of the actress’s Oscar-winning work as Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady”) that it was only a matter of time before she would play the former Secretary of State and First Lady. Although “Rodham” happens to be set during the height of the Watergate scandal in 1974 when the 27-year-old politician became the youngest lawyer chosen for the House Judiciary Committee to impeach Richard Nixon. The 63-year-old Streep would better compute for a modern-day yarn, but a quartet of Hollywood’s younger stars are keen on the role, The Sunday Times revealed this weekend.

Two of the names are, in my humble opinion, a bit too obvious. Jessica Chastain is at a crucial point in her career and would certainly love to dig in on a role such as this. But coming off of “Zero Dark Thirty,” it feels a touch familiar. Scarlett Johansson, meanwhile, could pull it off (and seeing her raring and charged at the Democratic National Convention in November certainly spoke to her enthusiasm for the world being portrayed). However, it seems to me the role could use a bit of the unexpected.

Reese Witherspoon hasn’t missed a beat since her Atlanta police altercation, grabbing a role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice” recently. I actually think she would be fascinating in the role. Ditto Amanda Seyfried, who is coming off of Tom Hooper’s “Les Misérables.” In fact, she could really use something like this to kick-start the next level of her career and I think she has it in her.

Ponsoldt admitted the obvious to The Times, of course. “They”re all wonderful actresses,” he said. “We”re very fortunate that a lot of really great actors are interested in playing these roles. We”re in an enviable position.”

“Regardless of people’s political affiliation or how they feel about Hillary Clinton, you don”t find people who question the quality of her intelligence or her drive. I want a wonderful actress who could embody that.”

The film is set to be released during the next presidential election in 2016, when Clinton is expected to be a candidate. And you can bet we’ll be talking about whoever lands the role during the awards season. It just has that whiff, doesn’t it?

Who do you think should land the lead role of ‘Rodham?’ Have your say in the comments section below!

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