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No, ‘Civil War’s’ Fascist President Isn’t Donald Trump

Film's stars disappoint press eager to connect film's leader to ex-president

Few films have stirred the cultural pot quite like “Civil War.”

The April 12 release envisions a near-future America at war with itself.

Civil War | Official Trailer HD | A24

Kirsten Dunst leads an ensemble cast including “Parks and Recreation” standout Nick Offerman as the U.S. president. Much of the film’s story has been kept under wraps. The film’s SXSW Film and TV Festival debut let some light shine on the narrative.

Offerman’s president, for example, has fascistic tendencies and is currently serving his third term.

It must be Trump. Of course.

if Hollywood has taught us anything over the past seven-plus years it’s that it can’t stop referencing the 45th president. And, almost every time said commentary is unflattering.

To be kind.

That’s exactly what journalists were hoping from “Civil War.” It’s why they’re trying to get the film’s stars to admit it. So far, they’re striking out.

Offerman spoke to a Hollywood Reporter journalist at length about the project during the red carpet premiere. The actor, who famously played a libertarian on “Parks and Recreation,” is a liberal in real life. He still didn’t take the reporter’s bait. He shoos away any suggestion his character is Trumpian to the core.

Nick Offerman On Playing The President In Alex Garland's 'Civil War' & How Film Transcends Politics

“There’s obvious comparisons to Trump here and our political climate,” the unnamed reporter asks Offerman. “How closely did you want to play that?”

The veteran star doesn’t bite.

“Honestly, it didn’t even come up,” Offerman responds. “[The movie] is so unrelated to any actual factions or politicians. That’s what I think is so brilliant about this film. Everybody on any side of the aisle or any faction has a lot to say and we’re all immediately divisive and partisan in our conversations.

“Everybody’s mad about those other jerks, and this movie transcends that. it’s about all of us. And I’m so grateful for that.

His views echoed those of writer/director Alex Garland. The “Ex-Machina” creator has repeatedly said his film is bipartisan. The big picture he wants to share? Let’s stop attacking each other before it’s too late.


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Over at the far-Left Variety, its reporter tried to do the same with co-star Dunst.

Mission: Unaccomplished.

But it’s impossible to watch “Civil War” without being reminded of this year’s presidential election — you know, the one where democracy and maybe the fate of the free world hangs in the balance? … For instance, Dunst won’t admit [emphasis added] that the film’s president, played by Nick Offerman as a narcissist with an authoritarian streak, resembles the 45th, and perhaps 47th, Oval Office occupant.

“It feels fictitious to me,” she says of any connection between Offerman’s character and Donald Trump. “I don’t want to compare because that’s the antithesis of the film. It’s just a fascist president. But I didn’t think about Nick’s character being any certain political figure. I just thought this is this president, in this world, who will not abide by the Constitution and democracy.”

“Won’t admit” … it’s almost as if the reporter has an agenda and is annoyed that the film’s star won’t play along.


  1. This sounds exactly like he is portraying the liberals view of Trump. But the hollyweirdos do not want to forgo more than half the country’s dollars so they are denying it. Hollywood is learning…

    1. Stars OFTEN let their politics wash over their press interviews … often to the movie’s detriment. The fact that they’re doing the opposite here is fascinating.

  2. There’s only one party I know of in the US that implements censorship and crushing rules everywhere, yet they point their fingers at those who don’t want any of it. Weird how fascism and authoritarianism has the ability to blind those practicing it because they feel their goals are pure (as they try to remake our world as in Harrison Bergeron).

    1. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
      C. S. Lewis

    2. Harrison Bergeron?! I have referenced that story as an example of Pr0g ideals many times. Nice to know someone else out there remembers it!

      I do think it the height of irony that so many great writers from the ’60’s and ’70s were “bullseye” close to the mark in their concerns… except it’s the side they were on that is bringing 1984 to fruition…

    3. Reminds me of Narcissism. Narcissists never see the faut in themselves. It’s always someone else’s fault. If their actions bring about a response, it is your fault too. Maybe we have an epidemic of Narcissistic Behavior Disorder.

      I’m bummed to see Nick is a liberal. Not really surprised, but I hoped maybe playing a libertarian might have rubbed off on him.

      1. It IS odd that TV’s most famous Libertarian is a progressive, but I appreciate his comments about the film. It also suggests he’s a liberal who won’t shun his conservative friends. Sadly, that’s the kind of sentiment we need to support. We live in deeply tribal times.

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