Today is Presidents’ Day and it’s a day to look back throughout history and reflect on those who have been elected to the highest office in America. But since political history isn’t really what we do here, let’s look at people who’ve played them on screen and especially those who’ve taken home some hardware because of it. Here are 4 award winning performances as real life U.S. Presidents.
Paul Giamatti – John Adams
Giamatti’s performance as our 2nd president in this 2008 miniseries nabbed him an Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Award. He gives a transformative performance, which makes us feel like we are really getting a glimpse at who John Adams was. It’s also always interesting to get some insight into the people who helped to found and develop the United States.
Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
Day-Lewis won a bunch of awards for his portrayal of the 16th president in this 2012 film, including an Oscar, Golden Globe, and SAG Award. As is typical for him, he gets himself completely absorbed by the role and becomes as close to what one might think the actual Abraham Lincoln would have been like, including a take on what Lincoln might’ve sounded like that goes completely against what people would expect.
Bryan Cranston – All The Way
Cranston played Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president, in this 2016 HBO film, and earned himself a SAG Award, along with Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, for it. He channels the big and strong personality of Johnson and shows off the challenge faced by him when he was thrust into office after the assassination of John F. Kennedy including trying to get the Civil Rights Act to pass.
Gary Sinise – Truman
Sinise won a Golden Globe and SAG Award for his portrayal of the 33rd president, Harry Truman, in this 1995 HBO film. His performance helps give viewers a sense of Truman’s path from humble beginnings to becoming the president. He also shows off the weight of Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan at the end of World War II.
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4 Award Winning Presidential Performances. Featured Image Credit: HBO