Never has there been more Australian interest in an American election than the current debacle, with saturation coverage across all media. Local elections come and go but none with the drama, madness and unbridled idiocy that’s currently unleashed in the US. What better time for us to cash in shamelessly on the situation and announce that we are going to ‘shoot Trump down under’.
No, no, no – it’s not an assassination attempt. The only shooting will come from a camera as we lay claim to the production of what must be the long awaited Trump biopic. As many will know the great Australian auteur Baz Luhrmann is currently filming a biographical account of the life of Elvis Presley on the Gold Coast. Surely if we can knock out a blockbuster based on one of the world’s best known cultural identities, we can do the same with today’s most famous political hustler.
With Trump booted out of the White House, there’s bound to be a flood of docos and biopics in his home country. Let’s get the jump on the big US studios and TV networks, and produce own our unique version of the Donald J Trump story. There is of course a wealth of written material to draw from in the various exposés such as Michael Wolff’s Fire And Fury, not to mention the most intense media coverage of any US President. But let’s avoid the serious, albeit heartfelt treatment of George W Bush in Oliver Stone’s W and go for a G rated family style romp that Disney would be proud of.
In the opening scene Melania, who has been criticised for not being more active as First Lady, is off to a local children’s hospital with a whole bunch of colouring books from the White House. Trump is at first delighted but then becomes enraged when he realises he hasn’t finished colouring them in. That humorous vignette sets the tone for the whole movie which begins with Trump complaining of corns and bunions to avoid the draft and ends with him pardoning himself for every crime known to mankind in the remaining months of his presidency.
Casting the movie would certainly advantage Australia actors, given the current COVID restrictions. There would be a host of American actors putting their hands up to play the POTUS but few prepared to do a Tom Hanks and endure two weeks in quarantine in a Gold Coast Hotel. I’d like to see an all Aussie cast with perhaps just one exception. The Machiavellian Steve Bannon should be invited, for a much deserved cameo, obviously playing himself – but cunningly disguised as Pennywise the clown.
Whilst some Australian actors might be reluctant to participate on ideological grounds, there would be plenty of non actors ready to front the camera. We are not without our share of shameless Trump sycophants, both in politics and the media, and there would be a role for each and everyone one of them in this homegrown Trump epic.
The crew from Sky News could easily fulfil the roles of most of the best known Trump acolytes. Peta Credlin, with a bit of accent coaching, would make a great Melania. Some creative prosthetic makeup could transform Rowan Dean into a feisty Rudy Giuliani, fresh from his dalliance with Maria Bakalova. And who’s to say Rupert himself would knock back the chance to play Trump’s perennial lap dog, Mike Pence.
The more ludicrous the casting, the more chuckles from the audience and the more dollars at the box office. Let’s not forget Trump’s international buddies with Alan Jones as Kim Jong Un, Clive Palmer as Boris Johnson and some fine method acting from Mark Latham as Vladimir Putin.
The big question of course – who gets to play Trump himself? Whilst there’s a surfeit of latex masks now for sale on ebay, we would need a really good lookalike/soundalike to carry the role. The NSW town of Parkes has done particularly well out of its annual Elvis festival and the invasion of hundreds of Elvis impersonators. Surely there’s a town, deep in the heart of Queensland somewhere, with the nation’s highest percentage of One Nation voters, that would love to hold an initial Trump Festival.
Trump impersonators would flock there every year, cavorting to the anthem of YMCA, and the anointing of Pauline Hanson. Amidst this enormous talent pool would emerge our own dinky di Donald J Trump and a star would be born overnight. It many be stretching a point but if we can make an Elvis movie here on the Gold Coast, we can be first in with a Trump biopic. As long as local history never gets to imitate art!