Tuesday, April 23

‘Civil War’ stars deny media assumptions that film’s fascist president was inspired by Trump

Two stars and the director of the upcoming film “Civil War” threw cold water on reporters’ assumptions that the fascist fictional U.S. president in the film is based on or inspired by former President Trump.

The film’s stars, actors Nick Offerman and Kristen Dunst, each denied that Trump and the real-world political divide were the inspiration for the movie’s fictional U.S. civil war.

According to director Alex Garland in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the film’s U.S. president – played by Offerman – displays fascistic tendencies and attempts to strong-arm himself for a third term.

The president’s move sparks the film’s central conflict with an alliance between Texas and California seeking to challenge the power grab.

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Reporters who spoke to both Offerman and Dunst in separate interviews asked if this fictional sequence was inspired by Trump, who many Hollywood liberals believe attempted a real fascist power grab while disputing the results of the 2020 election.

During the film’s SXSW Film and TV Festival premiere, the Hollywood Reporter asked Offerman, “There’s obvious comparisons to Trump here and our political climate. How closely did you want to play that?”

However, the “Parks and Rec” actor threw cold water on the association. 

“Honestly, it didn’t even come up,” Offerman told the reporter, adding that the film “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.”

Further dismissing real world divisions, he said, “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.”

Later in the exchange, he said, “It would be so easy to make this movie and lay in some Easter eggs and some of this or that, but you would lose half your audience this way or the other. Instead, this is like a great novel, it’s for everybody to say, ‘Oh, maybe heading toward war in our country is not the best route. Maybe we should reconsider the direction we’re heading.'”

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During a recent interview with “Variety,” actress Kirsten Dunst, who plays a journalist in the film, claimed she didn’t see the resemblance between Offerman’s president and Trump.

Variety wrote, “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?”

It seemed to suggest that Dunst was reluctant to see the parallels between Trump and the film’s character, stating, “Dunst won’t admit 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 said about Offerman’s portrayal. “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.”

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In her interview with The Hollywood Reporter at SXSW, Dunst also maintained the film isn’t meant to send a political message or provide commentary. “It’s a movie, and it’s meant to start conversations and I think it really lets the audience decide what they want to put onto it,” she said, adding, “It’s not partisan in any way, I think it’s actually more of an anti-war film if anything.”

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