In the upcoming “Independence Day: Resurgence,” Sela Ward plays a pantsuit-wearing U.S. president tasked with saving mankind after an alien invasion. Director Roland Emmerich offered her the part, and Ward was game (“I’m going for it”), after working with him on 2004’s “The Day After Tomorrow.” Variety caught up with Ward at this week’s White House Correspondents Dinner.
Did you model President Landford on any real-life presidents?
Well, we don’t have any female presidents to emulate. But I watched a lot of Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail, just to see physically what she would do, how she would approach a podium, a crowd, etc. [Germany’s] Angela Merkel, I would look at a little bit. She’s not as expressive. It’s really mostly watching Hillary, who is the only real female role model we have.
Did you absorb Hillary’s energy?
I was listening to the cadence of her speeches. That informed me a lot. I was watching physically what she would do.
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Did you look at any male presidents?
No. Not relevant.
Is she based on Hillary?
No. She’s based on how Sela would approach the world.
Is she a good president?
Fabulous. She’s very strong, decisive, not afraid to use force. She’s a risk taker, a split second decision-maker. I loved her.
Is it time for the United States to elect a female president?
Oh, past time.
What are your thoughts on this year’s election?
It’s the craziest circus I’ve ever seen.
Are you a Republican?
I’m an independent. I’m such a centrist. We need to have our own party.
Are you supporting Trump or Hillary?
I haven’t decided.