What does actor Dennis Quaid have in common with Bill Clinton? Not so much. So when filmmaker Peter Morgan approached the veteran actor to play Clinton in upcoming HBO special titled 'The Special Relationship,' Quaid practically wrote off the idea without second thought.
First of all Quaid looks almost nothing like the former US President.
'I almost said no,' Quaid recently told press. 'I don't look anything like him. My mannerisms are completely different than his. I didn't really see myself in him at all.'
But Quaid, who once spent a 'guys weekend' at the Clinton White House in 1999, remembered how kind-hearted, humourous and intelligent Clinton was. But, most of all, he admired Clinton's tremendous resolve, for steadying his administration following the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.
Ultimately Quaid agreed to the part and began studying up the role , even downing McDonald's fries and burgers at a breakneck speed and gaining 35 pounds.
Quaid studied hours of Clinton on the campaign trail, he learned Clinton's voice modulation, his pausing for effect, even his wagging his finger and nodding the head.
'We're all flawed in one way or another,' Quaid told the press. 'What I thought was incredibly amazing was that he was able to get through that and still go on to really have a viable presidency. That's a huge accomplishment really. I remember when the Lewinsky scandal first came up, pundits on television were saying he was going to be resigning in 36 hours.'
'The Special Relationship' takes its title from the Winston Churchill-coined term describing the mutual benefits of strong U.S.-British ties, and it plays on Tony Blair's long-held admiration for Clinton. That's all put to the test when the Monica Lewinsky scandal erupts, causing Clinton to go into self-preservation mode while Blair pushes for U.S. involvement in the war in Kosovo.
HBO's 'The Special Relationship,' premieres on Saturday, May 29.