Roland Emmerich: Barack Obama Inspired Black Presidents on Film

White House Down director on casting Jamie Foxx, Danny Glover as POTUS.

Posted: 06/27/2013 10:00 AM EDT
Roland Emmerich: Barack Obama Inspired Black Presidents on Film

Electing a Black president may have been groundbreaking in Washington, but by the time Barack Obama took office, it was already a common sight in Hollywood.

White House Down director Roland Emmerich, who has a penchant for putting people of color in his fictional White Houses (first Danny Glover in 2012 and now Jamie Foxx in WHD), talks to us about art imitating life or vice versa. "We have a Black president in the movie because we were all really excited about Obama," the veteran director explained, adding that when 2012 was shot, Obama hadn't yet won the Democratic Party nomination for president.

The director also talks to us about his bold choice to cast a still untested Will Smith in his 1996 hit Independence Day, and why the studios were so hesitant to put a Black actor in a leading role in a tent-pole summer film. 

Watch our exclusive interview with Roland Emmerich below, and check out White House Down in theaters June 28.

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(Photo: Larry French/Getty Images)

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