Roland Emmerich: Barack Obama Inspired Black Presidents on Film

Roland Emmerich: Barack Obama Inspired Black Presidents on Film

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

Published June 27, 2013

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.

Get ready for the BET Experience, featuring Beyoncé, Snoop DoggR. Kelly,  Erykah BaduKendrick Lamar and many more. Go here for more details and info on how to buy tickets.

Sign up now to attend free film screenings, celebrity basketball games and more. is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.

(Photo: Larry French/Getty Images)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


Latest in news