One of my favorite moments from the Reagan years was the time Reagan was asked during a press conference for his thoughts about Clint Eastwood’s election as mayor of Carmel. Reagan said he never thought anyone who had acted with a chimp in a movie could ever make it in politics. Heh.
What about movie action heroes? I always thought it remarkable that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura were both elected governor; they appeared together in two movies—Running Man and Predator, both of which, come to think of it, could be film titles about political ambition.
As could Demolition Man, the film with Sylvester Stallone cast as a distant future lawman who is nonplussed when Sandra Bullock drives him by the “Arnold Schwarzenegger Presidential Library.” (Surely this was some kind of not-so-inside joke between the two musclemen.) There’s that whole foreign-born thing in Arnold’s way, which required a constitutional amendment in the movie. Stallone doesn’t face a constitutional limitation against seeking the Oval Office, but he does share Schwarzenegger’s inability to speak understandable English, which may limit his potential political career, even if it didn’t hold back Arnold.
The next action hero to seek political office has surfaced: Steven Seagal is apparently considering a run for governor of Arizona. Seagal has always struck me as a completely implausible action hero with even less acting range than Keanu Reaves, and while the news story doesn’t say what party he might affiliate with, it notes he’s pals with Maricopa County’s controversial law and order man, Joe Arpaio, who is normally regarded as right wing. Many of Seagal’s self-produced movies have featured stupid left-wing story lines, like Fire Down Below and On Deadly Ground. But I guess he’s made movie titles that qualify him for public office, such as A Dangerous Man and Born to Raise Hell. Though if I have to have another Hollywood celebrity in office, can’t it be Katey Sagal instead of Steven Seagal?