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‘LBJ’ Trailer: Woody Harrelson Is a Dead Ringer for Our 36th President

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If an esteemed actor gets big enough, you can place a pretty good bet that he’ll be cast as at least one American president in his lifetime. Everyone from Martin Sheen to Jon Voight has played George Washington, Daniel Day-Lewis got extremely in character as Abraham Lincoln, and Robin Williams’ Teddy Roosevelt is one of the joys of the Night at the Museum movies. Since Woody Harrelson is having a real moment these days, it comes as no surprise that he’s been tapped to play one of our most recognizable presidents, Lyndon B. Johnson, in LBJ.

Johnson, who lost the democratic nomination to John F. Kennedy, never wanted to be JFK’s vice president, but was sidelined after the election despite his own experience. But then, as we know, JFK was assassinated, and Johnson was shoehorned into a presidency he never expected to get. Harrelson looks great in the role, and I’d also like to point out Jennifer Jason Leigh’s superb Lady Bird Johnson look.

After powerful Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson (Woody Harrelson) loses the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination to Senator John F. Kennedy (Jeffrey Donovan), he agrees to be his young rival’s running mate. But once they win the election, despite his extensive legislative experience and shrewd political instincts, Johnson finds himself sidelined in the role of vice president. That all changes on Nov. 22, 1963, when Kennedy is assassinated and Johnson, with his devoted wife Lady Bird (Jennifer Jason Leigh) by his side, is suddenly thrust into the presidency. As the nation mourns, Johnson must contend with longtime adversary Attorney General Bobby Kennedy (Michael Stahl-David) and one-time mentor Georgia Senator Richard Russell (Richard Jenkins) as he seeks to honor JFK’s legacy by championing the historic Civil RightsAct of 1964.

LBJ hits theaters November 3.

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