It was a very long time ago — i.e., last November — but perhaps you remember the president of the United States sharing an image of his head badly superimposed upon Sylvester Stallone’s ripped bod circa Rocky. Sharing such content is something he likes to do, allowing him to cosplay as things he’s not, such as strong and ripped and not addicted to McDonald’s. On Saturday Donald Trump was at it again, this time sharing a video that awkwardly drops his head into a key scene from Independence Day. And the actor whose face he usurped was not exactly pleased.
The scene was, predictably, the one where the president, played by Bill Pullman, delivers a rousing speech before humanity strikes back against their alien attackers. As with the Rocky picture, it’s not clear who made it, as Trump — who’s been accused of stiffing contractors and who’s dubiously claimed credit for what was, until recently, a strong economy — credited no one. But it is obvious why he shared it: If he seems incapable of delivering a powerful speech that unites everyone against a common foe, and indeed tends to read pre-written speeches like a drugged-up somnambulist, he might as well pretend he can.
Pullman himself didn’t appear to be pleased. The video retains his voice, simply superimposing Trump’s head upon his shoulders. The Hollywood Reporter reached out to him to see what he thought, and he chose his words carefully. “My voice belongs to no one but me, and I’m not running for president — this year,” the actor told them.
Pullman returned to the role of President Thomas J. Whitmore in the 2016 sequel Independence Day: Resurgence, which arrived mere months before Trump was elected actual president. The video, meanwhile, doesn’t stop by inserting Trump into a beloved scene; it also works in such supporters as Sean Hannity, Ted Cruz, Tucker Carlson, Matt Gaetz, even James Woods, who played a rightwing villain in Independence Day director Roland Emmerich’s 2013 thriller White House Down — his last major role before retiring.