Forest Whitaker Turned Down The Opportunity To Play Obama On Film
By: Britt L
Forest Whitaker has played plenty of legendary roles throughout his extraordinary career. However, he turned down what could have been his best script reading to date.
In an interview with The Independent, Whitaker said he was offered the chance to play president Barack Obama in the 2010 film, “My Name is Kahn.”
“I was asked if I would play President Obama ‘My Name is Khan,’” said Whitaker. “I didn’t feel comfortable with doing it. Partly because he was still in office, but mainly because I felt that there were other people who were better suited to doing the role.”
The film eventually hired actor Christopher B. Duncan for the role of Obama. Whitaker expressed to the publication that he would have liked Will Smith to have played the part( but of course, that wasn’t his choice). Duncan is widely known for his role as Clarence Wiedman on the television series “Veronic Mars.”
Duncan has a video on YouTube impersonating the 44th president on Jay Leno’s talk show.
Although Whitaker shooed the opportunity to act as the president, the actor still has a connection to Obama. Whitaker starred in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” the film that President Obama said made him shed a tear.
“I teared up thinking about not just the butlers who worked here in the White House, but an entire generation of people who were talented and skilled,” exclaimed Obama in an interview.
“Because of Jim Crow and because of discrimination, there was only so far they could go.”
In “The Butler,” Whitaker played the role of Cecil Gaines, a servant who worked for eight presidents in the white house during his tenure.