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Geena Davis Takes Oath of Office

(Posted September 26, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)









LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - All hail the new president, as she -- yes, she -- assumes the nation's top office.

Previous ventures about female chief executives have aimed for laughs, as with Polly Bergen's 1964 movie, "Kisses for My President," and Patty Duke's 1985 sitcom, "Hail to the Chief." However, Oscar winner Geena Davis plays it straight as she tackles weekly series work in the involving ABC drama "Commander in Chief," premiering Tuesday, Sept. 27.

Created by film critic-turned-moviemaker Rod Lurie ("The Contender"), the strongly cast show stars Davis as Mackenzie Allen, elevated from the vice presidency when her boss (Will Lyman) suddenly dies of complications from an aneurysm. She immediately must make major moves, from refusing Speaker of the House Nathan Templeton's (Donald Sutherland) request for her resignation to deciding against making her husband, Rod (Kyle Secor), her chief of staff although he expects the job. Also in the series' regular cast are Harry Lennix as the chief of staff, Ever Carradine as the press secretary, and Caitlin Wachs, Matt Lanter and Jasmine Anthony as the Allen children.







Davis admits she was stunned to be offered the role of president. "I thought it was an incredible opportunity," she says, "and when they said it was Rod Lurie, it was a no-brainer. I had sort of a lifetime policy of avoiding hourlong [series work]. I knew what the lifestyle was like, and I was determined not to be sucked into it. There are a lot of great dramas on television, but there's definitely a price to be paid for being in one. Then they said, 'Oh, you can be the president' ... and I was like, 'OK. Yeah. "

Representing the first woman behind the desk of the Oval Office holds major significance for Davis. "I think it's the role of a lifetime, not only to play the first female president, but also to be the first to take a serious crack at it. I don't think we've pictured what it could be like, and it could help people become more comfortable with the idea. This is a show about every aspect of the life of the person who is president, the personal side and the public side."

And as on NBC's "The West Wing," the intensely political side is displayed by numerous characters, including a White House aide (Talia Balsam) who tells the new president she would feel "cheap" by staying on.

"It really turns Washington on its head when my character takes over," Davis says, "not just because she's the first woman to do so. It's probably more because she's the first independent to do it, and the Republican president whose ticket she was on was never keen on the idea. She was never kept in the loop or groomed, so it kind of throws everybody when this happens."

Previously a star of the sitcoms "Buffalo Bill," "Sara" and "The Geena Davis Show," Davis won her supporting Oscar for the 1989 comedy-drama "The Accidental Tourist." Also seen in movies "Thelma & Louise" and "A League of Their Own," she has three children including 1-year-old twins. Balancing motherhood and a fictional presidency won't be easy, she knows, but she's ready to try.

"It's definitely challenging," Davis says, "but I have to appreciate that actors have it a lot easier than other people who have to work these kinds of hours -- even the actual president."



Source: Zap2it
 


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