Having just completed his service as a captain in the United States Air Force, Rick Perry was just weeks away from becoming a commercial pilot for Southwest Airlines when it rained. It was that rain that ended the drought in Haskell County and brought him back to work on his father's farm, and ultimately led to a career in politics that would take him all the way to the Governor's mansion and a shot at the GOP nomination for President of the United States. And he did it all with damn good hair.
Purty, ain't it? Kinda stuff you see at the movies.
Of course, there are less polished sides to Perry. After all, we're also talking about the man who tried to mandate HPV vaccinations for young girls, threatened a Texas secession, called the BP oil spill "an act of God" and stomped all over the line between church and state by leading a prayer rally for a crowd of more than 30,000 at Reliant Stadium earlier this year.
If one were to attempt a movie on Perry's life and ascent up the political ladder, casting the lead would certainly be a challenge. Or the role could be divided into smaller, more exaggerated aspects of his personality (think the six Bob Dylans in I'm Not There), which is exactly what we did with our fantasy cast for a Rick Perry biopic below.
"Farm Boy Rick": Taylor Lautner Perry was raised on a farm in Paint Creek, Texas. Lautner has the physique for manual labor and can't seem to stay in a shirt. Do we really need to go on?
"The Aggie Years" / "MaveRICK": Ryan Gosling Perry's predisposition for leadership was apparent even in his early years at Texas A&M University, where he was elected secretary of his sophomore class, and one of two junior yell leaders in the Corps of Cadets. With his magnetic charm and ability to look good in a maroon cardigan (or anything, really), Ryan Gosling is the perfect candidate for College Rick, despite our burnt orange reluctance to see him dressed up and Gig-in' it as an Aggie.
And if Gosling has a need for speed, the young actor's all-American, leading man appeal would also work as post-college Air Force Rick, who rose to the rank of captain flying C-130 tactical aircraft across the Middle East and Europe before returning to the Haskell County family farm in 1977.
"(Oil) Slick Rick": Aaron Eckhart He was a silver-tongued spin doctor for Big Tobacco in Jason Reitman's Thank You for Smoking (2005) -- a job that his character admitted requires "a certain moral flexibility" -- so the role of Perry as proponent, proselytizer and puppet for Big Oil wouldn't be too much of a stretch.
"Pink Cowboy Perry": Jake Gyllenhaal Longtime rumors of Perry's closeted homosexuality were further stoked last month by a full-page spot in the Austin Chronicle placed by Ron Paul supporter Rob Morrow with a line across the bottom that reads: "Note to gay people: If you know the truth about Rick, please QUIT covering for him." In an interview with Business Insider, Morrow defended the ad he purchased, saying, "Rick Perry is a pink cowboy leading a parade of extremist anti-gay preachers and militaristic neo-cons into a ditch." What's that now? We need a guy to play a gay cowboy? Man, this is almost too easy... (cue Brokeback Mountain theme music).
"Dubya Doppelganger": Josh Brolin Both hail from West Texas, served in the United States Air Force and are eerily like-minded in terms of legislative policy. Hell, they even look alike, making the man cast as the former Texas governor (and then President) in Oliver Stone's controversial 2008 biopic W a natural choice to play the current one.
"Religious Rick": Joel Osteen We imagine most politicians could get on board with the Lakewood pastor's massive flock and "God wants you to be rich" philosophy, so who better to portray the Perry The Faith Healer -- you know, the guy who led an August 6 prayer rally at Reliant Stadium to "pray for a nation in crisis" -- than the most famous, wealthy and controversial religious leader in the Lone Star State.
"Rootin' Tootin' Texas Rick": Yosemite Sam He's a fast talker with a thing for guns, horses and cowboy boots, friend to Big Oil and Jesus, and a Republican through and through. And make no mistake, if you run afoul of the law, he will kill you dead -- and secede from the Union if the U.S. government tries to tell us Texans how to act. Seeing as the real Governor Perry is an almost caricature-like cliche of every Texas stereotype, it seems only fitting he be represented by an actual cartoon in film.
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"Rick Perry's Hair": Patrick Dempsey's Hair It just seemed wrong not to give Perry's hair a part in the film, as it has already launched several independent political campaigns of its own. And in the role of Governor Goodhair's good hair, nothing short of McDreamy will do.