The holiday season is upon us and that means that the studios will fire their final salvo for a shot at the 2018 awards season. One of the more anticipated films set to premiere on Christmas Day is Adam McKay’s political biopic, VICE, starring Christian Bale as the former Vice President Dick Cheney, Amy Adams as his wife, Lynne Cheney, Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld, Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush, and Tyler Perry as General Colin Powell.
The first images of Perry from the film show a remarkable transformation into one of the most famous figures of the George W. Bush administration.
What makes Perry’s supporting role even more interesting is that of all the A-listers in the ensemble cast, Perry was the only one to ring up his alter-ego and ask for his blessing to play him in the film. When asked about Perry’s call to General Powell, director Adam McKay said:
“Only Tyler Perry could just be like, ‘I’m calling Colin Powell.’ I mean, that just cracked me up right away.” “The whole idea of Tyler Perry, I was told the idea, and then he came by my office, and I have never met anyone with more presence in my entire life. Like, the guy has gravitas, and instantly I was like, ‘Oh yeah, he’s Colin Powell.’ So yeah, he talked to Powell.”
As the trailer for VICE suggests, the McKay interpretation of Cheney’s rise to the “man-behind-the-curtain” for the 43rd President is not always kind, and Perry’s portrayal of Powell’s now-infamous 2003 U.N. speech has been said to be particularly hard to watch because of how well McKay and Perry capture the uncomfortable awkwardness of the moment. That makes the former Secretary of State’s blessing all the more impressive, but perhaps not when you consider Powell’s reputation for being a “gentleman-soldier” and someone who has spoken openly about his missteps during his time in the White House.
It may also have something to do with the fact that Tyler Perry Studios now sits on the grounds of the former 3rd Army base at Fort McPherson in Atlanta. Powell had once called the base home in 1989 when he lived there as Commander in Chief of Forces Command. The Victorian home he occupied still stands on the studio lot just off the former parade grounds of the base.