updated 06/30/2010 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 07/04/2010 AT 11:35 AM ET
Call it civic duty or patriotic pride, Hollywood is no stranger to showing support for the red, white and blue. Actors and filmmakers alike have produced films about protecting and defending our country against everything from terrorists to aliens to giant astroids. Whether based on real-life leaders or leaders created by a screenwriter’s imagination, some of screen’s heaviest hitters have taken their turn portraying the President of the United States. But who served the office best? Our faves are:
He was a dead-ringer as George W. Bush in the Oliver Stone’s W. The biographical film followed the life of the 43rd President – and all his faults.
He took up residence in the White House for Rob Reiner’s 1995 romantic-comedy, The American President, playing a widowed U.S. president who falls in love with the charming Annette Bening.
After solidifying his superstar status with both Star Wars and Indiana Jones, Ford went mano-a-mano against terrorists as the Commander in Chief aboard the high-jacked presidential aircraft in Air Force One.
Before his Oscar-nominated performance as Nelson Mandela in Invictus, Freeman served office as President Beck in 1998’s disaster/sci-fi film Deep Impact, working to destroy a comet destined to destroy Earth.
He took on double duty in the comedy Dave, back in 1993, playing presidential impersonator Dave Kovic, who gets summoned to portray the real president, who has suddenly fallen ill.
Wacky Jack was out of this world as President James Dale in 1996’s star-studded Mars Attacks, which was directed by Tim Burton.
He did his duty as the fictional President Thomas J. Whitmore fighting against (more!) alien intruders in the 1996 box office blockbuster Independence Day.
The most recent presidential impersonator stepped into the role of Bill Clinton. Quaid played the 42nd Commander in Chief in 2010’s HBO special The Special Relationship, which chronicles the political life of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
He does it all. Rock wrote, directed and starred in 2003’s Head of State, playing a recently fired Washington, D.C., alderman, who is unexpectedly chosen as his party’s presidential candidate after the original nominees are killed in a freak plane crash.
Funnyman Williams kept the jokes coming with his “statuesque” performance as Teddy Roosevelt in both the Night at the Museum films.
Tell us: Whose POTUS had you wanting to stand up and salute?