The full cast has been announced for The Front Runner, the political comedy from Up in the Air director Jason Reitman starring Hugh Jackman as disgraced 1988 Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart. Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons, and Mike Judge are among the big names that have been added to the cast of the film based on a real-life scandal that rocked the world of politics and changed the way the media covers scandals.
Gary Hart was considered one of the front runners to win the Democratic presidential nomination and take on VP George H.W. Bush in the 1988 election until revelations about his affair with model Donna Rice hit the newspapers, setting off a firestorm of controversy that ultimately sank Hart’s candidacy and left a lasting impression on the worlds of politics and media. Director Jason Reitman describes his film The Front Runner as “a political comedy about the moment in our history when tabloid journalism and political journalism drove into the same lane.”
EW has announced the full cast for The Front Runner. Vera Farmiga headlines the supporting cast as Gary Hart’s wife Lee Hart, who stuck with her husband in spite of the sex scandal that torpedoed his candidacy. Reitman fave J.K. Simmons will play Hart’s campaign manager Bill Dixon.
Other names added to the cast include Mamoudou Athie as Washington Post reporter A.J. Parker, Silicon Valley‘s Big Head Josh Brener as Hart foreign policy advisor Doug Wilson, Justified‘s Kaitlyn Dever as Hart daughter Andrea Hart, Spencer Garrett as legendary Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, Ari Graynor as Post White House reporter Ann Devroy, Toby Huss as lobbyist Billy Broadhurst, Usual Suspects actor Kevin Pollack as Miami Herald publisher Bob Martindale and Steve Zissis as Herald reporter Tom Fiedler. Casual‘s Tommy Dewey, Molly Ephraim, Mark O’Brien, and Alex Karpovsky have snagged roles as members of Gary Hart’s campaign team.
King of the Hill and Silicon Valley creator Mike Judge will make a rare live-action acting appearance as Jim Savage, an investigations editor for the Miami Herald. The all-important role of Donna Rice, the model who caught Gary Hart’s eye at a yacht party and soon found herself in the middle of what was up until then America’s biggest political sex scandal, has been taken by Murder in the First and Twin Peaks: The Return actress Sara Paxton.
The Hart scandal not only impacted the 1988 presidential race, it also arguably set the stage for the huge tabloid stories of the 1990s, including the O.J. Simpson case and the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal. Jason Reitman has assembled quite a cast for The Front Runner, which is being described as a “wry ’70s-era political movie.”
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