Actor Who Plays POTUS on Fox’s ‘24’ Touts He’s ‘a Big Fan’ of ‘Smart’ Obama

William Devane (IMDb page), who plays “President James Heller” on Fox’s prime time 24: Live Another Day, told USA Today that “obviously I’m a big fan of Obama, as a guy who’s smart and articulate” and, in his acting, “I say to myself, ‘what has got to be going on in the private side of this guy’s brain’ –  the pressure, the racism that is thrown out — and he handles it with such dignity.’”

Devane empathized with Barack Obama’s plight: “There’s gotta be a private side to him where he goes, ‘Why do I have this job?’”

A new episode of 24: Live Another Day, which stars Kiefer Sutherland as “Jack Bauer,” airs tonight (Monday) on Fox at 9 PM EDT/PDT, 8 PM CDT. This season, set in London, revolves around the threat from a terrorist who has taken control of several armed drones.

From the Monday, June 16 “Life” section article, “Is President Heller’s number finally up on 24?” (Online headline: “William Devane makes ‘presidential’ look easy”), by Ann Oldenburg:

...His vision for Heller as president, he says, was always to present a complex portrait of a man and a politician. “Whenever we see the president, we only see what they want us to see. It’s all a controlled profile. Everything we see of Obama is basically what they want you to see.”

Devane wanted to give viewers a sense of the private-public struggle, right down to sporting a sweater while hanging out in the West Wing. “The Grandpa look!” he barks. “You never see the president lookin’ like that!” He laughs.

“Obviously I’m a big fan of Obama, as a guy who’s smart and articulate and supposedly leading all of us. I say to myself, ‘what has got to be going on in the private side of this guy’s brain’ — the pressure, the racism that is thrown out — and he handles it with such dignity. There’s gotta be a private side to him where he goes, ‘Why do I have this job?’”

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center