Tina Fey, John Travolta, Will Ferrell: Actors Playing Politicians (GALLERY)

Todd Gilchrist / August 31, 2012

As the media (and their own self-promotion) has continued to catapult politicians into the international spotlight, it seems only appropriate the entertainment community follow up with impressions and impersonations – especially given some of their more surprising statements, not to mention behavior.

Television programs like Saturday Night Live are a repository for these caricatures, thanks to expert send-ups by the likes of Tina Fey, Fred Armisen and Will Ferrell. But the entertainment industry has increasingly told stories where actors have transformed themselves into some of America’s most iconic elected officials.

Whose impersonations have overshadowed the officials they’re imitating?

In cases like Franklin D. Roosevelt or Richard M. Nixon, who were memorably played by Jon Voight and Anthony Hopkins, respectively, contemporary audiences are often trading on a combination of an actor’s screen persona and the more generalized impression history created for that politician.

But as with Ferrell’s George W. Bush or Michael Sheen’s Tony Blair, these performers effectively boil down a wealth of imagery and behavior – well-documented via interviews and public appearances – and create the silhouette of the person we actually know, or at least think we do.

Launch Celebuzz’s gallery for more iconic performances by actors playing politicians. From John Travolta as Bill Clinton to Josh Brolin in W., these performers took politics from the polling booth to the box office.