A still photographer, cinematographer, editor and documentarian, Eagle emigrated to the US from Hungary with his family in 1929. He joined the Film and Photo League, an organization concerned with doc...
Rumor has it that Ben Affleck is very strongly considering running for a seat in the Senate — specifically, the one John Kerry will (presumably) vacate when he (presumably) becomes Secretary of State.
While the thought of entrusting your representative democracy to the man who starred in Phantoms will take a little time to get used to, it's comforting to think that many other people who became famous for things other than government have embraced a second career in politics.
Come on, the Terminator spent eight years running the state of California, the most populous state in the U.S. Surely the man who gave us the thought-provoking historical drama/Oscar contender Argo wouldn't do much worse representing his home state.
Affleck has not officially denied reports, though it's hard to believe he'd want to leave his showbiz career at such a high, well-regarded point. (Other actors rumored to be turning to politics, like Alec Baldwin, have denied rumors outright.)
In Affleck's honor, here are a few pop culture figures who entered politics after successful careers in the public eye.
After winning a recall election in 2003 to replace California governor Gray Davis, Ahnold served one more term leading the third-largest state in the union before returning to what he might arguably do best: action movies.
Another actor-turned-director, Eastwood entered politics in the 1980s when he served as the non-partisan mayor of the California town Carmel from 1986 to 1988. After his notorious empty chair speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention, though, it's clear where his allegiances lie these days.
Ventura became a pro wrestler after his stint in the Navy during the Vietnam War. He ran for his first political office in the 90s, serving as mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota from 1991 to 1995, and later the governor of Minnesota (1999-2003). He's now a visiting fellow at Harvard's JFK School of Government. Not too shabby!
McMahon and her husband, Vince, started the WWF (now the WWE). After serving as President and CEO of the professional wrestling organization, she has run unsuccessfully for two different Senate seats in Connecticut.
Talk about an overachiever — Bradley is not only a former professional basketball player, he's also a Rhodes Scholar, an Eagle Scout, an Olympic gold medalist, and a three-term Senator from New Jersey. He ran for president in 2000, but we all know how that turned out.
Another pro basketball player, Johnson is entering his second term as mayor of Sacramento, Calif.
The well-respected boxer ran for Congress in his native Philippines, where he has served since 2007. He's up for re-election in 2013.
After making a name for himself as a singer and actor, Bono became mayor of Palm Springs, Calif. in 1988. In 1994, he ran for Congress, where he served until his death in 1998. His wife, Mary, finished out his Congressional term.
Perhaps the most famous actor-turned-politician, Reagan was a film and television actor — and even president of the Screen Actors Guild — before he went into government. The two-term California governor also served two terms as President of the United States in the '80s.
You were first introduced to Duffy when he was a roommate on The Real World: Boston in 1997. His reality show past didn't seem to hurt when he became district attorney of Wisconsin in 2002, a post he left in 2010 to run for Congress. Duffy was recently re-elected to his second congressional term.
So, how would Affleck stack up against the likes of these men and women? Are any of your favorite pop culture politicians missing from the list?
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[PHOTO CREDIT: Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo]
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This Friday, Prometheus — the sorta-prequel to returning director Ridley Scott’s own 1979 sci-fi masterpiece, Alien — invades theaters, with Michael Fassbender as the title ship’s butler and maintenance man, David, who just so happens to be an android (Fassbender has said that he modeled the motions and mannerisms of David after Olympic swimmer Greg Louganis rather than previous big-screen versions of the robotic human doppelgangers). It got us thinking about the movie androids that preceded him, er, it, and how far Hollywood has come in that department.
T-800, T-850, T-101 (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Terminator Movies
Super-human powers: Is an expert computer system at its (zillion) core; power source, er, lifespan of up to 120 years; vastly superior endoskeleton to that of humankind; self-healing.
Weaknesses: The human resistance; the noses of dogs; other Terminators (like Robert Patrick’s liquid-metal shape-shifting T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day).
Notes: We know, we know: Technically, Ahnuld’s Terminator is a cyborg, not a full-on android, but the difference between the two (some humanlike organic composition for the former vs. 100% robot for the latter) is negligible enough for us, for the purpose of this list, to mention Schwarzenegger — who himself may someday turn out to be the greatest android ever!
Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner), Star Trek Movies/TV Series
Superhuman powers: Positronic brain; immune to all biological diseases (except polywater); can be disassembled for easy storage; waterproof.
Weaknesses: Unable to dream; vulnerable to tech hazards and viruses; cannot swim.
Notes: Armed with nothing more than a pretty bad makeup job and his own (purposefully) robotic performance, Spiner was able to cement a spot in the hearts of many a techie and Trekkie during his lengthy tenure (TV’s Star Trek: The Next Generation and four Star Trek films) as Data. He also provided countless laughs over the years, of both the intentional and unintentional variety.
Replicants, Blade Runner
Superhuman powers: Superior strength, agility, and intelligence; fully programmable for any mission.
Weaknesses: Voight-Kampff tests; the term “skin-job”; four-year lifespan.
Notes: There will seemingly forever be a lack of clarity as to whether or not Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard was himself a replicant, due to everything from the fact there are a whopping seven different versions of Blade Runner to his failure of the Voight-Kampff test. The key people involved in the movie are split on the issue, but for what it’s worth, Deckard was written as a human in the Philip K. Dick novel on which the big-screen version is based. The debate rages on, with full Web sites currently devoted to the topic!
SID 6.7 (Russell Crowe), Virtuosity
Super-human powers: Can be programmed with multiple, variable personalities, used advantageously (for evil); tons of RAM capacity; capable of regeneration.
Weaknesses: Denzel Washington; impalement.
Notes: Virtuosity remains something of a disaster cinematically, but the virtual reality-gone-murderous concept makes for quite a mindf***, even if the execution thereof doesn’t quite work. Plus, we’ll watch Denzel and Russell square off all day, any day!
Vanessa Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley), Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Superhuman powers: Super-humanly hot; skill with a Desert Eagle
Weaknesses: Vulnerable to Austin Powers’s “charms.”
Notes: Early on in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Kensington self-destructs after malfunctioning related to a TV remote, and it is revealed that she was a fembot all along. She’s still the prettiest damned robot since Rosie on The Jetsons.
David (Haley Joel Osment), A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
Superhuman powers: Endless love; ability to not blink; great posture; undrownable.
Weaknesses: Can’t swim; sibling jealousy; has the emotions of a real boy.
Notes: Reaction to this Steven Spielberg-directed (and Stanley Kubrick-hatched) sci-fi drama remains mixed to this day, but there’s no denying that Osment was superb and believable as the main “humanoid,” to an almost disturbing degree — which was thanks more so to his astute interpretation of David than any effects wizardry.
Ash (Ian Holm), Alien (1979)
Bishop (Lance Henriksen), Aliens (1986)
Surrogates, Surrogates (2009)
Gunslinger (Yul Brenner), Westworld (1973)
Worked as cinematographer on Hans Richter's segment of the episodic avant-garde film, "Dreams That Money Can Buy"
Joined the Film and Photo League, an organization concerned with documentary photography and newsreels
Photographed and edited "The Challenge: A Tribute to Modern Art", a documentary on 20th century modern artists
Joined the Works Project Administration (WPA) as a photographer
Worked with celebrated documentary filmmaker Robert Flaherty on "Louisiana Story" as a cinematographer and still photographer
Began work on a collection of photos of Orthodox Jews on the Lower East Side of NYC
Edited "Acting: Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio"
Worked as a freelance photographer for various publications including "Fortune" and "The Saturday Evening Post"
Produced documentary studies for the WPA on NYC slums
Joined the documentary project headed by Roy Stryker for Standard Oil of New Jersey
Immigrated to the US with his family
Joined the faculty of the New School for Social Research, where he taught filmmaking
A still photographer, cinematographer, editor and documentarian, Eagle emigrated to the US from Hungary with his family in 1929. He joined the Film and Photo League, an organization concerned with documentary photographs and newsreels, in 1932 and began photographing Orthodox Jews on Manhattan's Lower East Side two years later. (The photographs were posthumously published in a volume entitled "At Home Only With God".) Eagle worked for the Works Project Administration (WPA), as a freelance photographer for "The Saturday Evening Post" and as a cinematographer for both avant-garde filmmaker Hans Richter ("Dreams that Money Can Buy" 1946) and documentarian Robert Flaherty ("Louisiana Story" 1948). He also made several documentaries of his own, taught filmmaking at New York's New School for Social Research and contributed to books about modern art and the Actors Studio.