Oliver Stone to put British actress in Bush cabinet

LOS ANGELES Wed Apr 9, 2008 7:47am IST

U.S. film director Oliver Stone arrives at Apiay military base in Villavicencio December 31, 2007. REUTERS/Carlos Duran

U.S. film director Oliver Stone arrives at Apiay military base in Villavicencio December 31, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Carlos Duran

LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - The Bush administration is coming together under the guidance of director Oliver Stone, with a British actress set to join cabinet in his upcoming movie about President George W. Bush.

The Hollywood Reporter said Stone was in final negotiations to appoint Thadie Newton to play the National Security Advisor-turned-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in the movie "W."

Newton, 35, who was born in Zambia and raised in England, is the first non-American to be cast for a role in the U.S. administration. She is currently in theaters in the British comedy "Run Fat Boy Run."

Meanwhile, Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd, 34, who starred in "Fantastic Four" and "Amazing Grace," is in final talks to play former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in "W" which is expected to start shooting soon.

Rice and Blair are the first non-Bush roles to be cast. Josh Brolin, James Cromwell, Elizabeth Banks and Ellen Burstyn had previously been cast as George W., George Sr., Laura and Barbara Bush, respectively.

"W" will look at Bush's formative years and path to the president as well as his life inside the White House.

According to people who've read the "W" script, Rice is said to be in a key first scene in the movie as well as in a number of scenes connected to the Iraq War. Blair also appears in Iraq-related scenes.

Stone has said he wants to draw a fair-minded portrait of the polarizing figure.

Sources familiar with the script say Bush is depicted as an easily distracted figure predisposed to personal agendas, though they say the script occasionally shows a more sympathetic side.

Among the key "W" roles yet to be cast are Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and advisor Karl Rove.

(Editing by Dean Goodman and Belinda Goldsmith)

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