Presidents Day: Women Playing POTUS in Film and TV

Female Presidents From Movies and TV

Julia Louis-Dreyfus on ‘Veep’ and Bellamy Young on ‘Scandal’ are the among the performers who have occupied the on-screen Oval Office.


In the real world, a woman has still not broken that “highest, hardest glass ceiling,” to quote Hillary Clinton, and become president of the United States.

On TV shows and in films, the state of female U.S. presidents is better.

While more men have occupied the fictional Oval Office, there are some exceptions, like Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Veep, Cherry Jones on 24: Redemption and Geena Davis on Commander-in-Chief. However, on-screen female presidents often ascend to the presidency via the vice presidency, not necessarily by being directly elected to lead, even when that world is fictional.

Louis-Dreyfus’ Selina Meyer, Davis’ Mackenzie Allen and Patricia Wettig’s Caroline Reynolds (Prison Break) rose to the top job after their respective presidents died or resigned.

The same goes for Claire Haas (Marcia Cross) on Quantico, who assumed the role after the fictional POTUS stepped down.