Oliver Stone has never been one to mince words when it comes to setting his sharp laser tongue — or film lens — on presidential politics, from 1991’s JFK to 1995’s Nixon and 2008’s W. The director was just as passionately outspoken at a small press dinner that EW attended in Beverly Hills on Monday night, the day before the presidential election, celebrating the Blu-ray combo pack, DVD, and On Demand release of Stone’s drug cartel crime thriller Savages on Nov. 13.
“I vote Obama … and I hope he wins,” Stone said when asked by EW about the election. Savages star Benicio Del Toro, also at the dinner, expressed his support for President Obama as well. Stone said he had already voted for Obama by mail.
“Let’s get away from the electoral vote. … Let’s split the states. Every state would have a cap electorally proportionate to what the population was, far more accurate,” continued Stone later, complaining about the current electoral college system. “The attention given to six states is ridiculous.”
Del Toro, who plays a psychopath enforcer for the Mexican drug cartel in Savages, also mused about election hype. “It’s the best game in town,” he said. “People may be up until six in the morning, watching the TV.”
As for Stone’s take on various presidents, from George W. Bush to Obama, he definitely didn’t hold back. It turns out he had met Bush before he made the film about him, when Bush was governor of Texas. “I met him [Bush] once. I thought he was very dangerous. I thought he would be elected in ’99, or ’98. It was clear he had confidence, man. He had money and confidence,” Stone said. “There was a swagger to Bush. He’s also charming. He knows your name, and all that s—t. He went to Yale with me in ’68, and he was dropping names.”
Stone met Obama twice, when the then-Illinois senator was running for U.S. president in 2008.
“They never meet me after they win,” said Stone, laughing, before launching into a philosophical dissection of Obama’s political path. “Obama was very idealistic, and I think, a great person. I think something weird happened when he took the money from Wall Street, and [Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America] PhRMA, something late in that campaign, because he was definitely on the right track, and he knew he was on the right track when he went after Hillary Clinton. That’s where it started for me, with the Iraq war resolution. He was going to win. [But] it was too much for him. I think somewhere along the way, he got scared.”
So might Stone direct an Obama biopic at some point? Only time can tell.
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