EXCLUSIVE: Both are best-selling authors, both have cracked a glass ceiling or two, and both have been nominated for Emmys, but there really isn’t a lot that Lena Dunham and Peggy Noonan have in common. That perception might change when the Girls creator and avowed Hillary Clinton supporter takes on the role of the then-President’s top speechwriter in Reagan next month in Hollywood.
Playing Noonan, now a Wall Street Journal columnist, Dunham will be participating in a live reading of the 2015 Black List script by Mike Rosolio, along with Star Trek’s’ John Cho. Announced in December in the 11th edition of the most-liked unproduced screenplays, Reagan is set at the end of 1984. Having just been re-elected in a landslide, President Ronald Reagan is suffering from dementia. An intern who’s hoping to move up (to be played by Cho) is tasked with trying to convince the former SAG leader that he is in movie where he’s playing the President. Depending on your perspective, high jinks ensue.
Having written the likes of What I Saw at the Revolution: A Political Life in the Reagan Era, Noonan is known for crafting some of the best lines of both the Great Communicator and his successor George H.W. Bush. Like Dunham, Noonan is an Emmy nominee but not an Emmy winner. The columnist was given a nom back in 2002 for her work on the multi-network America: A Tribute to Heroes. The star-studded benefit concert special that aired September 21, 2001, to raise funds for the families of NYC first responders who perished in the 9/11 attacks.
With other cast members to be announced in the next few weeks, the reading is set for the Montalban Theater in Hollywood at 8 PM March 5. As is customary in Black List live readings, Dunham also will portray a number of minor characters onstage, but Nancy Reagan is not one of them. While her astrologer is part of the script, the former First Lady does not appear in Reagan. As for the 40th POTUS, who died in 2004 after a decade suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, no word yet on who is Reagan himself – but might we suggest George Clooney or, to double your Presidents Day fun, Martin Sheen?