Politicians Vs. The Actors Who Played Them In Blockbuster Movies — PHOTOS

Playing a real-life figure might seem like an easy job — all you have to do is mimic, right? — but for these actors who played real-life politicians, it was no small feat. In fact, to bring a nonfictional or historical person to life is actually anything but easy. Not only does the actor have to depict the person authentically, which prompts extra scrutiny since the public is already so familiar with these figures, the actor also needs to recreate them in a new way, revealing new aspects of these well-known individuals that the world hasn't seen. Still sound easy? We didn't think so.So let's take a moment for these 12 actors — most of whom played their political characters so tremendously you forget that you're watching a performance. A few of the bunch, however, are testaments to just how difficult a task playing a politician can be (sorry to call you out, Katie Holmes, but seriously). Want even further proof of how impressive depicting a politician accurately can be? The majority of these guys were either been nominated or won Academy Awards or Golden Globes for their performances. Maybe there is something to the theory that if you want to win a golden statue, play a real person...

Image: Lionsgate; Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin

Since Sarah Palin’s signature look and penchant for slang can make her a walking caricature, she’s one of the easiest politicians to imitate. While Tina Fey’s impersonation is hilarious — and not entirely an exaggeration — Julianne Moore’s depiction of the former governor of Alaska in Game Change was so uncanny that it won her a Golden Globe.

Image: HBO; Matt Stroshane/Getty Images

Paul Giamatti as John Adams

Paul Giamatti played the second president of the United States in the HBO miniseries John Adams, which won him a Golden Globe for best male performance in a miniseries or TV movie.

Image: HBO; Wikimedia Commons

Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln

When the poster for Lincoln first came out, I actually got the chills. It was as if Daniel Day-Lewis was born to play this role, and suddenly you couldn’t picture him as any other character.

Image: 20th Century Fox; Library Of Congress

Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher

Meryl Streep has been nominated for 18 Academy Awards but only won three, one of which was for her portrayal of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. The distinguished actress said in a statement after Thatcher’s passing that she was “honored to try to imagine her late life journey.”

Image: 20th Century Fox; Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Katie Holmes as Jackie Kennedy

Katie Holmes’ The Kennedys miniseries was almost as cursed as the family it’s based on. After getting dropped by the History Channel for not being historically accurate (a big no-no for the History Channel, I’m guessing), the series aired on ReelzChannel to tepid critical reception.

Image: Muse Distribution International; Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

Josh Brolin as George W. Bush

You probably wouldn’t automatically think of Josh Brolin when considering actors to play ol’ Dubya, but Brolin did a solid job portraying the former president in the 2008 docudrama W .

Image: Lionsgate; Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Denzel Washington as Malcolm X

To portray a figure as controversial as Malcolm X, you need a heavyweight actor who can handle all the complexities and nuances with ease. Denzel Washington did just that in Spike Lee’s 1992 biopic Malcolm X, which was met with overwhelming critical acclaim.

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures; Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

Frank Langella as Richard Nixon

Tricky Dick is a popular president to dramatize — Dick, Nixon, The Assassination of Richard Nixon, etc. — but Frank Langella’s performance in 2008’s Frost/Nixon is perhaps the most memorable, earning the actor an Oscar nomination for best actor.

Image: Universal Pictures; Robert L. Knudsen [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Rob Lowe as John F. Kennedy

Rob Lowe’s chiseled jaw and boyish good looks translated well in his depiction of John F. Kennedy for National Geographic Channel’s Killing Kennedy. His lifelong fascination with the Kennedy family probably didn’t hurt either — “If there’s a book about him or his presidency, I’ve probably read it,” Lowe told People magazine.

Image: National Geographic Channel; Getty Images

Sean Penn as Harvey Milk

Esteemed actor Sean Penn won an Academy Award for best actor for his portrayal of Harvey Milk, who was one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S.

Image: Focus Features; WIkimedia Commons

Michael Sheen as Tony Blair (Three Times!)

Michael Sheen has played former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair three times! The first time was for the 2003 TV movie The Deal, then for the 2006 movie The Queen (seen here), and most recently for the 2010 TV movie The Special Relationship.

Image: Pathe Pictures International; Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Bill Murray as Franklin D. Roosevelt

The 2012 film Hyde Park on Hudson explores the little-known relationship between former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his sixth cousin, and mistress, Margaret “Daisy” Suckley. Bill Murray’s performance as the wheelchair-bound president is beguiling, much like everything he does.

Image: Focus Features; Wikimedia Commons