Actor John O’Hurley may be one of the first of many to channel our sitting U.S. president into a character for the big screen.
Best known as J. Peterman, Elaine’s brash boss on “Seinfeld,” O’Hurley is currently co-starring in the golf comedy “Swing Away,” in which he plays an overzealous American developer who comes to the Isle of Rhodes with the intent of buying up land in a small community to build a garish water park.
“I patterned the character after Donald Trump,” O’Hurley tells me in an interview. O’Hurley has previously come out on the record as being a Trump supporter and has had a long-standing connection with the president.
“I knew Donald back in the early 80’s when I first moved to New York,” O’Hurley says. “We were at the same church together and then became friends over the years as I developed my career … and our paths crossed more.”
The film follows actress Shannon Elizabeth as an LPGA player who journeys home to Greece after a public meltdown. O’Hurley noted that golf was another way he bonded with Trump over the years.
“Actually golf was a big part of it because we did play in the NBC celebrity golf championships together many times,” O’Hurley says.
While future film iterations of Trump will surely tackle larger political issues, O’Hurley’s early comedic take confronts the Trump effect on small communities.
“This was not a political point, I was going after Donald Trump the businessman that I had known very well,” O’Hurley says. “I channeled him for this character, then because I knew the concept of this character so well, I structured him without a script. It was basically let the cameras roll and just let me talk.”
The film hits theaters and VOD on Oct. 13.