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Civil War's Nick Offerman Confirmed Whether His Character Is Based On Donald Trump

Nick Offerman has just joined the ranks of famous actors who have played either great or terrible American presidents — a group that includes Harrison Ford, Meryl Streep, Billy Bob Thornton, and Geena Davis, just to name a few. So is his character in Alex Garland's new movie "Civil War" based on anyone specific? Is he, perhaps, modeled upon Donald Trump, the nation's 45th president who lost his bid for re-election in 2020 and is currently the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 2024?

"Honestly, no," Offerman said to Deadline while speaking with the outlet at the premiere of "Civil War." 

"When you see the movie, it's so unattached to anything in modern politics, not only in our country but any country," Offerman continued. "It's like doing a play where I'm playing a baseball player, and people say, 'Did you ever think of your favorite team, the Cubs?' And I say, 'No, it's a brilliant piece of fiction.'"

The Emmy-winner essentially said that the world Garland creates in "Civil War" is so distinct that Offerman said he only thought about preserving the writer-director's vision while filming: "From the get-go, it clearly wasn't based on anything in reality, and so, that's a distraction, and my job is to immediately say, 'Who is this guy? And how can I best serve Alex [Garland's] vision.'"

Alex Garland's Civil War is a bleak, striking look at the United States in turmoil

Nick Offerman's President — who may or may not bear any similarities to former U.S. president Donald Trump — is just one small part of "Civil War," the latest movie from visionary director Alex Garland (who's known for trippy projects like "Ex Machina," "Annihilation," and "Men"). Offerman's supporting presence is anchored by Kirsten Dunst as photojournalist Lee, who traverses an extremely divided America in the midst of a civil war under Offerman's president, a tyrant who is in his third consecutive term and shows no signs of stepping down. 

Dunst's Jessie ultimately teams up with her coworker Joel (Wagner Moura), her mentor Sammy (Stephen McKinley Henderson), and a young fellow photojournalist Jessie (Cailee Spaeny) to try and interview the President as the country continues descending into total chaos, only for them to meet countless obstacles along the way (including a violent soldier played by Jesse Plemons, Dunst's real-life husband). We won't spoil the climax of the film here, but it's safe to say that the tension surrounding the dangerous president's reign heightens and heightens until the movie's final act.

Nick Offerman's career has been on the rise lately — and Civil War is just the next step

It's not entirely surprising, given his deep voice and overall gravitas, that Nick Offerman would be chosen to play the president on-screen ... but it also speaks to the fact that the comedian and actor's career has hit new heights in recent years. After spending quite a bit of time playing the supportive spouse to Megan Mullally during the heyday of her series "Will & Grace," Offerman snagged the role of libertarian, contrarian, and secret softie Ron Swanson on the beloved NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation," where his dynamic with Amy Poehler's bubbly Leslie Knope perfectly anchored the show. Offerman certainly could have rested on his laurels — or pivoted to a full-time woodworking career, as he's a skilled carpenter — after "Parks and Recreation," but instead, he kept seeking out new challenges as a performer. 

One of those challenges came during the standout episode of the first season of "The Last of Us," titled "Long Long Time," where Offerman plays doomsday prepper Bill ... who unexpectedly meets the love of his life, Frank (Murray Bartlett), during the apocalypse. Offerman's stunning performance in this emotional, funny, and deeply touching hour earned him his first Emmy (for outstanding guest actor in a drama series) and proved that whether the actor is playing a president, a prepper, or an obstinate Parks employee, he's got serious range.

"Civil War" hits theaters on April 12.