Bill Pullman’s decades-long acting career has provided him plenty of memorable roles, from Lone Starr in “Spaceballs” to Jack Callaghan in “While You Were Sleeping,” to Dr. James Harvey in “Casper.” Currently, he stars as Detective Harry Ambrose on USA Network’s “The Sinner.” But perhaps no role has been more memorable for Pullman than his role as Thomas J. Whitmore, President of the United States in the 1996 Roland Emmerich blockbuster “Independence Day.”
Of course, the only thing more memorable for Pullman than the role itself is the titular Independence Day speech he recites during the film’s riveting finale. The power and authority of the speech could explain why the Alamo Drafthouse enlisted the help of “the most presidential actor of our time” for a freedom-celebrating, mask-touting PSA this weekend. Because if you’re going to celebrate in a pandemic, why not celebrate safely, right?
The first “Independence Day” was a massive success upon release in 1996, grossing over $800 million worldwide. In 2016 a sequel was produced, “Independence Day: Resurgence” that brought Pullman’s character back, though lacked the original film’s star Will Smith. That, and lackluster reviews, saw the sequel garner 53% less money than its predecessor.
“Hello, America. I may not be your President right now but I’ve got to tell you, the 4th of July is still my favorite holiday. And it always will be,” Pullman said in the video, which you can watch below.
“This Independence Day, I’m going to be celebrating my freedom in a really important way,” he continued. “I’m gonna be wearing my freedom mask every time I go into public places. That’s right: freedom mask. Because if all of America agreed to wear one of these going into public places, we’d be a little closer to being free to safely go back to places like bars, and restaurants, and schools and, most importantly, movie theaters.”
In addition to the toy plane that Pullman captains during this video, there was even a little bit of Pullman’s actual “Independence Day” speech included, for good measure and nostalgia’s sake. (Strangely, there were no clips from “1600 Penn,” despite him playing President of the United States there as well…) But in case that wasn’t presidential enough, Pullman’s sign off surely did the trick:
“I’m Bill Pullman, and I approve this message.”