The Summer's Hot GOP Villains

Article excerpt

Byline: Michelle Cottle

At last, conservatives are leaving their (bite) mark on Hollywood.

Conservatives love to grouse that Hollywood hates them. For its part, Hollywood tends to yawn, roll its eyes, or nod distractedly. Unlike red-state America, which cannot avoid what it regards as the liberal values that permeate pop culture, the entertainment industry can, for the most part, ignore conservative culture.

This year's Republican presidential primaries, however, threw conservative values front and center as multiple candidates raced to the right. Early on there was much talk of God, prayer, and divine callings. Later the spotlight fell on issues like abortion, contraception, and the faith-destroying influence of college.

Confronted with such a foreign spectacle, Hollywood creative types did what they do: used the material to flesh out their work.

Chatting about her role in the new movie Rock of Ages, Catherine Zeta-Jones recently told the trade media that she drew inspiration from one of the Republican contenders in this year's presidential race. "I kind of had a Michele Bachmann moment," explained the Academy-and Tony-Award-winning actress. Of course, Zeta-Jones's revelation might have been more flattering if the character in question, Patricia Whitmore, weren't the film's chief villain, a tightly wound Bible thumper crusading against "sex, hateful music, and sex."

At least Bachmann wasn't the model for a 500-year-old blood-sucking creature of the night. That distinction goes to another recent White House hopeful, Rick Santorum. …