Trevor Donovan was caught up in a shady smuggling scheme as Days of our Lives' airplane pilot Jeremy Horton, but his latest role has him playing someone on the other side of the law. The California native has been cast as Ronald Reagan's longest-serving Secret Service agent, John Barletta, in the upcoming biopic film Reagan.
The independent project stars Dennis Quaid as Ronald Reagan and follows the story of the 40th president's life, from his childhood, through his acting career, and into him taking the highest office in the United States.
Daytime legend Lesley-Anne Down (ex-Jacqueline Marone, The Bold and the Beautiful; ex-Lady Sheraton, DAYS) will be joining Quaid and Donovan in the film as former U.K. prime minister Margaret Thatcher. And if you think it's a stretch to imagine her playing the iconic British PM, she's right there with you! Down admits to the Daily Mail that when she heard that the casting department of the film was interested in her playing the Iron Lady, she thought it was a joke.
"My husband [director Don FauntLeRoy] got an email saying, 'We'd like Lesley-Anne to read a scene as Margaret Thatcher,' and I said, 'Oh for God's sake, this is not April Fool's Day! Stop it!'" she recalls with a laugh. "He said, 'No, honey, this is serious.' Don admitted that it is a bit of a stretch, and I said: 'A stretch? Is it a comedy?' He explained, 'No, it's a proper movie about Ronald Reagan.' And, because it was so ridiculous, he said, 'You've gotta do it!"'
Thinking that she would have zero chance of landing the role, Down admits that she didn't exactly take the audition process very seriously.
"I was in my pajamas in my kitchen," she shares. "I stuck on a sexy blonde wig I'd worn in a soap opera, rolled up the sides in two big rollers and created an almost Spitting Image-type Thatcher."
In all seriousness, though, Down expresses to Screen Daily, "To be asked to portray one of the most formidable female politicians of all time is an honor. Working opposite Dennis Quaid as Reagan is certainly a career highlight. Being part of anything made during COVID is a miracle -- this amazing production is the bomb!"
Reagan will also star Penelope Ann Miller (ex-Nancy O'Hara, Guiding Light) as Nancy Reagan; Kevin Dillon as Warner Bros. film executive Jack L. Warner; Skip Schwink as Jimmy Carter; Mena Suvari as Reagan's first wife, actress Jane Wyman; and Jon Voight as KGB agent Viktor Novikov.
According to Variety, Reagan was filmed at Ronald Reagan's ranch outside of Santa Barbara, California. It is the first film to shoot on the property, which became known as the Western White House.
An exact release date for Reagan hasn't been announced, but the film is expected to debut sometime in early 2022.
Trevor Donovan played the role of DAYS' Jeremy in 2007 and went on to appear in primetime series like 90210, Melissa & Joey, and The Baxters. Most of his recent credits are in feel-good films for Hallmark, including Two for the Win, SnowComing, Love, Fall & Order, and USS Christmas.
Lesley-Anne Down played the role of B&B's Jackie Marone from 2003 to 2012 and DAYS' Lady Sheraton in 2001. She also played Olivia Richards on Sunset Beach from 1997 to 1999 and Stephanie Rogers on Dallas in 1990. Some of her other TV credits include Upstairs, Downstairs and North & South, while her film credits include The Pink Panther Strikes Again and The Great Train Robbery.
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