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“I just thought that would be a perfect turning point in the story,” he says.
I think the first lady was just baffled at what the movie could have been about, because it was just a date.” Roadside Attractions and Miramax picked up the movie, and John Legend, a friend of the Obamas, came on board as executive producer.
Legend “was saying the other day that he has had a conversation with the president and first lady about it, and told them that it was a really good movie, and he thought they would enjoy it.
We know they are aware of it, and hopefully they will see it at some point and enjoy it.” Tika Sumpter, who plays Robinson and is a producer of the movie, read Tanne’s outline for the project in 2013, and back then expressed a desire to play the future first lady but also to help get it made, whether that happened or not, Tanne says.
Barack Obama is played by Parker Sawyers, a native of Indiana who had been living in England. “The physical resemblance was uncanny,” Tanne recalls.
“And so I was able to take the lynchpins of the date that were factual, and then imagine what they talked about, and use creative license to get the two characters connecting and clashing and falling in love.” The movie’s “conflict,” Tanne adds, is that Michelle “was not interested in Barack.
But she gave him one day to prove himself, and by her own admission,” he did just that.
“He was doing a very good but overt President Obama, commander in chief Obama.” He told Sawyers to do another take and to “forget about the president, forget about the guy you see on TV every night, you are just a guy trying to get a girl.” It worked.
The movie’s biggest creative license is when Barack and Michelle go to a community organizing meeting on their date, and she sees what kind of work he had done earlier in his career.That actually happened early in their relationship, but not on their first date, Tanne says.