Is Ellen Claremont Based on a Real US President?

Portrayed by Uma Thurman, US President Ellen Claremont is an important supporting character in Amazon Prime Video’s ‘Red, White & Royal Blue.’ She is a Democrat from Texas who ran on progressive policies. When the film opens, she is preparing for her re-election and doesn’t attend the royal wedding. When the incident involving her son and the British prince happens, her aides start to panic and rush in for damage control along with their British counterparts. Later in the film, Alex comes out as bisexual to her, and she happily accepts that her son has found someone to love him. If you are wondering whether Ellen Claremont is a real US president, this is what you need to know.

Is Ellen Claremont Based on a Real US President?

No, Ellen Claremont is not based on a real US President. America hasn’t had a female president to date, and the film refers to her as the first female president. However, the US did have two former presidents who were born in Texas: Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson. Although George H. W. Bush was born in Massachusetts, but spent most of his life in Texas, so the state residents can probably claim him as one of their own. The same thing is true about his son, George W. Bush, who was born in Connecticut but has spent most of his life in the Lone Star State.

The film is based on the 2019 novel of the same name by Casey McQuiston, who told The Nerd Daily that they had fun writing Ellen “because she’s such a familiar person to me as someone from the south: a straight-shooting Texas mom who doesn’t take any s[expletive] and would do anything for family.”

According to co-writer and director Matthew Lopez, Thurman was always at the top of the list of potential actors to portray Claremont. They met on Zoom and found out that they had similar goals for the character. “One of the things that Uma and I both shared a very strong desire to investigate with Ellen is, so often women in politics in America are asked to sacrifice their femininity in order to attain power,” the director explained to A. Frame. “It’s in their demeanor that they have to adopt and in the clothes that they choose to wear, and Uma and I were really adamant that Ellen maintains a firm grasp on her femininity as she defines it for herself and on her power.”

According to Lopez, they wanted to expand the idea of a woman in power, and he and his team always kept Thurman in the loop. “So, I found in Uma someone who was incredibly game and who was really willing to jump in,” he elaborated. “In addition to playing the president, which I’m sure is fun for any actor, she also hasn’t been asked to play a mother much in her career. She hasn’t. And I don’t know if that’s a function of the choices that she’s made or the things that she’s offered, but she is a mother of three. And knowing Uma now as I do, I know that that is a very important part of her life. I think this was a really great opportunity for her to play that role on screen as well.”

Read More: Red, White & Royal Blue Post Credits Scene, Explained