October 16, 2008 / 3:34 PM / 10 years ago

U.S. stars in London line up behind Obama

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - If Barack Obama doesn’t get into the White House, it won’t be for want of trying on the part of a good slice of the movie and music world.

U.S. director Ron Howard arrives for the world premiere of the film Frost/Nixon at the 52nd Times Film Festival in central London October 15, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The cast and crew of “Frost/Nixon,” which had its world premiere at the opening of the London Film Festival late on Wednesday, lost little time in making their political persuasions known.

That is despite of the fact that their movie recreates a famous series of interviews between British reporter David Frost and disgraced former U.S. president Richard Nixon more than 30 years ago.

On the other side of the Atlantic, pop star Madonna put the announcement of her divorce from filmmaker Guy Ritchie behind her and went ahead with a Boston concert where she urged fans to vote for Obama.

In London, actor Kevin Bacon and Oscar-winning director Ron Howard both backed the Democratic candidate, who is leading in the polls with less than three weeks to go before the November 4 election.

“We’ve been through a very troubling eight years and times are complicated, the United States’ standing has fallen,” Howard told Reuters on the red carpet.

“I think we’re a great country ... and I’m not being idealistic. I feel that we stand for something very positive and I think Obama would put that foot forward.”

Bacon, who described himself as a life-long Democrat, added that he thought Obama was going to be a “fantastic president.”

“I think throughout this campaign we’ve seen the steady hand, the even hand, and I would be thrilled if he was our next president.”

Talk about the presidential race at London’s cinema showcase is unlikely to stop there, with Oliver Stone’s George W. Bush biopic “W” also in the line up.

Three-time Oscar winner Stone has said that he intended no malice or judgment against the U.S. president, although he added in a recent interview that Bush’s legacy of wars and the “pre-emptive strike” would “haunt his successor for years.”

Hollywood has a reputation for being anti-Bush, but industry experts point out that with his re-election in 2004, and a series of Iraq war movies that turned out to be box office flops, its impact on what happens next month may be limited.

(Reporting by Mirja Spernal; writing by Mike Collett-White)

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