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Roland Emmerich has blown up the White House with an alien laser beam, knocked it over with an aircraft carrier, and allowed the entirety of Washington D.C. to be laid waste by total global apocalypse. But would you believe that the man who actually lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue-- that would be former President Bill Clinton-- is a fan of his work?
Emmerich is a man full of surprises, even if you've grown up on his movies like Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow and think you know all there is about the king of disaster movies. He's a soft-spoken, extremely friendly guy who seems to love his work, getting just as excited about uncovering the secret identity of Shakespeare as a car chase on the lawn of the White House. He's also one of the few directors who can start work on a sequel nearly two decades after the original came out and sound genuinely enthusiastic about it.
In the video above you can see the quick conversation I had with Emmerich about his latest film White House Down, in which the dynamic duo of Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum find themselves fighting off a terrorist invasion of the most famous house in America. He talked about the time he's been inside the actual White House, to pay a visit to that sci-fi-loving President Clinton, and how he played with the Die Hard model of action movie to make something his own. He also revealed what was a surprise to me at least-- that pool that you see the car crashing into in the film's trailer is actually on the White House grounds! I would say I'm jealous, but I will probably trade my lack of a pool for the sake of a house unlikely to be attacked by terrorists any time soon.
Check out the interview at the top of this post, and revisit the White House Down trailer below. For more on the movie you can also check out the video review that Sean and I recorded, on location at the real White House, between our interviews with the cast and Emmerich at the historic Hay-Adams hotel in Washington, D.C. If you saw White House Down over the weekend, hop in the comments and let us know what you thought.