How Donald Trump Inspired Meryl Streep's Portrayal of GOP President in 'Don't' Look Up'

Don't Look Up, Adam McKay's biting new black comedy for Netflix, manages to deliver a parody in a world that is now beyond satire and Meryl Streep's clever casting as a megalomaniac incompetent leader really seals the deal.

Streep plays a female U.S. president in the disaster film which progressives may cheer at first until her character is revealed—a slogan cap-wearing, self-aggrandizing, power-hungry, conservative.

And we already know that the Academy-award winning actress is a dab hand at playing political figures with her infamous portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in the 2011 drama, The Iron Lady.

The president played by Streep, President Janie Orlean, is described by McKay as "70 percent celebrity, 30 percent savvy politician, someone utterly craven and without shame."

While Donald Trump is never mentioned in the movie or by the actors or creators, his presence is felt and it's bluntly clear where they got their inspiration.

President Orlean is far more concerned with primary elections than an extinction-level comet hurtling towards Earth in a metaphor for climate change that slaps viewers straight in the face.

Streep said she found inspiration from the role from various different places and cited "preposterous people."

Meryl Streep and Donald Trump
Meryl Street as fictional president Orlean in "Don't Look Up" and Donald Trump. Netflix/Getty

"There was so many places to take things from, because there's so many preposterous people who've put themselves in public places recently, and shamelessly so," Streep told reporters at a press conference on Monday night.

It was kind of fun to put together this character that was in just pure id, just what her appetite wanted," Streep said of president Orlean. "And about amassing power, money, more power, and more money, and nice hair and nails, you know?"

Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep in "Don't Look Up." Netflix

The Oscar winner elaborated: "That's, unfortunately, that's the cost of what being a public servant is now, that only the most... I mean, really, you really have to make a big sacrifice. Your family makes a sacrifice, and you have to be willing to do that. And it's amazing that we get good people ever to do it. And [SIGH] we need them. We need them right now more than ever."

Later in the press conference, Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Kate Dibiasky, the Astronomy grad student who discovers the comment said she "really liked Meryl's incompetence as a president" in the movie.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump appears at a rally on the eve of the South Carolina primary on February 28, 2020 in North Charleston, South Carolina. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Streep and Lawrence star opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Don't Look Up, and hep plays Dr. Randall Mindy, the head of the astronomy department that makes the discovery.

"You know, Adam created this film, which was about the climate crisis, but he created a sense of urgency with it by making it about a comet that's gonna hit Earth within six months' time and how science has become politicized with 'alternative facts,'" he said.

Don't Look Up opens in theaters on December 10 and starts streaming on Netflix on December 24.

Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep in "Don't Look Up." Netflix