always gets to play the quirky characters, but seeing him as John Adams in the
upcoming HBO biopic miniseries, John Adams, suggests a more grounded,
angstier role. It turns out that Adams was more like a Paul Giamatti character
than you might think.
"He was a
weird character, and in a lot of ways we had just had to create a ‘character’
out of it, because you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to recreate something that
isn’t historically accurate," said Giamatti. "I mean, he was a weird guy. For
people who come to these things expecting this sort of iconic, Thomas Jefferson,
George Washington, white, marble bust kind of thing. He was kind of a lunatic.
He was a hypochondriac, he [had a] violent temper, he was constantly sticking
his foot in his mouth. He was a nightmare of a guy."
though he achieved the highest office in the country, the miniseries suggests he
did not emerge a hero. "He was this huge figure to people and there was a lot of
weird political maneuvering around that went on. Hamilton and all these guys
maneuvered around to get him elected. He was a terrible president. He was a
terrible politician. So, we are making a thing about a guy who was basically a
failure as a politician. So it will be interesting."
wartime, the John Adams miniseries will not present the typical battle footage.
"It’s much more a kind of political history because he sat the war out. There
are no battle scenes in it. It’s all him wandering around begging for money. I
don’t know how interesting that will be, but that’s what he did for the whole
war. He kind of traveled around Europe trying to get people to give money to
finance the war. And he was sick all the time and out of his mind and
depressed. He was a really weird guy."
John Adams will air on HBO this March.