Donald Trump Auditioned for Blue Velvet

By Stephen Kunk►

President Donald Trump is a lot of things: world leader, business mogul, TV personality and bestselling author, but did you know that he's also an actor? We're not just talking about his cute cameo in Home Alone 2, though. In the mid-80s, at the height of his initial rise to fame, Trump actually found time to audition for some serious roles in critically acclaimed films. Most impressive among these was David Lynch's sexy thriller Blue Velvet.

"Donny wants to fuck!"
According to Hollywood insiders, Trump read for the part of Frank Booth, the hard-bitten small-city gangster who has kidnapped the son and husband of Dorothy, the female lead played by Isabella Rossellini. The ransom? Kinky sexual favors from Dorothy whenever Frank demands it. The role would eventually go to Dennis Hopper, but not before Trump was tentatively cast for the part.

"He nailed the role," Lynch reported in a recent interview. "Donald Trump was and is Frank Booth. He read his lines just as I'd written them, adding a sheer and inimitable vileness that I couldn't capture in the dialogue alone. Had he stayed on with the role, Blue Velvet would have been a much less contemplative, much more intense film."

Of course, Trump wound up declining the role, citing a shooting schedule that conflicted with his ongoing USFL anti-trust lawsuit. However, according to Joanna Ray, the film's casting director, Trump exited the set after production began.

"He became very incensed," Ray reported, "when he learned that the rape scene in Dorothy's apartment wasn't going to be non-simulated. He insisted it had to be real, and he even made repeated references to Last Tango in Paris. When we told him it just couldn't happen, he stormed off the set."

Eventually, cooler heads prevailed, and, upon Trump's exit, Dennis Hopper took over the role.

"It was a mixed blessing," Lynch reflected. "I wanted Frank Booth to be pure id, but not completely id. At least Dennis brought some restraint to the role."

Footage of early screen tests of Trump's apartment scene with Rossellini have since been destroyed. Rossellini herself has not commented on the encounter.

Towards the end of Blue Velvet, Kyle McLaughlin's character famously asks a philosophical question of his love interest, played by Laura Dern: "Why are there people like Frank?" Perhaps the unrelenting muse powering Donald Trump possesses the answer.


Stephen Kunk lives in Oregon with his wife and two daughters.

Image Attribution: Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. Alterations made by Ewedrooper staff.