FIRST PHOTO: Ed Harris as John McCain in HBO's 'Game Change' -- EXCLUSIVE


Image Credit: Courtesy of HBO

You’ve seen Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin. Now EW has your first look at Ed Harris as Sen. John McCain in Game Change, HBO’s adaptation of the best-selling book covering McCain’s 2008 presidential bid.

See what you think:

Read more:
EW’s Upfronts coverage

Comments (140 total) Add your comment
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  • j

    That’s uncanny.

    • Cygnus

      Looks pretty good, and knowing Harris’ acting style, he’ll be able to pull off the McCain mannerisms and voice without a problem. Ready-made casting.

      • Elwood

        We need Tina Fey to get in on this.

      • Le HIROSHI

        Good makeup and hairpiece. Plus Harris has gained weight – naturally? Or for the project?


        Thanks for Moore-Palin link, James. She doesn’t look as similar . . . as Harris, here, does McCain-san. Tina Fey would look virtually a twin. Just say’n.

    • Elizabeth


    • Ted Corless

      That’s UnMcainny.

      • DL

        I lol’d.

      • miss k

        Me too.

    • Thomas

      And the Emmy for Best Achievement in Make Up goes to….

      • Wickeddoll

        Totally agree, Thomas! Amazing!

    • HD

      I was worried it was either going to make me think Ed Harris unsexy or John McCain sexy and nope, neither one!

      • LOL

        Yeah 70+ year old torture victims are sooooo unsexy.

    • Roger

      Can Ed Harris get me a date with Meg?

    • jul


    • Eric

      Uncanny, good word. I’m amazed; I didn’t support McCain but with Ed Harris in that role I’m going to see this. Harris is brilliant and looks perfect as McCain.

  • Jenn


    • jul

      I know, right?

  • ugh

    i just went “DAAAAANG!” i couldnt even see ed harris until i stared long enough. good job make up people.

    • DollParts

      no kidding, makeup people. Good job! I had to stare a long time to get Ed Harris out of that, too.

      Scary what can be done with makeup, man.

    • pretty 41

      This movie shows you the extent the Republican will go to defeat Obama. They put an ingorant woman as Mcain’s running mate thinking they could win. They have single handedly drstroyed the Republican party and birth to the Racist Tea Party.

  • crispy

    WOW! And to think, I always Ed Harris was a stud.

    • Karate Pants

      You did?!?

      • crispy

        Oh, yes! And he’s not my normal type at all. I can’t explain it!

      • Robin

        oh yes, he is very sexy (but not in this photo)

      • truthsquad

        Oh God yeah! Rent “The Right Stuff” or “Swing Shift”–watch the towel scene…..;-)

      • finnyd420

        I thought he was sexy as Jackson Pollock. All that angst, internal anger & alcoholism.

      • Wickeddoll

        Hell yes – Ed’s very masculine, with out being a macho jerk, which is my thing.

    • Monica

      Totally love Ed Harris too. He has such a great face. Just watched Radio yesterday for the millionth time. Love him.

    • Margie

      I always thought Harris was handsome. I’ll never be able to think that way about him again!

  • Andy


  • kremzeek!

    mccain already had a movie based on his faith of my fathers book.

    • KeeKeeDee

      You mean like the Oscar for best makeup that’s been handed out for decades?

      • KeeKeeDee

        Oops, reply in wrong spot.

  • Color Me Impressed

    The resemblence is almost scary. These make-up artists better get some recognition.

    • Kat

      The makeup is phenomenal, but it’s not just that – look at his shoulders. It’s a small thing, but John McCain has those sort of awkwardly high shoulders that Ed Harris has going on here. The whole package looks great. I don’t know how anyone could look more like McCain without being a McCain. (Especially when it’s an actor like Ed Harris who normally looks SO different!)

      • Ann-Margret

        I think it’s called “lack of a neck,” or “no-neck.”

      • Sebastian

        It’s called having your arms broken repeatedly while enduring 5 years of torture. You know, real torture. Let’s see Christopher Hitchens write a Vanity Fair story about how he volunteered to have his arms broken.

      • sam99999

        Thank you Sebastion for setting these fools straight.

      • Allen

        It’s called getting your arms broken because you wanted to go “kill some g**ks” and weren’t a good enough pilot to stay in the air. Had he not been shot down he wouldn’t have been labeled an ‘American Hero’. Let’s face facts, John McCain is a racist and an opportunist. If you don’t know that, you obviously haven’t done your research.

      • Doug

        @Allen – He went where his country sent him during the Viet Nam war. If you did your research you’d also see he escaped being blown up or burned alive on an Aircraft Carrier when a missile accidentally went off. And as far as piloting skill go, when your number’s up, it’s up. Good’s got nothing to do with it. The Red Baron was good too. He was an Ace 16 times over (80 kills) by the time he was 25 when he was shot down. McCain is also one of the more moderate Republicans.

      • JC

        @Allen – You sound like the typical mindless Liberal Drone who has absolutley no facts to backup your unsubstantiated gratuitous remarks. Your suggesting that any American fighter pilot who was shot down was not a pilot good enough to stay in the air ?? John McCain is a national hero who you have insulted and disrespected along with thousands of other heroic American fighter pilots. You must be very proud of yourself.

      • Huh?

        “Mindless liberal drone”? Where did that come from, JC? Was that really necessary, you mindless conservative doormat?

      • McCain is incompetent

        Doug – It was McCain that started the fire on the Forrestal that killed 134 and injured 161.

        Surviving crewmen and those who investigated the Forrestal fire case reported that McCain deliberately ‘wet-started’ his A-4E Skyhawk to shake up the guy in the F-4 Phantom behind his A-4.

        ‘Wet-starts’, done either deliberately (the starter motor switch allowed kerosene to pool in the engine and give a wet start) or accidentally, shoot a large flame from the tail of the aircraft. In McCain’s case, the ‘wet-start’ ‘cooked off’ and launched the M34 Zuni rocket from the rear F-4 that punctured the Skyhawk’s fuel tank, knocked the M-65 1000 lb. bomb off it’s 500 lb. rated mount, and touched off the explosions and massive fire.

      • BoC

        @Allen- It sounds as if though you have no concept of flight and missles and drones, or for that matter, you know little to nothing about flying and staying in the air. I am sure John McCain was looking to spend five years in a torture camp. You don’t have to be conservative or liberal to understand you are ignorant. How is it you come to the position he is racist? Because he wants to stop giving free checks to nuts like you. Anytime someone wants to cut you off, they are racist. Got to be raciest, could have nothing to do with our country’s financial situation and the money we tax payers give to free loaders who can’t get a job, beacause they have no skill or education. They are racist if they take your free loader check away.

      • Odd Todd

        @Doug – The Red Baron was suffering from brain damage when he got shot down due to bad decision-making; what’s McCain’s excuse?

      • BoC

        @McCain is Incompetent
        You need to go back and look at the facts about that explosion. It seems funny that I never heard that rumor. I have seen the film many times and the reasons for the explosion. It had nothing to do with a wet start. Even a wet start would not have done that. Usually blows out in a few seconds. Go watch the entire film the next time before you make ignorant remarks. It is amazing that so many people latch onto the first thing they hear and that is all they can be convinced of. No other explanation is good or right. Sounds like the guy that knows the cause of the crash before all of the facts are available. Try again.

      • Allen

        To be clear, I receive no free checks. I likely earn more than you do – and I make that statement based on the knowledge of my own income vs. that of the average American. I have become successful because I am thoughtful and innovative. I know how to reach goals and exceed project expectations.

        I am no pilot, but I am a researcher. I can read – and read beyond the written word into the depths of their meaning. My statements were made without too much exertion when it comes to John McCain.

        As for the assertions that I scream racist because I have nothing more substantial to make complaints about, you need only to google a bit to find out where Senator McCain’s tendencies lean. I am from humble beginnings but am insightful enough to recognize that I am of the historically privileged skin tone in this country and that while I work very hard, I have had it far easier than many. I spent much of my childhood around those who valued race more than species and I can smell that stink on the Senator more than half a continent away.

        Perhaps this knowledge plays into my sentiments towards the Senator as well as those whom you have stated are out for a ‘free check’. Perhaps my sense of community feeds my desire to help the less fortunate. Perhaps your celebration of self feeds your apathy.

        I concede that my initial statement was simplistic, but this is an entertainment blog. I also concede that from time to time it is my guilty pleasure to bare my liberal soul in a comments section.

        What I know for certain is that one day soon, my generation’s liberal warriors will move from the meaningless realms of debate on the internet to the more substantial footing of this nation’s civic centers. We are strong and we are clever and we have the groundwork laid by our nation’s forefathers to right this ship.

        Make no mistake; we will drown the likes of Senator McCain in our patriotic fervor. We will bury your kind under mountains of righteous service. We will educate this nation’s children and once again lead by example and not control by force. There is nothing of which I am more confident.

        (Excerpt from the mindless liberal drone handbook.) pp42-45

    • KeeKeeDee

      You mean like the Oscar for best makeup that’s been handed out for decades?

    • B.A.

      Agreed–when I lean back from my PC,he looks like the real McCain. Unreal.

  • Hermione

    It amazes me what ‘make-up’ can do these days. Damn!

  • Erin

    Holy! That’s crazy!

  • Derek

    holy crap! I thought EW just teased us with a picture of john mcain to click the link and the ed harris photo would follow….remarkable

    • Trixie

      Me too!

  • Melissa

    I literally didn’t think twice when I saw that photo – I really thought it was the real deal! Will the real John McCain please stand up…?

  • Jaimelyn

    Holy crap!!

  • Daily


    First Palin, now this. I can’t wait for the movie.

  • dianne

    Uncanny resemblence – however Ed Harris is much better looking!

  • kate middleton

    Not bad – kudos to the makeup team.

    When are they going to cast the other players in Game Change? Like Obama, Hillary, Edwards, etc. The book is about a LOT more than just McCain/Palin. I will be disappointed if HBO only focuses on McCain/Palin.

    • jodipo

      the Mccain/Palin ticket is the section of the book they are adapting, not the whole book. I am sure they will have to cast others, but they will not be main characters. Ed Harris and Julianne Moore will have the majority of screen time.
      And can I just say WOW! They did a really good job with Mr. Harris. Much better than they did with Moore. I mean, she did look like her, but she looked like Juliane Moore dressed up like Sarah Palin whereas Ed Harris looks like McCain.

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