Bill Pullman quoted Independence Day during a university graduation speech

"You will not go quietly into the night…”

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Bill Pullman knows how to please the crowds. The actor gave a graduation speech at a university in North Carolina last weekend, and recited part of his character – President Whitmore’s – famous speech from Independence Day.

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“You will not go quietly into the night,” Pullman told the students, “Because today is your graduation day!”

The actor played Whitmore in the cult 1996 alien action film alongside Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, and reprised his role in the 2016 sequel. In his speech, Pullman said he had been waiting a couple of decades to get the chance to recite his oft-quoted line at a graduation ceremony.

So it wasn’t exactly off the cuff, then.

Pullman was advising Warren Wilson college graduates on how to step into the world after four years in a student bubble. During the speech he also quipped: “You get a shaky glory when you play a fake President… Did that sound political?”

You can watch the full address below… the line in question occurs at 3 minutes 44 seconds.

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And while you’re here, perhaps one more watch of Whitmore’s powerful speech wouldn’t go amiss. Go on, you know you want to…