Damian Lewis to play crack-smoking former Toronto mayor Rob Ford

The Homeland actor will wear extensive prosthetics to play the controversial politician

Rob Ford and Damian Lewis

Remember Rob Ford, Toronto’s controversial crack cocaine-smoking mayor who hit the headlines a few years ago? He’s to be dramatised in an upcoming film – as played by Damian Lewis.

Advertisement

The British star of Homeland, Wolf Hall and Billions will play Ford in the movie Run This Town, which is being filmed in Toronto, and as you might expect if you’re familiar with Ford, Lewis will be wearing extensive prosthetics for the role (as kit magazine reports).

Ford, who died in 2016 at the age of 46 from a rare form of cancer, served as Mayor of Canada’s most populous city from 2010 to 2014. During his time in office he became notorious for his extraordinary behaviour (although since then we’ve had Donald Trump).

According to The Hollywood Reporter, American actor Ben Platt will star as a journalist at a fictional newspaper “who attempts to expose a scandal involving a politician who doesn’t play by the rules.”

But Robyn Doolittle, a female reporter with the Globe and Mail who broke many of the biggest stories about the former mayor, has objected to the casting.

In response, Platt tweeted a statement explaining: “The film we are making centres on three fictional young people played by myself, Nina Dobrov and Mena Massoud trying to find a place in the world of politics and journalism, set against the backdrop of the Rob Ford scandal.

“In one of the storylines, I play a low-level reporter at a fictional paper that attempts, and ultimately fails, to be a part of the reporting of the scandal. The character is in no way based on Robyn Doolittle and the film does not attempt to co-opt her narrative.”

Advertisement

Aside from Ford, all other characters in the film are set to be fictitious. According to the BBC, Canadian actors Nina Dobrov and Mena Moussad will play “political aides”.