The Comey Rule is a two-night event dramatizing “the historically turbulent events surrounding the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath, which divided a nation.” Showtime aims to tell the story of “two powerful figures,” former FBI Director James Comey and President Donald Trump, “whose strikingly different personalities, ethics, and loyalties put them on a collision course.”
The limited series airs Sunday, September, 27 and Monday, September 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime. Here is a guide to the cast and their real-life counterparts.
Comey and Trump
At the heart of the series are James Comey and Donald Trump, played by Jeff Daniels and Brendan Gleeson, respectively. In a virtual Q&A with the Television Critics Association ahead of the premiere, Daniels said his one request if he agreed to step into Comey’s shoes was that he be surrounded by great people.
“As I told [writer/director Billy Ray] when he came to me with this, my first thing I said was ‘Can you get me great actors? Will the network pay for great actors around me?’ because I’ve got to have great people around me because I bounce off them. I use them. Half of my performance is in the other actor,” said Daniels, adding, “And it’s been the case up and down, all of these people [are great actors].”
“With Brendan, like in the “loyalty dinner,” the posture changed because here comes Trump. He’s just coming at you with this loyalty stuff, and it backed me up. And Jim [Comey] was there that day, and he said, ‘You’ve got my posture, the uprightness.’ It just kind of comes with what you are being hit with … It was just kind of taking what I was given and using it.”
Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok
In the piece, Michael Kelly plays former FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Steven Pasquale plays former FBI agent Peter Strzok. In the Q&A, they said they think this is an important series — and Pasquale says he wouldn’t tackle playing Trump for anything.
“It was an important story to tell and never more evident than now when we know for a fact, just like we knew for a fact all the intelligence agencies saying in ’16, that there were foreign actors doing their best to influence that election. It’s happening again, and I think it’s so important to remind people … to be as informed as you can possibly be, and I look at this project as an incredibly informative piece,” said Kelly.
“For me, it was really about reminding people that the FBI has to do things by the book. They are incredibly dedicated, as Billy would describe them, radically competent people, and I wanted to get inside of that and share it,” said Pasquale, adding, “I wouldn’t want to touch [playing Donald Trump] with a ten‑foot pole, but Brendan seems to ride the line completely between what is an impersonation and what is a real person so that you don’t get lost watching him, sort of, ‘do’ Trump. You get to watch him play from inside the character. I think what he does in it is extraordinary.”
The Rest of the Cast
The rest of the star-studded cast is as follows:
Oona Chaplin as former FBI agent Lisa Page
Holly Hunter as acting Attorney General Sally Yates
Scoot McNairy as former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein
Jonathan Banks as former National Intelligence Director James Clapper
Peter Coyote as former FBI Director Robert Mueller
Kingsley Ben-Adir as President Barack Obama
William Sadler as former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn
T.R. Knight as former White House Chief of Staff
Michael Hyatt as former Attorney General Loretta Lynch
Jo Lo Truglio as former Attorney General Jeff Sessions
The Comey Rule airs Sunday, September 27 and Monday, September 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.