Grover Norquist’s new acting gig?

Grover Norquist: Ayn Randian anti-tax crusader and Hollywood (not so) superstar
Grover Norquist: Ayn Randian anti-tax crusader and Hollywood (not so) superstar
Justin M. Lesniewski/Washington Post

Lawrence O’Donnell has called Grover Norquist “the most powerful man in American who does not sleep in the White House.” Norquist is also known for being an anti-tax advocate as the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform. His other lengthy titles can be read here.

But now, Norquist can ad actor to his resume… sort of.

The Washington Post’s Reliable Source blog reports that Norquist is appearing in the second part of the “Atlas Shrugged” film trilogy based on Ayn Rand’s novel of the same name. The Post report reads:

Norquist… first shot an office scene, handing a three-ring binder to heroine Dagny Taggart’s assistant. Easy enough, it sounds. Then producers suggested a second role. For a scene where Dagny and Hank Rearden walked along the street discussing the decline of society, they put Norquist in the background as some kind of down-and-out businessman, slumped on a stone bench, a bottle of wine in his lap. They roughed up his face with makeup, and messed up his hair, but he wore his own suit.

Nothing says Hollywood entertainment like two characters “walk(ing) along the street discussing the decline of society.” Where’s the popcorn?

But the biggest question remains: how did Grover do? WaPost has the answer for that, too.

The actor playing Hank commended Norquist’s acting ability — he even stayed in character between takes! Consider it his Method approach: Having woken up 20 hours earlier for his West Coast flight, Norquist was nodding off by the time of the night shoot. “I’m half asleep, my character’s half asleep,” he said.

I wouldn’t look for this to be Norquist’s big break. The first film received very dismissive reviews and was a box office flop when it came out last year. But the film’s producers are still promising to deliver two more sequels having divided Rand’s +1,000-page book into a screenplay trilogy.

“Atlas Shrugged: Part 2” (with an entirely new cast and crew) including the Norquist cameos (presuming they don’t end up on the cutting room floor) is due to be released just before this November’s election. So will this one be a hit with Washington conservatives in love with Rand’s ideas? Maybe. Will it be required viewing for Rep. Paul Ryan’s staff? You can watch our Rewrite from two weeks ago and decide.