To channel Thomas Jefferson, a furiously determined statesman and George Washington's primary antagonist, we need an actor with a penchant for both intellect and aggression. Despite his British roots, Damian Lewis plays a convincing patriot in Band of Brothers and Homeland (or does he? We won't spoil the finale). Underneath the powdered white wig, Thomas Jefferson was a notorious redhead like Lewis. A naturalized American as far as premium cable is concerned, we're confident Lewis can suppress any vestige of British loyalism to reenact the turmoil of American independence. Not convinced? We'll raise you a nickel.
For the first First Lady, Martha Washington, it seems fitting to call upon Hollywood aristocracy. Meryl Streep's oldest daughter, Mamie Gummer, has starred in a handful of Broadway shows and television series—including a role as John Adams' wife. Gummer is a slightly indulgent choice—surely if Martha was as beautiful as Mamie, George Washington wouldn't be bothered to liberate the nation, and we'd probably still be paying a lot of tax on tea.
Indulging the jingoist in us, we cast an exceptionally handsome, yet convincingly sinister Brit to play Lord Cornwallis, the British military officer who surrendered to Washington at Yorktown. Who better than the man who played the despicable Lucius Malfoy to reinforce Washington's status as an American hero? Jason Isaacs is the clear frontrunner.
The only President to have ever received 100 percent of electoral votes, anyone portraying George Washington needs to be exceptionally amiable with enough edge to be militaristic, and posh with enough grit to withstand Valley Forge. We think John Slattery's distinguished silver coif and demonstrated interest in period dramas puts him on the short list to play the first Commander in Chief. Inhabiting the morally upstanding compatriot would likely be a welcome diversion from his recklessly hedonistic character in Mad Men. Compartmentalization is key here—we don't think Roger Sterling would have liked Washington's strong-hand suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion.
As a young man, George Washington is rumored to have fallen in love with Virginian socialite Sally Fairfax, but succumbed to pressure to marry the more homely, albeit more wealthy, Martha. Krysten Ritter has the ivory skin/dark features combination that breaks hearts in any century.
Ourselves lacking the fiscal responsibility Alexander Hamilton promoted, we usually can't hold onto a $10 bill long enough to get a good look at this founding father. Richard Jenkins has just the kind of trustworthy face and modest self assurance that often curried the favor of Washington, instead of Thomas Jefferson, his adversary in the cabinet. Having died famously following a duel with Aaron Burr, we trust Jenkins' Six Feet Under-conditioned poker face.