‘POTUS’s Julie White Helps Us Laugh Instead Of Cry Over The Catastrophic State Of The Union

If women were in charge, America would be a vastly different country than we know it today. And Julie White's Harriet proves that in 'POTUS.'

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Image Credit: Paul Kolnick

When we take a break from our crying — over the lives lost in mass shootings, the ending of abortion rights, the systemic racism, the war — and when we take a break from our protesting — for Black lives, for our children’s lives, for our lives — we find there may be a little time for laughter, and that can be done at the Shubert Theatre. In POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, Tony nominated actress Julie White plays the engine of the farce, a role typically designated to a male actor. Here, Julie masterfully plays Harriet, the Chief of Staff to the bigot POTUS, who has her own political aspirations — if only she can survive the stupidity of man leading the country.

Julie White as Harriet. (Paul Kolnick)

“This thing of ‘waiting your turn’ feels very Hillary [Clinton] to me. She kept waiting her turn, backing Bill, through all of the shenanigans that he put her through, but there was something about her that felt she needed to ‘wait her turn,’ and I think that’s what Harriet felt, too,” Julie explained in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife.com as part of the Tony Contenders series. “She’s waited through this guy and starts to realize it might be too late…”

She continued, “I’ve never had a part exactly like this and it’s at a time when what’s happening with Roe v. Wade is just freaky… this sort of movement to keep women back at home and pregnant all the time, our lives are not considered as valuable as men. At the same time, I feel like being in this play and with Susan Stroman and her distinctly feminine way of direction, it is not patriarchal, it is so different and it is so great.”

Julie White & Vanessa Williams in ‘POTUS.’ (Paul Kolnick)

Julie, who is Tony nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance, went on to praise her fellow, all-female cast members Lilli Cooper, Lea DeLaria, Rachel Dratch, Julianne Hough, Suzy Nakamura, and Vanessa Williams. “It’s been such a tremendous honor to be in this company. We get along like a house on fire — we women are so efficient. We have two nursing mothers in this company. When we get to make the rules and work how we want to work, it works like a champ.”

Tune in to the Tony Awards on June 12th at 8 PM ET on CBS!