Bill Pullman Channels His 'Independence Day' Presidency to Urge People to Wear Masks Against COVID-19

Bill Pullman recently channeled his Independence Day presidency in order to urge people to wear masks in the fight against Covid-19. In a new PSA shot for the Alamo Drafthouse theater, Pullman — "the most presidential actor of our time" — relived the role and delivered an impassioned speech similar to the one he gave in the iconic sci-fi film.

"Hello, America. I may not be your President right now but I’ve got to tell you, the 4th of July is still my favorite holiday. And it always will be," Pullman says in the clip. "This Independence Day, I’m going to be celebrating my freedom in a really important way," he went on to say. "I’m gonna be wearing my freedom mask every time I go into public places. That’s right: freedom mask. Because if all of America agreed to wear one of these going into public places, we’d be a little closer to being free to safely go back to places like bars, and restaurants, and schools and, most importantly, movie theaters." The actor eventually concluded his PSA, "I’m Bill Pullman, and I approve this message."

Pullman famously played President Thomas J. Whitmore in Independence Day, starring alongside Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Margaret Colin, Randy Quaid, Robert Loggia, James Rebhorn, and Harvey Fierstein. The film was written by Dean Devlin, and directed by Roland Emmerich. The pair had previously worked together on Universal Soldier and Stargate.

Independence Day earned more than $800 million at the box office, and won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. While the film was a massive hit with audiences at the time, it received a mixed response from critics. This can be fairly summed by by the Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus, which reads, "The plot is thin and so is character development, but as a thrilling, spectacle-filled summer movie, Independence Day delivers."

The origin of Independence Day the holiday dates back to July 4, 1776, the day that the members of the first Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence, This document asserted the United States as a free nation. Prior to this, the land had been part of the British Empire. Less than 10 years later, the Massachusetts General Court became the first ever state legislature to recognize July 4th as a state-sanctioned celebration. Roughly 90 years after that, the United States Congress declared Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees. This decision was overturned in 1938, when it became a paid federal holiday.