- “Air Force One” is a star-studded political thriller movie that revolves around the hijacking of the President’s designated plane.
- Harrison Ford delivers a seamless performance as President James Marshall, showcasing his action-hero skills.
- The talented supporting cast includes Gary Oldman as the antagonist, Glenn Close as the Vice President, and William H. Macy as the President’s right-hand man.
Air Force One features Harrison Ford assuming the role of the President of the United States during a hijacking of Air Force One, the President’s designated plane. The cast of the 1997 political thriller film includes a handful of star-studded names, in addition to Ford’s, of course. The actors play the President’s family, staff, and enemies in the high-stakes action movie that, for the most part, takes place in the sky.
Wolfgang Petersen directed Air Force One, and Andrew W. Marlowe wrote the script for the Ford-led picture. The actor’s presidential character is at the center of it all, but those surrounding him are integral to the story as well. The film revolves around a group of neo-Soviet terrorists who take over Air Force One following a joint operation between the United States and Russia to capture the dictator of their regime in Kazakhstan. Given there are many moving parts in Air Force One, the cast had to be stacked with talented actors.
Harrison Ford As President James Marshall
Harrison Ford stars as President James Marshall, the main protagonist in Air Force One. James is forced to defend himself and his country against a group of terrorists led by Egor Korshunov when they hijack his place. Thanks to the fictional President’s military background and Ford’s resume, the actor can seamlessly pull off the action hero role.
Since starring in the 1997 political thriller film, Ford has appeared in a plethora of movies. He has reprised his role as Han Solo in the Star Wars sequel films, played Indiana Jones again in the fourth and fifth Indiana Jones movies, and starred in other solo projects such as Extraordinary Measures, Cowboys & Aliens, and Ender’s Game. Plus, Ford is set to assume the role of Thaddeus Ross in Marvel’s Captain America: Brave New World in 2024.
Gary Oldman As Egor Korshunov
Whereas Harrison Ford portrays the protagonist of Air Force One, Gary Oldman plays the antagonist — Egor Korshunov. Egor is the leader of the terrorist group that follows General Radek, the dictator of the neo-Soviet regime in Kazakhstan. The loyalists disguise themselves as journalists to board Air Force One and hijack the plane. After starring as the main villain in the action movie, Oldman has had a long and lustrous film career. The actor has appeared as Sirius Black in the Harry Potter film series and James Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy. Plus, Oldman played Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, which earned him an Oscar.
Glenn Close As Vice President Kathryn Bennett
Of course, one cannot make a film about the President of the United States without including their Vice President, and in Air Force One, that role was played by Glenn Close. Close’s Kathryn Bennett is the first female Vice President of the United States, and while Harrison Ford’s character is taking care of business in the air, Bennett is holding down the fort on the ground. Like Ford and Gary Oldman, Close has an impressive career, and some of her film credits following Air Force One include The Stepford Wives, Guardians of the Galaxy, Albert Nobbs, The Wife (which won her an Oscar), and Hillbilly Elegy.
William H. Macy As Major Norman Caldwell
William H. Macy plays Norman Caldwell, a major in the United States Air Force and a member of the President’s military aide, in Air Force One. He acts as the President’s right-hand man throughout the movie as they navigate the terrorist situation in the air. Aside from the 1997 action film, Macy is best known for starring as Frank Gallagher in the Showtime drama series Shameless. The actor has also appeared in movies such as Boogie Nights, Pleasantville, Magnolia, Jurassic Park III, Seabiscuit, Thank You for Smoking, and The Lincoln Lawyer.
Wendy Crewson As First Lady Grace Marshall
Unfortunately for Harrison Ford’s James Marshall, his family is onboard the plane when the terrorists hijack it in Air Force One. Wendy Crewson stars as Grace Marshall, the First Lady of the United States in the political thriller. Following the film, the actress has starred in numerous films like The Santa Clause 2, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, Bicentennial Man, What Lies Beneath, The 6th Day, The Covenant, Eight Below, and Room.
Liesel Matthews As Alice Marshall
James and Grace’s daughter Alice was also on the plane when the terrorists took control of it in Air Force One, and the young girl was played by Liesel Matthews. Since the actress was so young when she starred in the 1997 movie, she did not go on to appear on many more projects. Matthews’ sole film credit following Air Force One is Blast, which premiered in 2000 before she retired from acting.
Paul Guilfoyle As White House Chief of Staff Lloyd Shepherd
Paul Guilfoyle stars as Lloyd Shepherd, the President of the United States’ Chief of Staff, in Air Force One. Shepherd is one of the many hostages taken on the plane, given his importance to the country and the President. Following Air Force Once, Guilfoyle went on to join the main cast of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and he played Captain Jim Brass in the CBS series for 14 years. He also appeared in films such as Spotlight, Pandemic, and Don’t Look Up.
Xander Berkeley As Secret Service Special Agent Gibbs
Of course, Air Force One had to feature a mole, or else it would have been too easy for the terrorists to hijack the President’s airplane, and, unfortunately for Harrison Ford’s character, it was the person who was supposed to be protecting him. Xander Berkeley played Secret Service Special Agent Gibbs, who let the hijackers take control of the aircraft in the 1997 film. Following his villainous role, Berkeley starred in Gattaca, Shanghai Noon, Taken, Year One, and Transcendence. The actor also appeared in television shows like 24, Nikita, The Mentalist, and The Walking Dead.
Air Force One Supporting Cast & Characters
Dean Stockwell as Defense Secretary Walter Dean – Of course, not every character in Air Force One is on the airplane with the hijackers. Dean Stockwell’s Defense Secretary Walter Dean is on the ground alongside the Vice President, trying to figure out how to best handle the situation. Stockwell sadly died in 2021 at the age of 85. But before his death, the actor appeared in The Rainmaker, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, The Manchurian Candidate, JAG, and Battlestar Galactica.
Jürgen Prochnow As General Ivan Radek – The aforementioned dictator of the neo-Soviet regime in Kazakhstan was General Ivan Radek, played by Jürgen Prochnow. Following Air Force One, Prochnow starred in The Da Vinci Code, 24, and NCIS: Los Angeles.