Cory Booker Wants to Be Superman (or Maybe Jon Snow)

The presidential candidate talks about the important issues of the day — like his favorite movie president (Michael Douglas).
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Cory Booker

Everybody knows that Cory Booker is a lifelong Trekkie. But it turns out the pop cultural tastes of the 50-year-old White House hopeful go much, much deeper than Tribbles and Tronia. He's also a big Supernatural fan.

The Hollywood Reporter quizzed the New Jersey senator about his binging habits, the last film he saw in a theater and which Game of Thrones character he most identifies with in a candid interview with the candidate (for the time being, Booker still is one, although he's promised to drop out if he fails to raise $1.7 million by the end of the month). 

What was the last movie you saw in a theater?

This was literally the most painful summer of my life because this presidential campaign has kept me out of theaters. The last movie I saw in a theater was in April. My girlfriend [Rosario Dawson] and I went to go see Avengers: Endgame.

What did you think of it?

It was amazing. I mean, I laughed, I teared up, I was on the edge of my seat. It was a great, great movie. But this summer has seen so many movies come and go. Like, I didn't see Spider-Man [Far From Home]. I would've been there opening weekend. There's just so many. This has really been a dark period in terms of going to the movies. I am hurting over it.

What about TV? What shows have you been bingeing?

I usually try to pick a series to binge during a campaign. Right now I am in the course of bingeing two series. I had never watched Jane the Virgin before so — out of a sense of loyalty to my significant other — I am now in season three, working towards what I think must be the best seasons, when Rosario is in it. But it's actually a really great show. The other one is Supernatural, which I'm now in season 14. This is not the first time I’ve watched it — this is my second viewing. I’m preparing for the 15th and final season and wanted to rewatch them all. I'm a big, big Supernatural fan. 

When do you have time to watch all this TV?

Usually it’s during bouts of insomnia. Like last night I woke up at 4 a.m., couldn’t fall back asleep, so I turned on Jane the Virgin. Usually I can remember where in the episode I fell asleep last time. But occasionally there are times when I’m on a plane and just want to escape. I’ll pull out my iPhone and watch an episode of Supernatural.

Were you a Game of Thrones fan?

I haven’t watched the last season yet. I’m saving it because Rosario has not watched. Hopefully, when this is all over, we can watch it together in the White House.

Do you have standing orders among your staff not to reveal its ending?

I am not one of those guys that’s bothered by spoilers. I have arguments with my friends — I demand that they tell me what happened.

So, which Game of Thrones character do you most identify with?

Oh, definitely Jon Snow. I’m hoping he’s the guy in the end.

Hmm. Maybe you shouldn’t watch that final season after all.

Oh, no.

Well, you said you weren’t bothered by spoilers! Moving on, do you have a favorite movie or TV president?

The first to pop to mind is Dave. [Kevin Kline] plays the look-alike of the president and he’s brought into the White House and he does a really good job. But I feel like Morgan Freeman has been a great president in a couple of movies — like that disaster asteroid movie [1998's Deep Impact]. And Michael Douglas in that movie [1995's The American President] about the bachelor president who was trying to date [Annette Bening]. That speaks to me as potentially being a bachelor in the White House.

Speaking of your private life, what’s the best part of dating a movie star?

Rosario is an amazing human being and there are so many facets of her life — an activist for social justice, a business person and entrepreneur — that overshadow what she does for a living. Her spirit, her soul, her beauty, her kindness — that overshadows anything that she does professionally.

Okay, but which one of you is in charge of the remote?

Um, that’s tough because we are both alpha TV watchers. We’ve both learned to compromise, but she vetoes a lot of my choices. I’m more wide-ranging in what I like; I have a wide swath of taste. I like everything. I really want to see Toy Story 4. I’m excited about Frozen 2. But she has less tolerance than I do. She has more of a narrow band. She vetoes me more than I veto her.

Your father was a big influence on your movie tastes, no?

He’d sit me down as a child and there were important things I had to watch. He said, you must watch In the Heat of the Night. He had me watching 12 Angry Men and To Kill a Mockingbird. And he would get quiet and somber when he turned on the TV, as if he was having some major, important father-son conversation.

You’re a famous Star Trek fan — wasn’t your father the one who introduced you to it?

Yes, he taught me about Star Trek. My dad loved Star Trek because for him it was this bold, defiant, optimistic view of what the future could be. It was a powerful, meaningful show to him and he handed that over to me. And just the other day [I met] Susan Nimoy, Leonard Nimoy’s wife, and she gave me a book signed by Leonard, of love poetry, that she re-signed to me. It’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given. When I opened it up back in my hotel room, I got really emotional.

Final question: If you could be any superhero, who would it be?

I love the Wolverine movies and Black Panther, to me, was a powerful superhero. And I love the Marvel and DC universe equally. But my answer is boring: I would be Superman. There’s just something about him.