Carrie Preston

My 5 Minutes with the President

Actress Carrie Preston, who stars in HBO’s “True Blood,” hails from Macon, Ga.

In addition to “True Blood,” Preston has a recurring role on CBS’s “The Good Wife.” She received her acting diploma from the Juilliard School, then landed her breakout role as Miranda in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” on Broadway.

Preston’s film debut was in “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” followed by roles in “Mercury Rising,” “The Legend of Bagger Vance,” “The Stepford Wives,” “Duplicity” and the Oscar-nominated films “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and “Doubt.”

Preston is married to Emmy Award winner Michael Emerson and even played his mother on a flashback episode of the ABC hit “Lost.”

Preston is also a director and producer and spearheads her own production company, Daisy 3 Pictures.

 ROBIN BRONK: If you had five minutes in the Oval Office with President Obama, what would you discuss with him? What issue would you like him to know about?

CARRIE PRESTON: I would like to know what went through his head when he first took office and was faced with the economic crisis. As for issues I would like him to know about, I would draw attention to the erosion of arts education in the schools, which I believe is depriving kids of their full academic, emotional and developmental potential.

RB: If you could ask President Obama one question, what would that be?

CP: How can you be opposed to discrimination against same-sex couples but not pro-actively in favor of marriage equality?

RB: What piece of advice would you give President Obama as he hits the campaign trail for the upcoming election? 

CP: I would hope that he would admit the places where he fell short, while also presenting us with specifics about what he wants to address in his next term. I also think it would be wise to not focus on erasing the partisan gap, so much, and, instead, be strong and decisive about what the Democratic Party can and will do. 

RB: If you were going to send the president to one of your favorite places in the United States for one day, where would that be? Why? 

CP: I would send him to the top of Mariner’s Ridge on Oahu in Hawaii, because I’m sure he’s been there before and would love to be reminded of the beauty of his home state. Sometimes going back to where you came from refocuses you to your original dreams.

RB: What CD/piece of music would you recommend that President Obama add to his collection? Why? 

CP: I would recommend the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, because I think he could use a little garage-punk, arty, chick-centric music to shake up his perhaps more traditional playlist. 

RB: Would you ever consider a political career? 

CP: I’ve already got my hands full with Hollywood politics, so that’s about all I can handle! 

But I’m hopeful that some good folks have skin thick enough to work there; I just hope they also have good memories — of a time of freedom with character.

Robin Bronk is CEO of The Creative Coalition — the leading national, nonprofit, nonpartisan public advocacy organization of the entertainment industry. Bronk is a frequent speaker on the role of the entertainment industry in public advocacy campaigns and represents The Creative Coalition and its legislative agenda before members of Congress and the White House. She produced the feature film “Poliwood,” airing on Showtime, and edited the recently published book Art & Soul. Bronk pens this weekly column with assistance from Risa Kotek.