Bill Pullman played one of the most inspiring fictional presidents in cinema history in Independence Day, a film that’s happening on Twitter in real time this holiday weekend. But just because Pullman has no real political power doesn’t mean he can’t make a difference in the public eye. The actor released a July 4 PSA of his own encouraging people to wear masks in public to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
“I may not be your President anymore. But I gotta tell you, the 4th of July is still my favorite holiday and always will be,” Pullman said, which is followed by the final line from his iconic speech near the movie’s conclusion. He then gets right to the point.
“This Independence Day I’m going to be celebrating my freedom maybe in an important way: I’m going to be wearing my freedom mask every time I go into public places,” he said. He stressed calling it a “freedom mask” and explained that it’s a patriotic thing to do despite what other presidents may tell you.
“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 going back to places like bars and restaurants and schools. And, most importantly, movie theaters,” he claimed. All of that remains uncertain, of course, but it’s been proven that mask use in public when social distancing isn’t possible does, indeed, limit the spread of coronavirus and has been encouraged by health officials for months now.
The PSA was a bit more somber than his bombastic speech in the film, but it was a nice reminder of the film’s anniversary and an attempt to turn a fictional threat against humanity into an opportunity to battle a very real one.