Washington, D.C. — When news broke this week that acclaimed actress Annette Bening had been cast to play former Gov. Kathleen Blanco in FX's upcoming "American Crime Story" miniseries on Hurricane Katrina, I couldn't help wondering if her husband, Raymond "Coach" Blanco, would make the script's cut. And if so, who could play him?
My first thought was Bening's own famous husband Warren Beatty, who might have some fun playing the gregarious former first gentleman broadly. But since I'm at Washington Mardi Gras surrounded by people who know the family well, I figured I'd see what others think.
Annette Bening will portray former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco in FX's "Katrina: American…
Most suggestions, not surprisingly, skewed toward the gruff but lovable. Ed Asner, perhaps, or Craig T. Nelson, who just happened to star in a long-running show called "Coach."
Maybe part-time New Orleanian John Goodman, suggested Renee Lapeyrolerie, who worked on Blanco's campaign and now serves with her on the Superdome Commission.
Or that guy from "All in the Family," said Walter Leger Jr., vice chairman of the Blanco's Louisiana Recovery Authority (unfortunately, Carroll O'Connor is unavailable, having died in 2001).
"Of course, George Clooney would play me," Leger threw in.
One of the former governor's daughters, Pilar Blanco Eble, thought for a minute about who could channel her dad, then came up a short list. Robert De Niro was the first name to pop into her head, followed by Goodman and Danny DeVito.
Kathleen and Coach Blanco skipped the trip to D.C. this year, but Eble was curious what her mother would think, so she sent her a text.
So here's Kathleen Blanco's official take on who should play her husband: Nobody.
"I think he should play himself!" Blanco wrote. "No one can do him justice!"