October 28, 1980: it was a week before the election, and then-President Jimmy Carter and his Republican challenger, Ronald Reagan, were finally going head to head for their first, and only, debate. It’s the event from which sprang Reagan’s famous “There you go again” line to Carter, and the event the former actor used to help seal his eventual landslide victory when he posed this question to voters: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”
But in the clip above, a Yahoo TV exclusive preview of National Geographic Channel’s upcoming Killing Reagan movie premiering Oct. 16, the most memorable line is Nancy Reagan (Sex and the City Emmy winner Cynthia Nixon) being greeted by husband Ronald (The West Wing Emmy nominee Tim Matheson), who refers to her as “Mommy.”
The scene finds the future First Lady, often referred to by her husband as “Mommy,” backstage before the debate in Cleveland, where she tries to boost his confidence.
But her husband assures her he’s got this: “Politics is just like showbiz: you give ‘em a hell of an opening, coast for a little while, then you give ‘em a big finale.”
“And hopefully run for eight years,” Mrs. Reagan adds.
The movie, which also stars Geoff Pierson as White House Chief of Staff Jim Baker, Joel Murray as Attorney General Ed Meese, and Patrick St. Espirit (Sons of Anarchy) as Secretary of State Alexander Haig, is based on the 2015 bestselling book of the same name by Fox News star Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. The book and movie unfold the Reagans’ journey to the White House, including the 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan by the Jodie Foster-obsessed John Hinckley.
Killing Reagan premieres Oct. 16 at 8 p.m. on National Geographic Channel.