Character sheet for Film/IndependenceDay.
!!President Thomas Whitmore
Played by Bill Pullman
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking[=/=]BadassInCharge: Justified, as Whitmore was apparently a fighter pilot in the Gulf War, and is still relatively young at the time of the invasion.
** DoubleSubversion: Before the invasion, his presidency is plagued by complaints about how meek a leader he is.
* BashBrothers: With General Grey.
* ChekhovsSkill: See above: Whitmore's tour of duty as a fighter pilot in the Gulf War.
* TheEternalChurchill: Right before the final battle, President Whitmore gives one of the most memorable speeches in movie history, a speech that seems to be deliberately designed to be similar to Churchill's refusal to surrender.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: OK, show of hands, who actually remembered that the character's ''name'' was not "Mr. President" without having to look it up?
* AFatherToHisMen: Becomes indisputably true during his brilliant Churchillian speech right before the final battle.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: With General Grey.
* [[OurPresidentsAreDifferent President Action]]
!!Captain Steve Hiller
Played by WillSmith
* BondOneLiner: "Welcome to Earth!"
** "Now that's what I call a close encounter."
* TheFightingNarcissist: '''Jasmine:''' ''You are not as charming as you think you are.'' '''Steve:''' ''[[BadassBoast Yes I am.]]''
* SemperFi: A Marine F-18 pilot
Played by Creator/JeffGoldblum
* BrilliantButLazy: He had the talent and knowledge base to becomes a wealthier engineer, but he was perfectly happy where he was.
* IvyLeagueForEveryone: Spent eight years at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), which is the equivalent in status for math & science.
* JewishAndNerdy: His nerdiness ends up serving him well by allowing him to save the world.
Played by Margaret Colin
* FamilyVersusCareer: She went for a career with President Whitmore "wanting to make a difference".
* PunnyName: The White House Press Secretary with a name seemingly inspired by C-SPAN.
Played by Robert Loggia
* ConsummateProfessional: The only official who manages to keep a cool head.
* EverybodyCallsHimBarkeep: Much like how President Whitmore is known only as "Mr. President", Grey is referred to by most characters in the film simply as "General."
* FourStarBadass: Hell yeah.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: With President Whitmore, or as Gen. Grey refers to him, Tom.
* NumberTwo: To President Whitmore. At the beginning of the movie, he requests to stay at the White House alongside the President (it turns out to be lucky. The rest of the JCS were apparently killed by the aliens after they evacuated to NORAD). Throughout the movie, Grey is unfailingly loyal to Whitmore and [[EpilepticTrees might be either the new Secretary of Defense or even the new Vice President at the end]], given the fact that the former VP is dead and the former Secretary of Defense was unceremoniously fired.
* OfficerAndAGentleman: In the sense that he keeps a StiffUpperLip through the whole crisis
* SemperFi: A Marine General as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Played by Judd Hirsch
* CoolOldGuy: Gets some of the best lines of the movie, isn't afraid to shout down the freaking President and his staff [[PapaWolf when he feels that they're being disrespectful and ungrateful to his son]], and in general seemed like a character who it'd be pretty fun to be around.
* PapaWolf: Memorably, he shouts down the country's leaders when they disrespect his son aboard AirForceOne.
--> ''Julius:'' ''You'd all be dead now if it wasn't for my son!''
Played by Vivica A. Fox
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Well, technically an ''exotic dancer'', but this is probably the closest trope that fits to her portrayal.
!!Secretary of Defense Albert Nimzicki
Played by James Rebhorn
* JerkassHasAPoint: ''Sir, if we don't strike soon there may not be much of an America left to defend.''
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: Does nothing but provide bad advice to the President, and withholds crucial information (regarding the Roswell crash and Area 51) that could have been more useful had it been divulged earlier.
* TheScrappy: Both to viewers, and in-universe, to the point where a furious and exasperated President Whitmore finally fires him.
* SkewedPriorities / TheSociopath: It's outright stated in the book that he cares more about his political career and legacy than ''saving the human race from extermination''.
* WhatAnIdiot: You're the Secretary of Defense and an entire fleet of alien spaceships shows up and float ominously over the world's major cities. As the former head of the CIA (it's stated somewhere in the movie that Nimzicki was this), you became privy to the fact that Area51 has indeed been housing a crashed flying saucer and alien corpses and been studying them and their tech for ''decades.'' Do you choose to immediately inform the President about everything the research had discovered in order to better inform his decision-making? Apparently not.
** Debatable; while he makes (in retrospect) bad choices, his working assumption that launching nuclear weapons will defeat the invaders remain untested for long, and it isn't exactly unreasonable (at least before the first counterstrike with fighter planes fails) that it could work. If nuclear wepons would've worked, there would be no need to reveal Area51.
Played by Randy Quaid
* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler: "Sorry I'm late, Mr. President!]]
* TheCuckoolanderWasRight: And he rubs it in.
* DadTheVeteran: A veteran of TheVietnamWar
* [[spoiler: HeroicSacrifice: And a truly badass one at that.]]
* PapaWolf: In the special edition there's a scene where he rushes a group of armed guards and slams a high-ranking doctor against the wall to get him to attend to his dying son.
* [[spoiler: PreMortemOneLiner: "Hello, boys! '''[[HesBack I'M BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!"]]]]'''