Characters: Independence Day

Character sheet for Independence Day.

President Thomas Whitmore

Played by: Bill Pullman

  • Ace Pilot
  • Authority Equals Asskicking/Badass In Charge: Justified, as Whitmore was apparently a fighter pilot in the Gulf War, and is still relatively young at the time of the invasion.
    • Double Subversion: Before the invasion, his presidency is plagued by complaints about how meek a leader he is.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit
  • Bash Brothers: With General Grey.
  • Big Good
  • Butt Monkey / Funny Background Event: Before the alien war, Whitmore took a lot of crap from others who either hated his policies or felt that he was too young to run a country. Much of what happens on the new prior to the attack is pretty much everyone badmouthing him.
  • Chekhov's Skill: See above: Whitmore's tour of duty as a fighter pilot in the Gulf War.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: OK, show of hands, who actually remembered that the character's name was not "Mr. President" without having to look it up?
  • A Father to His Men: Becomes indisputably true during his brilliant Churchillian speech right before the final battle.
  • Humans Are Warriors
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With General Grey.
  • Last Stand: 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.
  • President Action
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Upon seeing David again for the first time in years, when David punched him in the head, he immediately says he doesn't have time for this. However, he then decides to give him a minute and after hearing about the countdown, Whitmore immediately orders General Grey to begin evacuating the cities.

Captain Steve Hiller, USMC

Played by: Will Smith

David Levinson

Played by: Jeff Goldblum

Constance Spano

Played by: Margaret Colin

General William Grey, USMC

Played by: Robert Loggia

Julius Levinson

Played by: Judd Hirsch


Played by: Vivica A. Fox

Major Mitchell, USAF

Played by: Adam Baldwin

  • Majorly Awesome
  • Double Tap: Performs this on a wounded alien after he and several Secret Service agents gunned it down.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: In spite of being in charge of a highly secret military base, he unlike most fictional characters in such a position is portrayed as a professional soldier whose response to an imminent alien attack is to allow all the unauthorized civilians to take shelter in the underground laboratories and personally take charge in the evacuation efforts.

"Sir, if we don't strike soon there may not be much of an America left to defend."

Secretary of Defense Albert Nimzicki

Played by: James Rebhorn

  • The Neidermeyer
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: 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.
  • The Scrappy: Both to viewers, and in-universe, to the point where a furious and exasperated President Whitmore finally fires him.
  • Skewed Priorities / The Sociopath: It's outright stated in the book that he cares more about his political career and legacy than saving the human race from extermination.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He's the only one that still acts like an asshole even after many times he's been proven wrong. And maybe even after the aliens were defeated.

"In the words of my generation, up youuuurs!"

Russell Casse

Played by: Randy Quaid

The Aliens