Election 2008

John McCain: My Pop-Culture Favorites

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee talks to EW about his picks in movies (''Viva Zapata!,'' Indiana Jones), TV shows (''Seinfeld,'' ''The Wire''), singers (Roy Orbison, Usher), and a fictional president he admires

John McCain | JOHN MCCAIN ''A couple of weeks ago we went to see the new Indiana Jones movie. I enjoyed that so much. The old guy wins''
Image credit: Gerald Forster/Corbis Outline
JOHN MCCAIN ''A couple of weeks ago we went to see the new 
Indiana Jones movie. I enjoyed that so much. The old guy wins''

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This might sound like a sleazy rumor out of one of those 527 ads, but we've heard you're a huge ABBA fan. Can this possibly be true? Honestly?
JOHN McCAIN: Yes, I have to give a straight-talk answer. I'm also a Roy Orbison fan and a Linda Ronstadt fan — all the ones whose place in the spotlight ended some years ago. But I like Usher, too. I was on Saturday Night Live with him, got to see him perform, and I was very impressed with him.

Yeah, but back to ABBA. Is it true ''Take a Chance on Me'' is your campaign theme song?
''Take a Chance on Me'' was one of them. ''Sweet Caroline'' is another favorite of mine. Lately, with the media, though, we've been using songs like ''My Eyes Adored You'' and ''Can't Take My Eyes Off You.''

What's the best movie about the Vietnam War you've ever seen?
We Were Soldiers. That's a very good film. Let's see, what else? You know, it's been so long since I've seen one. I know there was Full Metal Jacket and Coming Home and Born on the Fourth of July, Apocalypse Now — but honestly, one of them doesn't really stand out as the best.

What's the last movie you saw in a theater?
A couple of weeks ago we went to see the new 
Indiana Jones movie. I enjoyed that so much. The old guy wins.

We read somewhere that Viva Zapata! is your favorite movie of all time...
Elia Kazan made three movies with Marlon Brando. One was A Streetcar Named Desire, one was On the Waterfront, and the third was Viva Zapata! Many people think Brando's performances in Streetcar and Waterfront were his best. I think Zapata! was his best. I'm in the minority about this. But go back and watch the scene of his wedding night, with [Brando] and Jean Peters — the actress who later married Howard Hughes, who made her give up acting — when she teaches him to read by taking out the Bible and reading it with him. That's a poignant scene.

What's the first movie you remember seeing as a kid?
Believe it or not, Bambi.

Did you cry?
Oh, yeah. When his mother was killed. Oh, yeah, I cried.

NEXT PAGE: John McCain's favorite superhero, YouTube clips, and onscreen president

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