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Madam Secretary too real for Trump: Bergen

AAP logoAAP 12/10/2016 Danielle McGrane

Madam Secretary - Hillary Clinton's favourite TV show - doesn't contain a Donald Trump-like figure because such a character would never be believable, actor Erich Bergen says.

Bergen plays Blake Moran in the popular political show, the right-hand-man to Tea Leoni's US secretary of state, Elizabeth McCord.

The show has become popular for its realistic depiction of life at the White House and goes some way towards taking up the mantle from that other serious White House show, The West Wing.

In some ways, it's had a sort of prophetic effect on society.

As Bergen points out, several of the show's storylines have played out in real life after they've been aired.

In season two, a US-born Islamic State leader - known as Jihadi Judd - is killed by a drone strike. Just days after the show aired, a British citizen Mohammed Emwazi, or Jihadi John, was believed to have been killed by a US drone strike in Syria.

"It played out almost exactly the same way three days after our show aired on television and it was pretty wild," Bergen told AAP.

It's the show's believability that drew Clinton to it, which she revealed recently to reporters following her on the campaign trail.

"One of the things she said was that the show has plausible storylines and that's one of the things that really interests her. So right from her mouth, that will tell you that, yes, there are a lot of realities about our show," Bergen said.

Last season's cliffhanger brings the show right into the real political landscape again with a potential presidential campaign as President Conrad Dalton (Keith Carradine) asks Elizabeth to run as his vice president during his re-election campaign.

But Bergen says the actual US presidential campaign has become too farcical even for a fictional show.

"There is no character that is based on, or similar to, a Trump character on Madam Secretary because I don't know if that type of character would be believed in a fictional setting," he said.

"I think he's so unique to reality which is why he's gotten as far as he has, it's because he is so shocking. I don't know if you put it in a fictional setting, I don't know if it would be as believed."

Bergen says he's far more likely to find interesting political discourse in a script from the show than from the actual election playing out in reality.

"American politics is not very interesting to me, only because I'm someone that likes getting into the actual policy stuff," he said.

"If you are interested in politics and you are interested in the nitty gritty of policy making and running the country than I think you're going to be way more interested in Madam Secretary than you are in the election."

*Madam Secretary season three starts on Wednesday at 9.30pm on Network Ten

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