United States Senator Alfonse D'amato was set to cameo as himself but then pulled out of the film following issues between the Senate and Warner Brothers over the content in Ice-T's album "Cop Killer". D'Amato later attempted to return to the film after Ice-T parted ways with Warner Brothers but director Ivan Reitman turned him down.
This is one of two movies in which Kevin Kline plays both the President of the United States and the man impersonating the President. The next was in Wild Wild West (1999), in which he portrayed President Ulysses S. Grant and impostor Artemus Gordon.
The House of Delegates Chamber in the State Capitol building in Richmond, VA doubled for the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. While the movie was being filmed, many members of the Virginia House of Delegates and visitors to the Capitol that day were used as extras.
The president's full name in the movie is William Harrison Mitchell; William Henry Harrison was a real president elected in 1840 and the first president to die in office. The vice president in the movie is named Nance; John Nance Garner was Franklin D. Roosevelt's vice president for two terms, and once derided the job as not being "worth a pitcher of warm piss" (bowdlerized at the time and often misquoted as "spit").
The House chamber and the swearing in of the next president were both filmed at the Virginia state capitol in Richmond VA. This building was a national capitol for the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War 1861-1895.
The White House scenes were shot in a movie studio as the crew couldn't film the actual inside of the White House. Not only that, but they also built the White House exteriors themselves. Once that's completed they decorated the hallways, painted the portraits from the actual location, etc.
When Bob Alexander (Frank Langella) holds his news conference attacking President Mitchell (Kevin Kline), he is shown entering a red-orange-bricked building which is, in fact, the Renwick Gallery, in Washington, D.C. The Renwick Gallery is part of the Smithsonian Institution, and has been a public building, since 1972, dedicated to American folk and craft arts. A press conference of the type Bob Alexander calls, therefore, would not have actually been held inside the Renwick, especially given the political nature of the press conference. The Renwick is a registered National Landmark building.
There's a shot of a network news camera with the same CCN logo as that of the Clamp Cable Network found in Gremlins 2. The scene is leading into the press conference towards the end 1 hour 11 minutes in.
Gary Ross said he was very unhappy with an early draft of the script he had written. Despite being late in delivering the script and short on money, he started over from scratch, and had to take out a second loan on his house to finance the next draft.
When they are swearing Gary Nance as president, they refer to him as the 45th president of the United States. This means that Mitchell would be the 44th. George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States. Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States. Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States.
Some tribute is paid to the earlier film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). In addition to a similar storyline, this film's protagonist is shown to pass out in front of government officials (Smith passed out before the senate, Kovac before Congress).