portray (someone or something) as (something)
To describe, represent, or depict someone or something in a particular kind of way, whether with words, images, or performance. The writer portrays London of the 1800s as a bleak, dirty, unwelcoming place. For some reason she decided to portray the character as completely serious and straight, even though she's obviously meant to be an exaggerated, hyperbolic parody in the play.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
portray someone or something as someone
to develop a character that one is playing in a dramatic production as a kind of person or someone having certain characteristics or a particular personality. Tom portrayed Scrooge as an evil old man. Randy hopes to portray his character as a sympathetic friend.
portray someone as someone or something
to represent or describe someone as someone or a type of person. Fred portrayed his political opponent as an evil man. She tried to portray herself as a grand lady, but she fooled no one.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.