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.