Showtime will be airing a new drama centered on the lives of three memorable first ladies titled, “The First Lady.”
Viola Davis will portray Michelle Obama, Michelle Pfeiffer will play Betty Ford, and Gillian Anderson will take on the role of Eleanor Roosevelt.
The limited series has Cathy Schulman as showrunner and Susanne Bier as director.
The first season of the White House drama will focus on the personal and political lives of Obama, Ford, and Roosevelt, following “their journeys to Washinton through and enlightening intimacy,” said Showtime.
Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis meticulously studied Michelle Obama’s mannerisms and life by reading Obama’s memoir “Becoming,” and watching her 2020 Netflix documentary.
“I feel very protective of Michelle,” said Davis. “It’s our job as actors not to judge whoever we are portraying, but I ended up thinking she’s just dope.”
“Michelle had a very overwhelming part to play — because there were so many times Betty’s life was out of control because of her dependency,” Schulman said about Pfeiffer.
Betty Ford was well known for being outspoken about many issues and for the many personal struggles she faced in life and during her time as a first lady.
“Michelle is beautiful and brittle and vulnerable and strong, all at the same time,” said Schulman. “That’s what we needed because that’s what Betty was.”
It won’t be Gillian Anderson’s first time playing the role of a political figure, as she just wrapped up playing Iron Lady on “The Crown.” Her new role will see her portray the longest-serving first lady and wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt.
“There is a kind of poetic quality to Gillian,” said Bier. “Wanting to have a version of life while still being someone’s wife and managing to have a huge impact? I fell in love with all three of them.”
The show will air on Showtime spring of 2022.
Photo Credit: Entertainment Weekly/SHOWTIME