Culture / TV

Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson to star in new presidential series, ‘The First Lady’

The First Lady series

It only seems fitting that an all-star cast portray some of the all-star women at the centre of democracy. Such is the case in Showtime's upcoming series, tentatively titled, The First Lady – with Viola Davies, Michelle Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson taking on the roles of history's game changing First Ladies.

While the title may shed some insight on the series' plot line, Variety has shared that the series "will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of First Ladies from throughout history, with season one focusing on Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Michelle Obama."

The publication goes on to add that the series will draw its focus to the East Wing of the White House, as opposed to the West, bringing attention to the less publicised arena "where many of history’s most impactful and world changing decisions have been hidden from view, made by America’s charismatic, complex and dynamic First Ladies."


Davis will take on the role of Michelle Obama; while Anderson will switch from 20th century British politics, (who could forget her recent portrayal of Margaret Thatcher), to 20th century White House as Eleanor Roosevelt; leaving the formidable Pfeiffer to take on Betty Ford.

This isn't the first time Obama has received the on-screen treatment. In 2016, the former FLOTUS was portrayed by actor Tika Sumpter in Southside With You – a slightly more romantic iteration of her journey to the White House. While Obama's presidency is still front of mind, many may be unfamiliar with the momentous change incited by both Roosevelt and Ford. A political activist in her own right, Roosevelt  was known to be more familiar with social conditions than any of her predecessors and apparently transformed the role of First Lady. Ford on the other hand, who served from 1974-1977, has long been regarded as an advocate for breast cancer awareness and a supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.



Where can I watch the series?

The series is set to debut on Showtime on April 17th, in the interim you can catch a first glimpse of the series below.


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