Additionally, the series stars Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford, and Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt.
Three of America’s most influential first ladies are at the center of Showtime’s historical drama, The First Lady. The trailer for the first season, directed and executive produced by Susanne Bier, sees Viola Davis as Michelle Obama, Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford and Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt.
All three actresses make stunning transformations into these iconic figures as the series reframes American leadership by recounting each of their husband’s presidencies through their lens. Set in the East Wing, the first season will chronicle how many of history’s profound decisions were made or influenced by the wives of Presidents Obama, Ford or Roosevelt.
In addition to Davis, Pfeiffer and Anderson, the star-studded cast features O-T Fagbenle as Barack Obama, Aaron Eckhart as Gerald Ford and Kiefer Sutherland as Franklin D. Roosevelt as well as Dakota Fanning as Susan Ford, Judy Greer as Nancy Howe, Rhys Wakefield as Dick Cheney, Regina Taylor as Marian Shields Robinson, Lily Rabe as Lorena Hickok and many others as key figures from the respective administrations.
Shortly after Davis was first cast, she told ET about the preparation she was putting in to embody Obama. “I am in the place of a little bit of fear, well, I am not going to lie, a lot of fear,” she said at the time. “I started last year... I had the privilege and honor and blessing to be able to talk to her and read her book of course, watch her documentary, look at every video.”
Davis added that “[Michelle] is all things. She is a hero. She is just one of those women and people who lives a life bigger than herself and I hope to honor that. [We’ve been doing] makeup tests at my house with my makeup artist and they are doing an extraordinary job with the transformation of it all.”
Given the end result, the hard work paid off for Davis as well as the other two leading ladies at the center of this series.