It’s one of the most widely anticipated TV series of the year, and it’s coming soon to Showtime in the first quarter of 2022. The First Lady is an anthology drama series, starring Viola Davis as Michelle Obama. It also has an all-star cast, with Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford, Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt, and Kiefer Sutherland as Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Instead of focusing on the West Wing, this TV series will reportedly “peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives” of the past First Ladies and their role in the East Wing of the White House. Amy Israel, the Executive VP of Scripted Programming at Showtime, said, “With these formidable artists in front of and behind the camera, we couldn’t be more thrilled — especially at this unique moment in time for our nation — about the powerful promise of The First Lady.”
News about this First Lady drama series was first rumored back in 2019, so it’s been a long time coming. Based on the reception of the first photos that have been popping up over the last few months via articles and social media, it’s fair to say that everyone is excited and eager to see what this new TV series will bring.
Of course, Davis is getting the most attention for her role as Michelle. As Davis says, “People LOVE Michelle Obama. They feel like they know her. They own her. And, they don’t want anything that’s negative to touch her.” As an actor, she likes to look for the mess. “Where’s the complexity?” But, she says, “I’m not going to do that with Michelle Obama.”
It’s not the first time Michelle Obama has been portrayed on film, but this is the first time an actor has taken on that role for television. When my son and I met Michelle in 2015, she was so kind and genuine. To take on the role, Davis read Michelle’s memoir, Becoming, and watched the 2020 Netflix documentary. Now, Davis says, “I feel very protective of Michelle.” She continued, “It’s our job as actors not to judge whoever we are portraying, but I ended up thinking she’s just dope.”
Davis says, “I think we bring about change by really sharing our stories and owning it, because then it gives people permission to do the same.” She says, “My biggest challenge now is honoring my authentic self. Honoring that voice within me, listening to that and not just going along to just fit in.” After all, as Davis says, “It’s through the collective, people sharing their stories and courage that brings people out of the shadows. That’s what causes the ripples of change.”
With the new year upon us, it’s time for change. We just have to watch, learn, and be inspired by some of our nation’s most inspiring First Ladies. Along the way, who can help but stand in awe and anticipation as Viola Davis brings her character to life on screen?
Showtime has announced a premiere date for the new anthology series ‘The First Lady,’ which stars Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt, Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford, and Viola Davis as Michelle Obama. https://t.co/YWWVRQ44FP
— Collider (@Collider) August 24, 2021
What are your thoughts about The First Lady TV series? Are you looking forward to its release? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.
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