Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild winner Gillian Anderson will follow up her Golden Globe-nominated role as Margaret Thatcher on “The Crown” by starring as Eleanor Roosevelt in “The First Lady.” The announcement was made by Amy Israel, Executive Vice President, Scripted Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.
Anderson joins Oscar, Emmy, and Tony winner Viola Davis as first lady Michelle Obama, and Oscar and Emmy nominee and Golden Globe winner Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford. Davis also serves as an executive producer on the project. The series also stars Aaron Eckhart as President Gerald Ford, and additional guest stars include Judy Greer as Betty Ford’s trusted confidante and social secretary Nancy Howe, Jayme Lawson as young Michelle Obama, Kristine Forseth as young Betty Ford, and Rhys Wakefield as President Ford’s Deputy Chief of Staff Dick Cheney. Showtime announced that Susanne Bier would direct and executive produce the project.
“Gillian Anderson is an actress of incredible range and exquisite talent – she is the perfect choice to complete this powerhouse trio, who will inhabit the roles of these iconic women,” said Israel. “It’s inspiring to have Gillian, Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susanne Bier and Cathy Schulman at the forefront of THE FIRST LADY. They have truly set the stage for a landmark SHOWTIME series.”
The network’s description reads, “In the East Wing of the White House, 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. This series will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of three unique, enigmatic women, tracing their journeys to Washington through interweaving storylines with an enlightening intimacy, with season one focusing on Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, and Eleanor Roosevelt.”