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Ellen Burstyn Joins USA's 'Political Animals'

Ellen Burstyn - P 2012
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
Ellen Burstyn

The Oscar winner joins the Greg Berlanti, Laurence Mark drama project opposite Sigourney Weaver, Carla Gugino and James Wolk.

Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn has joined the star-studded cast of USA’s Political Animals.

The actress will co-star in the cable network's summer six-hour political drama series from executive producers Greg Berlanti and Laurence Mark.

Animals centers on Elaine Barrish (Sigourney Weaver), a divorced former first lady and current secretary of state, who is struggling to keep her family together while simultaneously dealing with the crises of the State Department. She finds an unlikely ally in a famous D.C. journalist, played by Carla Gugino, who has spent her career tearing Elaine down.

Burstyn, who has picked up Emmy and Tony awards over the course of her career, will play Margaret Barrish, the mother to Weaver’s character. She’s being described as a tough Chicago broad and one-time Vegas showgirl with biting tongue and sharp wit.

In addition to Gugino and Weaver, Burstyn joins Fairly Legal's Brittany Ishibashi (as Douglas' fiancée), Lone Star’s James Wolk (Barrish's cheif of staff) and Gossip Girl's Sebastian Stan (Barrish's son) in the Warner Horizon project.

Burstyn, whose many credits include Big Love and Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, is repped by Innovative Artists and The Schiff Company.

Berlanti will write and direct the pilot, in addition to executive producing with Mark. Melissa Kellner Berman will co-executive produce. Animals hails from Berlanti Productions and Laurence Mark Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television.