9:35am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Sarah Paulson, Uzo Aduba, Rose Byrne, James Marsden Join Cate Blanchett in FX Drama
FX is adding a who's-who of top talent to join Cate Blanchett in Mrs. America.
Uzo Aduba, Rose Byrne, Kayli Carter, Ari Graynor, Melanie Lynskey, James Marsden, Margo Martindale, Sarah Paulson, John Slattery, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Tracey Ullman have boarded the nine-episode limited series, which focuses on efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
The project looks at the unexpected backlash led by a conservative woman named Phyllis Schlafly (Blanchett). Through the eyes of the women of that era — Schlafly and second-wave feminists Gloria Steinem (Byrne), Betty Friedan (Ullman), Shirley Chisholm (Aduba), Bella Abzug (Martindale) and Jill Ruckelshaus (not yet cast) — the series will explore how one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the 1970s helped give rise to the Moral Majority and forever shifted our political landscape.
Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who most recently co-wrote and directed Captain Marvel, will helm the first two episodes of the series and executive produce. Mrs. America hails from Emmy-winning writer Dahvi Waller (Mad Men), who will pen the script, exec produce and serve as showrunner. Two-time Oscar nominee Stacey Sher will also exec produce, alongside Blanchett and Coco Francini.
Here are the details on the impressive cast, courtesy of FX:
Aduba (Orange Is the New Black) as Shirley Chisholm: Chisholm not only made history as the first African-American congresswoman but also became the first African-American candidate to run for president from a national political party when she launched her unprecedented 1972 campaign.
Byrne (Bridesmaids) as Gloria Steinem: Steinem was the most recognizable leader of the women’s movement. She co-founded Ms. Magazine and played a major part in the effort to pass the ERA.
Carter (Private Life, Godless) as the fictional character of Pamela, a young, impressionable housewife who is an early member of Schlafly’s anti-ERA movement.
Graynor (I'm Dying Up Here) as Brenda Feigen-Fasteau: A Harvard-educated lawyer, Feigen-Fasteau was a young feminist in the women's movement who co-founded Ms. Magazine with Steinem and helped the feminist effort to pass the ERA.
Lynskey (Up in the Air) as Rosemary Thomson: Thomson was a homemaker in Schlafly’s inner circle who eagerly joined her fight against the ERA.
Marsden (Westworld) as Phil Crane: Crane was a conservative congressman from Schlafly’s home state of Illinois and one of her most powerful allies.
Martindale (The Americans, The Act) as Bella Abzug: A leading figure in the feminist movement, Abzug was a three-term congresswoman who spearheaded the effort to pass the ERA.
Paulson (American Crime Story, American Horror Story) as the fictional character of Alice, Schlafly’s best friend, who joins her effort to block the ERA.
Slattery (Mad Men) as Fred Schlafly: Phyllis’ husband was a prominent lawyer, GOP donor and anti-communist.
Tripplehorn (Big Love) as Eleanor Schlafly: Eleanor is Fred's unmarried sister, a close confidante of Phyllis and a devoted aunt to Phyllis' six children.
Ullman as Betty Friedan: Known as the mother of the women’s movement, Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique and co-founded the National Women's Political Caucus. She was an active proponent of the ERA.
Aduba is repped by UTA, Management 360 and Schreck Rose. Byrne is with CAA and RGM Artists. Carter is repped by ICM Partners. Graynor is with UTA, Management 360 and Lichter Grossman. Lynskey and Martindale are repped by Gersh. Paulson is with CAA. Slattery is repped by Gersh and Untitled. Jeanne Tripplehorn is with Gersh and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Ullman is repped by CAA and Hamilton Hodell. Boden and Fleck are with WME and Management 360.