Amma Asante Directing Episodes of FX's 'Mrs. America' (Exclusive)

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Amma Asante

The BAFTA-winning British filmmaker is directing two episodes of the limited series, starring Cate Blanchett and examining the unexpected backlash to the U.S. equal rights movement in the 1970s.

BAFTA-winning British filmmaker Amma Asante is set to direct episodes of FX's all-star Mrs. America, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. 

Asante will direct two episodes of the limited series, which looks into efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The nine-episode project stars Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth Banks, Uzo Aduba, Rose Byrne, Kayli Carter, Ari Graynor, Melanie Lynskey, James Marsden, Margo Martindale, Sarah Paulson, John Slattery, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Tracey Ullman.

Mrs. America will examine the unexpected backlash to the equal rights movement 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 (Banks) — 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 the political landscape of the U.S. 

Asante, who first gained attention with her 2004 directorial debut, A Way of Life, earned further acclaim for her second feature, 2013 period drama Belle, which delved into issues concerning racism and sexism in 18th century England. Her third feature, A United Kingdom, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, was based on the true story of the forbidden love between an African royal and a white British woman. The film opened the 2016 London Film Festival.

Asante recently directed two episodes of the third season of A Handmaid's Tale and is currently in preproduction on her fifth feature, The Billion Dollar Spy. The Cold War thriller, adapted from the book by Pulitzer Prize-winner David E. Hoffman, recounts the true-life tale of the CIA's most valuable Soviet spy and the disgruntled agent who betrayed him to the Russians. It is due to start shooting in 2020.