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Gillian Anderson is taking on another famous woman in history.
The Crown and Sex Education favorite has been tapped to star alongside Viola Davis and Michelle Pfeiffer in the Showtime drama The First Lady.
The anthology focuses on the personal and political lives of the country’s most enigmatic heroes, with season one focused on Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford (Pfeiffer) and Michelle Obama (Davis). Anderson, who most recently portrayed Margaret Thatcher in Netflix’s The Crown, will portray Roosevelt.
“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 Amy Israel, exec vp scripted at Showtime. “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.”
Roosevelt served as the first lady of the U.S. from 1933-45, making her the longest serving first lady in history. She was an American political figure, diplomat and activist. Controversial for her outspokenness, particularly on civil rights, she was the first presidential spouse to hold regular press conferences, write a daily newspaper column and host a weekly radio show. She also pushed the United States to join and support the United Nations and became its first delegate.
Author Aaron Cooley (Four Seats: A Thriller of the Supreme Court) created the series and will write and exec produce alongside Davis and her husband/JuVee Productions partner Julius Tennon, Oscar winner Cathy Schulman and her Welle Entertainment banner (Crash), Jeff Gaspin (L.A.’s Finest) and Link Entertainment’s Brad Kaplan (Mr. Church). The series is a co-production between Showtime and Lionsgate Television. Andrew Wang and Susanne Bier, the latter of whom will direct, also exec produce.
Anderson joins a cast that also includes Judy Greer as Nancy Howe, Eckhart as President Gerald Ford, Jayme Lawson as young Michelle Obama, Kristine Forseth as young Betty Ford and Rhys Wakefield as vice president Dick Cheney.
Repped by UTA, Anderson’s credits include The X-Files, The Fall and The Last King of Scotland.
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