Gillian Anderson will play Eleanor Roosevelt on Showtime’s “The First Lady” anthology series, the premium cable channel said Monday.
“The Crown” and “Sex Education” star joins Viola Davis, who is portraying former first lady Michelle Obama, Michelle Pfeiffer as former first lady Betty Ford and Aaron Eckhart as President Gerald Ford in what is described as “a revelatory reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House.”
Per Showtime, “Eleanor Roosevelt served as the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945, 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.”
Additional cast members for “The First Lady” include Judy Greer as Nancy Howe, Jayme Lawson as young Michelle Obama, Kristine Froseth as young Betty Ford, and Rhys Wakefield as Vice President Dick Cheney.
“The First Lady” is created by author Aaron Cooley, who executive produces alongside Cathy Schulman, Davis, Julius Tennon, Andrew Wang, Susanne Bier, Jeff Gaspin and Brad Kaplan. Bier is also directing.
The anthology hails from Showtime and Lionsgate Television.
“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,” Amy Israel, executive vice president of scripted programming at Showtime Networks Inc, said. “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.”