Patricia Clarkson to Star as Women’s Rights Icon Lilly Ledbetter

Political thriller “Lilly” directed by Rachel Feldman examines Ledbetter’s fight to end gender-based pay discrimination

Last Updated: March 3, 2021 @ 8:45 AM

Patricia Clarkson is set to star as political advocate and women’s rights icon Lilly Ledbetter in director Rachel Feldman’s new film “Lilly.”

Ledbetter was a factory worker who fought to end gender-based discrimination that led women to be paid less than men — a fight that continues to this day across many industries. The film “Lilly” is a political thriller that will follow her roots as an Alabama mother up through how she motivated President Obama to sign a piece of legislation in her name, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.

Feldman (“The Rookie”) is directing and co-wrote the script with Adam Prince. J. Todd Harris (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”) is producing.

“When I told my mother that I’d be playing Lilly Ledbetter, she had to put the phone down to catch her breath. Playing Lilly is truly an honor. I’m thrilled to bring this extraordinary woman to life,” Clarkson said in a statement.

“There have been many films made about an ordinary citizen who fights entrenched, monolithic systems, but as a filmmaker, what interests me is not the struggle per se, but the psychological cost of activism,” Feldman said. “Though Lilly never received a dime in reparations, she became the face of an issue, and speaking up for others defined a life of purpose, fulfilling her destiny. I believe Lilly’s story of radical resilience is a theme that will resonate around the world. The opportunity to collaborate with the astoundingly-gifted Patricia Clarkson is thrilling.”

An impact campaign devoted to equity and safety for women in the workplace will accompany the release of the film, led by executive producers Simone Pero, Jyoti Sarda and David Rich.

Ledbetter was the plaintiff in the employment discrimination case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. She has since become a public speaker and women’s rights advocate, and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011.

Patricia Clarkson is represented by Chris Andrews and Kevin Huvane at CAA, and Tony Lipp at Anonymous Content. Feldman is repped by manager Rory Koslow at Well Told Entertainment. Meryl Streep has been a champion of Feldman and her Ledbetter feature.

Variety first reported the news.