The first look at Cate Blanchett and her co-stars in the upcoming FX series Mrs. America has been revealed. The transformation each cast member has undergone is stunning. You’d be forgiven for doing some big double-takes as you scroll through the first images of all the key players, which are available below.
Leading the charge for “Best Dead Ringer” is Blanchett herself, who will be playing conservative ’70s activist Phyllis Schlafly in the nine-episode limited series. Blanchett’s Schlafly will be facing off against prominent feminist leaders and thinkers of the time, including Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem, Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug, Tracey Ullmann as Betty Friedan, and Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm. Additional cast includes James Marsden as Republican congressman Philip Crane, John Slattery plays Fred Schlafly, and Elizabeth Banks is Jill Ruckelshaus, a White House assistant, women’s rights activist, and wife of the former head of the EPA, William Ruckelshaus. Rounding out the cast is Sarah Paulson as Alice, a composite character and likely audience surrogate as we follow all the action of prominent figures colliding during a particularly powerful moment in history.
That moment? The fight to get the Equal Rights Amendment (commonly referred to as the ERA) passed. The amendment would have guaranteed women legal equality with men, protecting them from issues like workplace discrimination. Schlafly was opposed while leaders like Steinem were very much in favor of it. Historical spoiler alert: the ERA never passed, making this series even more important to watch as intersectional feminists continue to fight for the same equal treatment men are afforded in all areas of life. I fully expect things to get a little too real while watching the limited series but that only makes it all the more important for it to air on a prominent network like FX. Plus, if we’re going to revisit the paradigm-shifting moment in recent American history, don’t you want to do it with this cast led by Blanchett, who is appearing in a TV role for their first time in her career?
Mrs. America is written by Mad Men‘s Dahvi Waller. Waller and Blanchett serve as executive producers alongside Stacey Sher, Coco Francini, Anna Boden, and Ryan Fleck. Boden and Fleck, who co-directed Captain Marvel, also directed the first two episodes of Mrs. America.
You can check out all the photos of the Mrs. America cast below. The series will air in 2020. The official Mrs. America synopsis reads:
Mrs. America tells the story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and the unexpected backlash led by a conservative woman named Phyllis Schlafly, played by Blanchett. Through the eyes of the women of that era – both Schlafly and Second Wave feminists Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and Jill Ruckelshaus – the series explores how one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the 70s helped give rise to the Moral Majority and forever shifted our political landscape.