Michelle Pfeiffer has been tapped to portray Betty Ford in Showtime’s upcoming anthology series The First Lady. The actress joins Oscar-winner Viola Davis, who will be playing Michelle Obama in what is shaping up to be an extremely good piece of television that I need to be able to watch immediately, please and thank you.
As reported by THR, Susanne Bier, the director of In a Better World and The Night Manager, will helm every episode of the series, which is being produced by Showtime and Lionsgate Television, alongside Cathy Schulman via Welle Entertainment who are executive producing with Davis, Julius Tennon and Andrew Wang via JuVee Productions, Jeff Gaspin via Gaspin Media, Brad Kaplan via LINK Entertainment, Aaron Cooley and Bier. Bier won an Emmy for her work on The Night Manager, and In a Better World nabbed an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
“Michelle Pfeiffer and Susanne Bier have joined the brilliant and incomparable Viola Davis to bring the remarkable stories of these women into urgent, engrossing and long overdue focus,” said Amy Israel, the Executive VP of Scripted Programming at Showtime. “Michelle brings authenticity, vulnerability and complexity to all her roles, and Susanne is a visionary director who commands the screen with fierce honesty and a singular visual style. With these formidable artists in front of and behind the camera, we couldn’t be more thrilled — especially at this unique moment in time for our nation — about the powerful promise of The First Lady.”
The First Lady follows Michelle Obama, Betty Ford, and Eleanor Roosevelt during their time in the White House, focusing on the impact each woman had on both the country and the world. Pfeiffer’s role as Ford will presumably cover the former First Lady’s advocacy for victims of substance abuse, which led to her co-founding the Betty Ford Center in California. (Ford herself had suffered from alcoholism and drug addiction in the past.) There’s currently no word on who will be playing Eleanor Roosevelt, but judging by the show’s current cast, we should expect another A-list actress to sign on to the role in the near future.