A wise woman once sang, "Who run the world? Girls!" And while that's still a work in progress, there are many ladies who have paved the way. We're not just talking about any ladies, we mean First Ladies. Showtime is ushering in the stories of the women who stood beside some of the most powerful men in the world — women who were supporting, encouraging, and quietly counseling these men.
According to Showtime, The First Lady is "a revelatory reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House." It's about damn time that we see how these women made contributions of their own. Speaking of which, who can we expect to see in The First Lady? The show already has our vote! Scroll through to see their transformations.
Viola Davis as Michelle Obama
Not only is Oscar, Emmy, and Tony Award winner Viola Davis starring in the series, but she's also its executive producer. Viola will be playing Michelle Obama, who accomplished so much in her life before even becoming First Lady (hello, Princeton and Harvard), that a series of her own could barely do her life justice. Michelle advocated for healthy families, higher education, and education for international adolescent girls. She got us moving and caring.
O-T Fagbenle as President Barack Obama
Playing Barack Obama had to be nerve wracking but O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid's Tale) is probably used to a little stress. It's going to be a real treat watching the Obamas' relationship unfold in fictional form. And maybe we'll even get a taste of Barack assembling his annual Spotify playlist.
Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford
Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit) is the perfect Betty Ford. Many will immediately connect her name to the Betty Ford Clinic, the substance abuse and addiction rehabilitation center she founded. Beyond that, Betty was a feminist who supported abortion rights, equal pay, and gun control. We kind of wish Betty was president, but we'll take what we got.
Aaron Eckhart as President Gerald Ford
We have to assume the driving force behind Aaron Eckhart's portrayal of Gerald Ford will be one simple action — Ford pardoned Richard Nixon. Although it's extremely important to note that in 1976, then President Gerald Ford officially recognized February as Black History Month.
Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt
No one but Gillian Anderson (The Crown) can fill the mighty shoes of Eleanor Roosevelt. She was incredibly outspoken about civil rights, both for Black people and Asian Americans after World War II. Eleanor was the first presidential partner to write daily newspaper and magazine columns, host a weekly radio show, speak at a national party convention, and hold regular press conferences. She also publicly disagreed with her husband, which we love to see.
Kiefer Sutherland as President Franklin D. Roosevelt
We have two words for good ol' FDR: New Deal. When the Great Depression economically destroyed most of the United States, FDR implemented a series of public work programs and social projects that provided support for those in need. It focused on relief, recovery, and reform, and it dug the country out of the massive hole it was in. Speaking of deals, Kiefer Sutherland (24) as FDR is as good as it gets.
The rest of the cast consists of individuals who left their mark on these incredible women in some way or another. Dakota Fanning (The Angel of Darkness) plays Betty Ford's only daughter Susan; Regina Taylor (I’ll Fly Away) is Michelle Obama's mother, Marian Robinson; Jayme Lawson (The Batman) portrays a young Michelle Obama; Lexi Underwood takes on the role of elder daughter Malia Obama; Saniyya Sidney plays younger daughter Sasha Obama; and Lily Rabe (American Horror Story) will play Lorena “Hick” Hickock, the first female reporter in the United States and good friend of Eleanor Roosevelt.
The First Lady is set to premiere on Showtime on April 17, 2022.