THE FIRST LADY

Episode                                                           Date                                                          Written By                                                                       Director

1   “The White House”                                15/4/22                                                   Aaron Cooley,Ellen Fairey,Jennifer Westfeldt                     Susanne Bier

2   “Voices Carry”                                        24/4/22                                                   Aaron Cooley,Ellen Fairey,Cathy Schulman                       Susanne Bier

A revelatory reframing of American leadership through the lens of the First Ladies. Starring Viola Davis as Michelle Obama, Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford and Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt, this series delves deep into the Ladies’ personal and political lives. Exploring everything from their journeys to Washington, family life, and world-changing political contributions, the impact of the White House’s women is no longer hidden from view.

ABOUT THE SERIES

A revelatory reframing of American leadership through the lens of the First Ladies. Starring Viola Davis as Michelle Obama, Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford and Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt, this series delves deep into the Ladies’ personal and political lives. Exploring everything from their journeys to Washington, family life, and world-changing political contributions, the impact of the White House’s women is no longer hidden from view.

CAST & CHARACTERS

BETTY FORD

Played by Michelle Pfeiffer

Betty Ford was the First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977. She was active in social policy and set a precedent as a politically active presidential spouse and one of the most candid first ladies in history, commenting on every hot-button issue of the time. She also raised awareness of addiction when she made her long-running battle with alcoholism and substance abuse public.

MICHELLE PFEIFFER

Michelle Pfeiffer won a Golden Globe Award and earned one of her three Oscar nominations for her performance in The Fabulous Baker Boys. Her Oscar-nominated work in Dangerous Liaisons also proved worthy of a BAFTA® Award. She has received seven Golden Globe nominations in all, for roles in films from Married to the Mob to the Oscar-nominated Love Field and The Wizard of Lies, for which she also received an Emmy nomination. Her numerous memorable screen credits also include What Lies Beneath, Tequila Sunrise, Hairspray, Dangerous Minds, White Oleander, The Age of Innocence, Batman Returns, Ladyhawke, Into the Night, Scarface and Grease 2.

MICHELLE OBAMA

Played by Viola Davis

Michelle Lavaughn Robinson Obama, wife of President Barack Obama, was the first African American woman to serve as First Lady of the United States, from 2009 to 2017. Motivated to stay out of trouble and perform well in school due to her father’s multiple sclerosis, Michelle attended both Princeton and Harvard and became an attorney. By contrast, Michelle was drawn to Barack Obama’s adventurous nature, and together they have become one of America’s most beloved couples.  In the White House and since, Michelle’s initiatives have always been hands on, focusing on children and families and making her a stalwart role model for women and girls. 

VIOLA DAVIS

Viola Davis is the first black actress to win Tony (Fences & King Hedley II), Oscar (Fences) and Emmy (How to Get Away with Murder) awards.

Beyond the television screen, Davis has been in iconic films such as Troop Zero, Widows, Suicide Squad, Lila & Eve, Suicide Squad, Ender’s Game, Prisoners, and Beautiful Creatures. Her performance in the 2012 film The Help earned her an Oscar nomination, a Golden Globe nomination, a BAFTA nomination, and a Screen Actors Guild award, and Critics Choice Award. Her performance in the 2008 film Doubt earned her a Golden Globe aware, Screen Actors Guild award, and Academy Award. Other film credits include Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Get On Up, Blackhat, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Knight and Day, Nights in Rodanthe, Madea Goes to Jail, Law Abiding Citizen, Disturbia, Eat, Pray, Love, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, The Architect, Never Back Down, Far From Heaven, Solaris, Traffic, Out of Sign, and Syrania.

In 2012, Davis and her husband founded JuVee, with its focus being to give a voice to the voiceless through strong, impactful and culturally relevant narratives. The Los Angeles-based and artist driven company produces film, television and digital content across all of entertainment.

A graduate of The Julliard School, Davis received an Honorary Doctorate during its 109th Commencement Ceremony and she also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degree from her alma mater, Rhode Island College. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

 

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

Played by Gillian Anderson

Eleanor Roosevelt was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, from 1933 to 1945. 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.

GILLIAN ANDERSON

Gillian Anderson earned her sixth career Golden Globe nomination for her performance as Margaret Thatcher on The Crown. Previously, she won Emmy, Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards for her lead drama actress role as Dana Scully on The X-Files. She also received Emmy, Golden Globe and BAFTA® nominations for Bleak House, and won the British Independent Film Award for Best Actress thanks to her work in The House of Mirth. She has five career Emmy nominations and earned her seventh SAG Award nomination as well. Her other recent noteworthy credits include Sex Education, All About Eve, American Gods, The Fall, War & Peace, Hannibal and Great Expectations.

SUSAN FORD

Played by Dakota Fanning

Susan Elizabeth Ford is the only daughter and youngest child of President Gerald and Betty Ford. As a teenager in the White House during the tumultuous mid-70’s, she often introduced progressive ideas to the presidential family.

DAKOTA FANNING

For her performance in I Am Sam, Dakota Fanning became the youngest performer to have been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award. She won a Critics Choice Award for that role (Best Young Actor/Actress) as well as for War of the Worlds. Most recently, Fanning has been seen reprising the role of Sara Howard in The Alienist: Angel of Darkness, and in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme. Fanning’s extensive filmography also includes Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, Man on Fire, Uptown Girls, Dreamer, Charlotte’s Web, The Secret Life of Bees, The Last of Robin Hood, Coraline, The Twilight Saga, Brimstone, Night Moves and Please Stand By. In 2018, she premiered her directorial debut, the short film Hello Apartment.

GERALD FORD

Played by Aaron Eckhart

A star linebacker for the University of Michigan Wolverines, Gerald Ford married Betty Bloomer in 1948 and served as a member of the House of Representatives for 25 years, holding Michigan’s 5th Congressional District seat from 1949 to 1973. He later became the only person to serve as both vice president and president of the United States without being elected to either office by the electoral college.

AARON ECKHART

Aaron Eckhart has earned considerable acclaim for his roles in films including Erin Brockovich, In The Company Of Men,  The Rum Diary, Battle: Lose Angeles, Rabbi Hole, The Dark Knight, In The Company of Men, Possession, Burse Betty, and Your Friends and Neighbors.
Eckhart earned both a Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nomination for his starring role in Thank You For Smoking.
Eckhart’s other film credits include The Pledge, Love Happens, Ay Given Sunday, Meet Bill, Molly, Towelhead, No Reservations, Paycheck, The Missing, The Core, The Black Dahlia,  Conversations With Other Women, Olympus Has Fallen, Long Has Fallen, I, Frankenstein, Sully, Bleed for This, Midway, Wander, and My All American.
His theater credits include Michael Cristofer’s Amazing Grace and on the television screen, he was part of the ensemble cast of the anthology series The Romanoffs.
Eckhart resides in Montana.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

Played by Kiefer Sutherland

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was the 32nd president of the United States, from 1933 until his death in 1945, and the only U.S. president to serve an unprecedented four terms. He married his fifth cousin Anna Eleanor Roosevelt in 1905, and together the couple became two of the most central figures in world events during the 20th century, with FDR eventually enacting the New Deal Coalition that defined modern liberalism in the U.S. In 1921, Roosevelt contracted polio, and his legs became permanently paralyzed. Unstoppable even after that, FDR is revered as one of the nation’s greatest presidents.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND

Kiefer Sutherland is best known for portraying CTU agent Jack Bauer in the critically acclaimed television drama series 24. He received a multitude of awards for his performance, including an Emmy and two SAG Awards for Best Actor in a Drama Series. He reprised the role for 24: Redemption, a made-for-television movie that went on to earn five Emmy nominations, including one for Sutherland for Best Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries.  Sutherland’s other notable film and television credits include Designated Survivor, Melancholia, Dark City, A Few Good Men, Flatliners, Young Guns, Young Guns II, The Lost Boys and Stand By Me.

BARACK OBAMA

Played by O-T Fagbenle

Barack Hussein Obama II was elected the 44th President of the United States and the first African American commander-in-chief from 2009 to 2017, having served two terms. A member of the Democratic Party, Barack married Michelle LaVaughn Robinson in 1992 before he became an Illinois state senator in 2005. Barack and Michelle are the parents of Malia and Sasha Obama.

O-T FAGBENLE

Fagbenle can be seen starring in WeCrashed opposite Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway.

He may be best known for his starring role as Luke in The Handmaid’s Tale. In 2021 Fagbenle garnered his first Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Additionally, the cast of The Handmaid’s Tale has been continuously recognized for their powerful performances, securing dozens of nominations and wins over the years including: Outstanding Drama Series at the Primetime Emmy Awards, Best Drama Series at the Critic’s Choice Television Awards, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Best International Programme at the BAFTA Television Awards. He also starred in many UK series such as Thorne, The Five, The Interceptor,

In 2020 Fagbenle made history by becoming the first person to create, write, direct, compose, executive produce, and star in the pilot of a television series broadcast on a major network with his original comedy series Maxxx.

In film, Fagbenle joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Black Widow.  The film Additional film and television credits for Fagbenle include: Looking, NW, Walter’s War, Breaking and Entering, I Could Never Be Your Woman,

In theatre, Fagbenle led the  August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, to the prestigious Olivier Award. Fagbenle was also nominated for Best Actor for the illustrious Evening Standard Awards.

MICHELLE OBAMA

Played by Viola Davis

Michelle Lavaughn Robinson Obama, wife of President Barack Obama, was the first African American woman to serve as First Lady of the United States, from 2009 to 2017. Motivated to stay out of trouble and perform well in school due to her father’s multiple sclerosis, Michelle attended both Princeton and Harvard and became an attorney. By contrast, Michelle was drawn to Barack Obama’s adventurous nature, and together they have become one of America’s most beloved couples.  In the White House and since, Michelle’s initiatives have always been hands on, focusing on children and families and making her a stalwart role model for women and girls. 

VIOLA DAVIS

Viola Davis is the first black actress to win Tony (Fences & King Hedley II), Oscar (Fences) and Emmy (How to Get Away with Murder) awards.

Beyond the television screen, Davis has been in iconic films such as Troop Zero, Widows, Suicide Squad, Lila & Eve, Suicide Squad, Ender’s Game, Prisoners, and Beautiful Creatures. Her performance in the 2012 film The Help earned her an Oscar nomination, a Golden Globe nomination, a BAFTA nomination, and a Screen Actors Guild award, and Critics Choice Award. Her performance in the 2008 film Doubt earned her a Golden Globe aware, Screen Actors Guild award, and Academy Award. Other film credits include Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Get On Up, Blackhat, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Knight and Day, Nights in Rodanthe, Madea Goes to Jail, Law Abiding Citizen, Disturbia, Eat, Pray, Love, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, The Architect, Never Back Down, Far From Heaven, Solaris, Traffic, Out of Sign, and Syrania.

In 2012, Davis and her husband founded JuVee, with its focus being to give a voice to the voiceless through strong, impactful and culturally relevant narratives. The Los Angeles-based and artist driven company produces film, television and digital content across all of entertainment.

A graduate of The Julliard School, Davis received an Honorary Doctorate during its 109th Commencement Ceremony and she also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degree from her alma mater, Rhode Island College. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

 

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

Played by Gillian Anderson

Eleanor Roosevelt was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, from 1933 to 1945. 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.

GILLIAN ANDERSON

Gillian Anderson earned her sixth career Golden Globe nomination for her performance as Margaret Thatcher on The Crown. Previously, she won Emmy, Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards for her lead drama actress role as Dana Scully on The X-Files. She also received Emmy, Golden Globe and BAFTA® nominations for Bleak House, and won the British Independent Film Award for Best Actress thanks to her work in The House of Mirth. She has five career Emmy nominations and earned her seventh SAG Award nomination as well. Her other recent noteworthy credits include Sex Education, All About Eve, American Gods, The Fall, War & Peace, Hannibal and Great Expectations.

SUSAN FORD

Played by Dakota Fanning

Susan Elizabeth Ford is the only daughter and youngest child of President Gerald and Betty Ford. As a teenager in the White House during the tumultuous mid-70’s, she often introduced progressive ideas to the presidential family.

DAKOTA FANNING

For her performance in I Am Sam, Dakota Fanning became the youngest performer to have been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award. She won a Critics Choice Award for that role (Best Young Actor/Actress) as well as for War of the Worlds. Most recently, Fanning has been seen reprising the role of Sara Howard in The Alienist: Angel of Darkness, and in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme. Fanning’s extensive filmography also includes Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, Man on Fire, Uptown Girls, Dreamer, Charlotte’s Web, The Secret Life of Bees, The Last of Robin Hood, Coraline, The Twilight Saga, Brimstone, Night Moves and Please Stand By. In 2018, she premiered her directorial debut, the short film Hello Apartment.

GERALD FORD

Played by Aaron Eckhart

A star linebacker for the University of Michigan Wolverines, Gerald Ford married Betty Bloomer in 1948 and served as a member of the House of Representatives for 25 years, holding Michigan’s 5th Congressional District seat from 1949 to 1973. He later became the only person to serve as both vice president and president of the United States without being elected to either office by the electoral college.

AARON ECKHART

Aaron Eckhart has earned considerable acclaim for his roles in films including Erin Brockovich, In The Company Of Men,  The Rum Diary, Battle: Lose Angeles, Rabbi Hole, The Dark Knight, In The Company of Men, Possession, Burse Betty, and Your Friends and Neighbors.
Eckhart earned both a Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nomination for his starring role in Thank You For Smoking.
Eckhart’s other film credits include The Pledge, Love Happens, Ay Given Sunday, Meet Bill, Molly, Towelhead, No Reservations, Paycheck, The Missing, The Core, The Black Dahlia,  Conversations With Other Women, Olympus Has Fallen, Long Has Fallen, I, Frankenstein, Sully, Bleed for This, Midway, Wander, and My All American.
His theater credits include Michael Cristofer’s Amazing Grace and on the television screen, he was part of the ensemble cast of the anthology series The Romanoffs.
Eckhart resides in Montana.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

Played by Kiefer Sutherland

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was the 32nd president of the United States, from 1933 until his death in 1945, and the only U.S. president to serve an unprecedented four terms. He married his fifth cousin Anna Eleanor Roosevelt in 1905, and together the couple became two of the most central figures in world events during the 20th century, with FDR eventually enacting the New Deal Coalition that defined modern liberalism in the U.S. In 1921, Roosevelt contracted polio, and his legs became permanently paralyzed. Unstoppable even after that, FDR is revered as one of the nation’s greatest presidents.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND

Kiefer Sutherland is best known for portraying CTU agent Jack Bauer in the critically acclaimed television drama series 24. He received a multitude of awards for his performance, including an Emmy and two SAG Awards for Best Actor in a Drama Series. He reprised the role for 24: Redemption, a made-for-television movie that went on to earn five Emmy nominations, including one for Sutherland for Best Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries.  Sutherland’s other notable film and television credits include Designated Survivor, Melancholia, Dark City, A Few Good Men, Flatliners, Young Guns, Young Guns II, The Lost Boys and Stand By Me.

BARACK OBAMA

Played by O-T Fagbenle

Barack Hussein Obama II was elected the 44th President of the United States and the first African American commander-in-chief from 2009 to 2017, having served two terms. A member of the Democratic Party, Barack married Michelle LaVaughn Robinson in 1992 before he became an Illinois state senator in 2005. Barack and Michelle are the parents of Malia and Sasha Obama.

O-T FAGBENLE

Fagbenle can be seen starring in WeCrashed opposite Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway.

He may be best known for his starring role as Luke in The Handmaid’s Tale. In 2021 Fagbenle garnered his first Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Additionally, the cast of The Handmaid’s Tale has been continuously recognized for their powerful performances, securing dozens of nominations and wins over the years including: Outstanding Drama Series at the Primetime Emmy Awards, Best Drama Series at the Critic’s Choice Television Awards, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Best International Programme at the BAFTA Television Awards. He also starred in many UK series such as Thorne, The Five, The Interceptor,

In 2020 Fagbenle made history by becoming the first person to create, write, direct, compose, executive produce, and star in the pilot of a television series broadcast on a major network with his original comedy series Maxxx.

In film, Fagbenle joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Black Widow.  The film Additional film and television credits for Fagbenle include: Looking, NW, Walter’s War, Breaking and Entering, I Could Never Be Your Woman,

In theatre, Fagbenle led the  August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, to the prestigious Olivier Award. Fagbenle was also nominated for Best Actor for the illustrious Evening Standard Awards.