Viola Davis will play former First Lady Michelle Obama in a new one-hour drama series called First Ladies that Showtime just picked up. The Emmy, Oscar and Tony winner will also serve as an executive producer.
The series will be executive produced by Julius Tennon, Oscar winner Cathy Schulman, Jeff Gaspin, Brad Kaplan.Produced by Showtime and Lionsgate Television.
Author Aaron Cooley, who created the series, will also write and executive produce.
The announcement was made today by Jana Winograde, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc.
In the East Wing of the White House, many of history’s most impactful and world-changing decisions have been hidden from view, made by America’s charismatic, complex and dynamic first ladies.
This series will display the personal and political lives of these enigmatic women.
The first season will be focusing on Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Michelle Obama.
“Throughout our history, presidents’ spouses have wielded remarkable influence, not only on the nation’s leaders but on the country itself.” said Winograde.
“First Ladies fits perfectly within the Showtime wheelhouse of drama and politics, revealing how much personal relationships impact both domestic and global events.
“Having Viola Davis play Michelle Obama is a dream come true, and we couldn’t be luckier to have her extraordinary talent to help launch this series.”
Viola Davis is set to play former US First lady, Michelle Obama, in a brand new White House drama series, titled ‘First Ladies’ currently in the works at Showtime.
The network has given the prospective one-hour drama a three-script commitment, with novelist Aaron Cooleyon board to write and executive produce, Deadline reports.
The series will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of First Ladies throughout history, with season one focusing on Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Michelle Obama. The series is from Showtime and Lionsgate Television.
Credit: Bella Naija
The work of Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected into U.S. Congress, will be displayed in a new limited series coming to FX called “Mrs. America.”
Emmy-winning actress Uzo Aduba will play Chisholm, who represented New York’s 12thcongressional district from 1969 to 1983 and who became the first Black female candidate from a major political party to run for president.
According to The Root, FX said in a press release that the limited series will tell “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 [Cate] 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.”
Aduba is one of 11 actors who have been selected so far to play in the nine-episode series that will premiere in 2020. The series, which is written by Emmy-winning producer Dahvi Waller, is executive produced by Waller, Coco Francini, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck and Blanchett.
The FX series will be the second portrayal of Chisholm coming up as Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis will also portray the politician and civil rights activist in a movie that she is producing at Amazon Studios. According to Deadline, Maggie Betts will direct the screenplay that will be written by Emmy-nominated writer Adam Countee.
Beautiful Oscar winner Viola Davis is the cover star for People Magazine‘s latest issue.
In the magazine, the actress opens up and talks about the struggles of growing up in poverty and how her talent propelled her to success later in life.
Read excerpts from the interview below
On Growing Up in Poverty
I was the kind of poor where I knew right away I had less than everyone around me. We had nothing, I cannot believe my life, I just can’t, I’m so blessed. I would jump in trash bins with maggots looking for food, and I would steal from the corner store because I was hungry, I never had any kids come to my house because my house was a condemned building, it was boarded up, it was infested with rats. I was one of those kids who were poor and knew it.
It became a motivation as opposed to something else — the thing about poverty is that it starts affecting your mind and your spirit because people don’t see you, I chose from a very young age that I didn’t want that for my life. And it very much has helped me appreciate and value the things that are in my life now because I never had it. A yard, a house, great plumbing, a full refrigerator, things that people take for granted, I don’t.
On deciding to become an actress
I first envisioned myself as an actor after I watched Cicely Tyson in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman when I was a child.
It wasn’t until then that I had a visual manifestation of the target I wanted to hit, It also gave me hope for the future and a different life for myself, she helped me have a very specific drive of how I was going to crawl, walk, run from that environment.
Beautiful Actress Viola Davis is the first black woman to receive three Academy Award nominations after her nomination for a supporting role in “Fences.”
Not new to making history, in 2015 she became the first black woman to win an Emmy for a lead actress in a drama series for her role as Annalise Keating in “How to Get Away With Murder.”
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Viola Davis got her first Oscar nom for a brief but scene-stealing appearance in the 2008 film “Doubt.”
She got her second Oscar nom in 2012 for her role as a maid in the Southern period drama “The Help.”