The cast for Showtime’s upcoming anthology series on Michelle Obama, The First Lady, is full of big names.
Emmy-nominated actress Regina Taylor has been cast as a series regular in the role of Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Shields Robinson, according to reports from Deadline on Tuesday, April 15. Other cast members with recurring roles are Saniyya Sidney as Sasha Obama, Julian DeNiro as a young Barack Obama, and Evan Parke as Mrs. Obama’s longtime security agent Allen Taylor.
The anthology series is going to explore the personal and political lives of some of America‘s most charismatic, complex, and dynamic first women, with the first season focusing on Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford in addition to former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Viola Davis is set to portray Obama, with Michelle Pfeiffer playing Betty Ford and Gillian Anderson taking on the role of Eleanor Roosevelt.
“Throughout our history, presidents‘ spouses have wielded remarkable influence, not only on the nation’s leaders but on the country itself,” said Jana Winograde, Showtime’s president of entertainment, in a previous statement. “[The show] fits perfectly within the Showtime wheelhouse of drama and politics, revealing how much personal relationships impact both domestic and global events.”
Back in March, during an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Michelle Obama reacted to the news that Viola Davis will be playing her in The First Lady. Unsurprisingly, she was absolutely thrilled to see who was chosen to portray her.
“I feel that I’m not worthy,” she said to the publication. “I wish I could be better to live up to the character that Viola has to play, but it’s exciting.”
She continued, further praising the actress by saying, “anything Viola does, she does it with passion and vigor, and I know she will do no less for this role.”
Just a few weeks ago, Davis told Jimmy Fallon during an appearance on The Tonight Show that she and Mrs. Obama had been in communication since she accepted the role, and they talked “for several hours.”
“And it‘s terrifying because … sometimes someone doesn’t live up to whatever image you have in your head. But when they do live up to the image, it’s quite frightening,” the award-winning actress explained. ”It really is.”