When Showtime announced it was making a miniseries chronicling the lives of some of America’s most important first ladies, our number one question was who is going to play Michelle Obama? When we found out it was Viola Davis, we knew we were getting something special. And with the release of the new trailer for The First Lady, we finally get to see how right we were.
According to TVLine, the clip features the Academy Award-winning actress as our forever First Lady laying in Barack’s lap and saying, “In four years, I don’t want to look back and think, ‘What did I become living in that house?’” She also bristles at how she’s expected to act, questioning, “They want to turn me into a Black Martha Stewart?” O.T. Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) co-stars as President Barack Obama.
In an interview with EW.com, Davis, who also executive produces the series, said she read Obama’s memoir, “Becoming,” and also watched her 2020 Netflix documentary of the same name to STUDY Michelle’s gestures.
“I feel very protective of Michelle,” Davis said. “It’s our job as actors not to judge whoever we are portraying, but I ended up thinking she’s just dope.”
Here’s what we can expect per the official synopsis: “The series will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of three unique, enigmatic women and their families, tracing their journeys to Washington, dipping into their pasts and following them beyond the White House into their greatest moments.” Just in case you’re curious, Gillian Anderson and Michelle Pfeiffer also star as Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford, respectively.
While tweeting out the trailer Davis wrote, “Playing the extraordinary @MichelleObama was no small task but an honor of a lifetime.”
The cast includes Regina Taylor as Michelle’s mother Marian Shields Robinson, Lexi Underwood as Malia, King Richard standout Saniyya Sidney as Sasha and Gloria Reuben as Valerie Jarrett.
The First Lady premieres on Showtime Sunday, April 17.