Michelle Pfeiffer to Play Betty Ford in Upcoming Showtime Series ‘The First Lady’

by Madison Miller
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Michelle Pfeiffer will be playing Betty Ford in “The First Lady.”

Pfeiffer is an Oscar and Emmy nominee who will be working on the new Showtime series. The executive producer of the show is Viola Davis (known for her roles in “How to Get Away with Murder” and “The Help”). She will also be playing First Lady Michelle Obama.

Susanne Bier will direct the show. She is known for her other work such as “The Undoing,” “Bird Box,” “The Night Manager,” and “In a Better World.” “The First Lady” was written by Aaron Cooley and Viola Davis, as well as other entertainment groups.

The goal of the series is to show the reframing of American leadership told through the perspective of women from the White House. The female-driven acting and production crew will tell the story of the first ladies and their impactful role in shaping history.

“The First Lady” takes place in the East Wing of the White House. Key decisions happen more secretly in this part of the White House.

Pfeiffer as Betty Ford

Michelle Pfeiffer will be playing the First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977. She was the husband of Gerald Ford. Pfeiffer won a Golden Globe Award for her work in “The Fabulous Baker Boys.”

She will be a key part of the first season of the series, also including Michelle Obama and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Betty Ford was an active first lady. She was especially pertinent in social policy and was not afraid to personally speak on key issues at the time. She also raised awareness for both alcoholism and substance abuse after sharing with the public her struggles with addiction.

Ford also helped to destigmatize breast cancer. Prior to her talking about getting breast cancer herself, many Americans did not openly speak out about breast cancer. She was also a huge advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment throughout her time in the White House. She was an outspoken activist for women’s rights. Despite Gerald Ford being conservative, she was quite outspoken on her ideas that were quite liberal, such as her views on abortion and drug use.

“I do not believe that being first lady should prevent me from expressing my views. I spoke out on this important issue, because of my deep personal convictions. Why should my husband’s job or yours prevent us from being ourselves? Being ladylike does not require silence,” Betty Ford said, according to The White House Historical Association.

A Timely Series

“Michelle Pfeiffer and Susanne Bier have joined the brilliant and incomparable Viola Davis to bring the remarkable stories of these women into urgent, engrossing and long overdue focus. Michelle brings authenticity, vulnerability and complexity to all her roles, and Susanne is a visionary director who commands the screen with fierce honesty and a singular visual style. With these formidable artists in front of and behind the camera, we couldn’t be more thrilled – especially at this unique moment in time for our nation – about the powerful promise of The First Lady,” Amy Israel from Showtime Networks said.

The series will be even more impactful following the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. Namely, many Americans shared the moment in which young girls and other women watched her take the oath into office.

Harris being named vice-president was a historical moment in American history. Now, “The First Lady” will help chronicle how first ladies have helped shape history.

H/T: Deadline

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