Gillian Anderson to Play Eleanor Roosevelt in New Showtime Series The First Lady


She recently played a formidable woman in the form of Margret Thatcher on the Netflix hit The Crown.

And Gillian Anderson is now set to play another historical figure, having been cast as Eleanor Roosevelt in the new Showtime series The First Lady.

The 52-year-old actress will star opposite Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford and Viola Davis as Michelle Obama in the anthology series about presidents’ wives.

New Role: Gillian Anderson is set to play another historical figure, as she has been cast as Eleanor Roosevelt in the new Showtime series The First Lady.

Speaking about casting Gillian, Amy Israel, Showtime’s Executive Vice President of Scripted Programming, said: ‘Gillian Anderson is an actress of incredible rank and exquisite talent – she is the perfect choice to round out this powerful trio, who will fill the roles of these iconic female characters. ‘

She continued: ‘It is inspiring to have Gillian, Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susanne Bier and Cathy Schulman fronting The First Lady.

“They have really set the stage for a landmark Showtime series.”

Icon: Eleanor, the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945, making her the longest serving First Lady in history (pictured 1962) .

Icon: Eleanor, the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945, making her the longest serving First Lady in history (pictured 1962) .

The series, created by Aaron Cooley, is described as a reshaping of American leadership, told through the eyes of women in the heart of the White House.

It will reveal the personal and political lives of the First Ladies throughout history, with the first season slated to focus on the wives of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Gerald Ford and Barack Obama.

Eleanor, the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945, making her the First Lady in the longest-serving position in history.

Co-star: Gillian will be in good company after it was revealed last month that Michelle Pfeiffer signed on to star as Betty Ford in the limited series.

Role: Michelle will play Betty Ford (pictured from 1987)

Co-star: Gillian will be in good company after it was revealed last month that Michelle Pfeiffer signed on to star as Betty Ford in the limited series.

He was an American political, activist, and diplomatic figure, known for his outspoken views, particularly regarding civil rights.

While she was the first presidential wife to chair regular press conferences, she hosts her own weekly radio show and writes her own newspaper column.

Gillian is nominated for a Golden Globe for her portrayal of another 20th century political icon, Margaret Thatcher, so she will certainly have no trouble putting herself in the great shoes of Eleanor.

The actress, who currently stars in Sex Education, is perhaps best known as FBI Special Agent Dana Scully on The X Files, which she starred in opposite David Duchovy (Fox Mulder).

Female Perspective - As they join Viola Davis as Michelle Obama on the series, who is also an executive producer alongside her husband Julius Tennon.

What a woman: Michelle Obama is another First Lady to appear in the series

Female Perspective – As they join Viola Davis as Michelle Obama on the series, who is also an executive producer alongside her husband Julius Tennon.

Good choice: 'Gillian Anderson is an actress of incredible rank and exquisite talent, is she the perfect choice to complete this powerful trio'

Good choice: ‘Gillian Anderson is an actress of incredible rank and exquisite talent; is the perfect choice to complete this powerful trio ‘

Gillian will be in good company after it was revealed last month that Michelle Pfeiffer, 62, signed on to star in the limited series.

As they join Viola Davis, 55, on the series, of which she is also an executive producer along with her husband Julius Tennon, 67.

Susanne Bier, whose credits include The Night Manager and The Undoing, will direct the episodes.

Showtime’s Amy previously said of the signings: “Michelle Pfeiffer and Susanne Bier have teamed up with the brilliant and incomparable Viola Davis to bring the extraordinary stories of these women into an urgent, fascinating and long-awaited focus.”

Inspiring: Eleanor was the first presidential wife to chair regular press conferences, host her own weekly radio show, and write her own newspaper column (pictured with President Roosevelt in 1941).

Inspiring: Eleanor was the first presidential wife to chair regular press conferences, host her own weekly radio show, and write her own newspaper column (pictured with President Roosevelt in 1941).

She continued: ‘Michelle brings authenticity, vulnerability and complexity to all her roles, and Susanne is a visionary director who dominates 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 excited, especially at this unique moment in time for our nation, by the mighty promise of The First Lady. ”

The stellar cast also includes Judy Greer as Nancy Howe, Aaron Eckhart as President Gerald Ford, and Kristine Forseth as young Betty Ford.

While Jayme Lawson will play a young Michelle Obama and Rhys Wakefield will play Vice President Dick Cheney.

Iron lady: Gillian is nominated for a Golden Globe for her portrayal of another 20th century political icon, Margaret Thatcher, so she will certainly have no trouble putting herself in Eleanor's shoes.

Iron lady: Gillian is nominated for a Golden Globe for her portrayal of another 20th century political icon, Margaret Thatcher, so she will certainly have no trouble putting herself in Eleanor’s shoes.

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