Behind every powerful man is a powerful woman, and The First Lady wants to tell their stories. Ahead of its April 17th premiere, Showtime has shared the first trailer for the anthology series, where Michelle Obama (Viola Davis), Betty Ford (Michelle Pfeiffer), and Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson) hold their own behind White House doors.
“In four years, I don’t want to look back and think, ‘What did I become living in that house?'” Davis says as Obama early on in the trailer, opening the flood gates for a two-minute compilation of drama. The First Lady peels back the curtain on the personal and political lives of three of America’s most beloved first ladies — all of whom made a point to serve a bigger role while in the White House than to just be the president’s wife.
Davis’ Obama vows to choose her own political causes, while Pfeiffer’s Ford makes her individuality non-negotiable. As for Roosevelt, Anderson, nailing the activist’s toothy drawl, reminds her husband of her independence, asserting, “You are the husband of a wife who has a mind and a life of her own.” Naturally, the trailer cuts to shots of the First Lady enjoying the company of a woman, so it’s safe to assume her storyline. Watch the trailer below.
A star-studded supporting cast rounds out The First Lady’s heavy weight headliners. Kiefer Sutherland portrays President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Aaron Eckhart serves as President Gerald Ford, and O-T Fagbenle portrays President Barack Obama. Dakota Fanning, Regina Taylor, Lily Rabe, and Jayme Lawson also appear.
Created by Aaron Cooley, the 10-episode series is executive produced by Cathy Schulman, who also pulls double duty as showrunner. Susanne Bier serves as executive producer and director of all 10 episodes. The anthology premieres Sunday, April 17th at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.
Davis and Anderson have a knack for portraying historical figures. The former provided an invigorating performance of blues pioneer Ma Rainey in the 2020 film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, while the latter scored an Emmy for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in Season 4 of The Crown. As for Pfeiffer, the famous Catwoman last appeared in 2020’s French Exit.