Cate Blanchett Named Mrs. America; Oscar Winner to Play Anti-Feminist Phyllis Schlafly in FX Limited Series

Cate Blanchett

Talk about a crowning achievement: FX has lured Cate Blanchett to the small screen.

The two-time Oscar winner has signed on to star in FX’s ’70s-set limited series Mrs. America, TVLine has learned. The gig will mark Blanchett’s first major role in a U.S. television series.

Created and written by former Mad Men scribe Dahvi Waller, Mrs. America tells the true story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and the unexpected backlash led by a conservative woman named Phyllis Schlafly (played by Blanchett).

Through the eyes of the women of that era — both Schlafly and second wave feminists Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and Jill Ruckelshaus — Mrs. America explores how one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the 70s helped give rise to the Moral Majority and forever shifted our political landscape.

In a statement, Blanchett — who will also serve as an EP alongside Waller, Stacey Sher, and Coco Francini — hailed the timeliness of the story. “I am extremely excited about delving into the material,” she said, “as there couldn’t be a more appropriate time to peel back the layers of this recent period of history, which couldn’t be more relevant today.”

Added FX CEO John Landgraf: “Cate Blanchett is one the great actors of our time, and we are truly honored to have her star in Mrs. America. We have no doubt that Cate is the perfect actor to play the role of Phyllis Schlafly, who was one of the most polarizing and fascinatingly complex figures of the ‘70s for her opposition to and role in defeating the Equal Rights Amendment, which to this day has never been ratified.“

Production on Mrs. America is slated to begin next year.

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