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

Gillian Anderson First Lady

After an acclaimed turn as Margaret Thatcher on The Crown, Gillian Anderson has set her sights on another famous female in politics.

The actress will play Eleanor Roosevelt in Showtime’s The First Lady, an upcoming anthology that will pull back the curtain on the personal and political lives of three FLOTUSes. Described as a “revelatory reframing of American leadership,” the drama will be told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House, examining each First Lady’s journey to Washington through interweaving storylines.

In playing Roosevelt — a diplomat, activist and the longest-serving First Lady in history — Anderson will co-star opposite Viola Davis as Michelle Obama and Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford. The cast also includes Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) as President Gerald Ford, Judy Greer (Archer) as Betty Ford’s social secretary Nancy Howe, Rhys Wakefield (True Detective) as Dick Cheney, Kristine Forseth (The Society) as a young Betty Ford and newcomer Jayme Lawson as a young Michelle Obama.

“Gillian Anderson is an actress of incredible range and exquisite talent — she is the perfect choice to complete this powerhouse trio, who will inhabit the roles of these iconic women,” said Amy Israel, Showtime’s executive vice president of scripted programming. “It’s inspiring to have Gillian, Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, [director] Susanne Bier and [executive producer] Cathy Schulman at the forefront of The First Lady. They have truly set the stage for a landmark Showtime series.”

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In addition to her turn as Thatcher on The Crown‘s recent fourth season, for which she’s scored a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nomination, Anderson also currently co-stars on Netflix’s Sex Education, previously renewed for Season 3.