Viola Davis Will Play Michelle Obama in an Upcoming Series About U.S. First Ladies

Viola Davis Will Play Michelle Obama in an Upcoming Series About U.S. First Ladies
@Harpers Bazaar


  • Viola Davis will portray Michelle Obama in an upcoming Showtime series called First Ladies.
  • The show will also feature Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford.

It’s really happening. Viola Davis has signed on to play former First Lady Michelle Obama for the upcoming series First Ladies for Showtime. The show doesn’t have a release date yet, but we do know that it will also feature the lives of Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Betty Ford, wife of Gerald Ford, according to Variety.

The outlet reported that the three-part drama will consist of hour-long episodes. Aaron Cooley is attached to write and executive-produce. Davis herself and her partner, Julius Tennon, are also among the executive producers.

The 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors

Obama and Davis applaud together at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2015.


The series is expected to “peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives” of past First Ladies, per Variety. Instead of revolving around the West Wing, it’ll focus on the East, “where many of history’s most impactful and world changing decisions have been hidden from view, made by America’s charismatic, complex, and dynamic First Ladies,” the outlet reported.

While Davis has not yet publicly responded to the news at the time of writing, it’s no secret that the Oscar winner is a fan of Obama. In January, she celebrated the former First Lady’s birthday by tweeting a photo of them together, writing, “Happy birthday to the Queen! My sis! My image of grace and beauty and intelligence!! All hail!!”

This won’t be Obama’s first time being memorialized on-screen. She was previously portrayed by Tika Sumpter in 2016’s Southside with You.

The former FLOTUS herself has a few projects up her sleeve in the entertainment industry after she and husband Barack signed a major deal to produce series and movies for Netflix. Just last week, the couple appeared in a video to promote their documentary, American Factory, which shines a light on the country’s working class.

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