Viola Davis Steps Into the White House as this Iconic First Lady

Over the years, we have seen several women grace the screen to play America’s First Lady. From Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy in Jackie, to Emma Thompson as Hillary Rodham Clinton in Primary Colors, countless women have stepped into the role of the president’s wife.

Now, Showtime has created a series that takes a peek inside the lives of several first ladies with First Ladies. There hasn’t been much released about casting, but we do know How to Get Away with Murder star Viola Davis will step into the White House to play an iconic first lady. If the rest of the casting is this impressive, First Ladies will definitely be a show you need to watch. 

Is ‘First Ladies’ the American version of ‘The Crown’?

Viola Davis smiling
Viola Davis | Andreas Solaro/Getty Images

Last year, Deadline announced a new show that was in development at Showtime. First Ladies follows the lives of the women behind the scenes at the White House. While not elected to their posts but still, nonetheless, “have wielded remarkable influence, not only on the nation’s leaders but on the country itself,” as Showtime President of Entertainment, Jana Winograde, points out. 

The show will be written by Aaron Cooley and follows the lives of several former first ladies. On deck for season one are Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, and Michelle Obama. Though the television series will be fictional in nature, it will still derive a lot of its plotline and characters from actual figures and events. 

If you think the plot sounds familiar, you’re not alone. The premise sounds a lot like Netflix’s The Crown, set on this side of the pond. Beyond the show’s creator and the basic plotline, a lot of the details remain to be seen. 

A key casting decision has already been announced

When you’re developing a show like First Ladies, the cast has to be perfect. This is a show based on some of the world’s most famous figures, some of whom are still very much alive.

Deadline recently announced the show has been officially picked up, and at the same time confirmed one of the show’s stars. According to Deadline, Viola Davis will step in to play 41st first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama

During her time in the White House, Obama became known for championing healthy living and advocating for children. She demanded a presence and always did so with class and style. 

Davis seems like a perfect fit for the role. Her voice is powerful, she handles herself with grace, and she knows how to get the room’s attention.

Viola Davis continues to deliver

For anyone who wasn’t paying attention, it may have seemed like Davis lucked into her role as Annalise Keating on How to Get Away with Murder. Her star has skyrocketed since starring in the Shonda Rhimes show. But anyone who has followed the actress knows that the 54-year-old has been around in Hollywood for a long time. She has created an impressive resume, including an Oscar win in 2017.

For the early part of her career, Davis appeared primarily in recurring guest spots in TV shows and in television movies. Following How to Get Away with Murder, the actress started to land bigger roles. In 2011, the actress played Aibileen Clark in The Help. Two years later she was Major Gwen Anderson in Ender’s Game.

From Aibileen Clark and Rose Maxson (Fences) to Annalise Keating and Amanda Waller (Suicide Squad), Davis has played some iconic women. Judging by the show’s description and the actress’s resume, it’s safe to say Davis will soon be able to add her latest role to her list of unforgettable performances.