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EE British Academy Film Awards (Baftas)

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Viola Davis has the honor of portraying Michelle Obama in the upcoming Showtime series, The First Lady. In first look photos released by Entertainment Weekly, Davis is in full-fledged FLOTUS mode, sporting Obama’s signature straight tresses and closed-mouth smile.

To prepare for the role, the How to Get Away With Murder star said she studied Obama by reading her book Becoming and watching her 2020 Netflix documentary of the same name.

“I feel very protective of Michelle,” Davis told EW. “It’s our job as actors not to judge whoever we are portraying, but I ended up thinking she’s just dope.”

Davis added on social media that playing Obama was ‘”terrifying” but it still was an “incredible honor to portray this extraordinary woman.”

Along with Davis, actress Lexi Underwood will star as Malia, Regina Taylor will play Obama’s mother Marian Robinson and Saniyya Sidney will play Sasha Obama. Young Michelle Obama will be played by Jayme Lawson.

Obama won’t be the only former First Lady spotlighted in the series. Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt’s stories will also be told. According to Showtime, the limited series will chronicle the women’s rise to the White House and their experiences supporting the commanders-in-chief. A synopsis on Showtime read:

In the East Wing of the White House, 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. This series will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of three unique, enigmatic women, tracing their journeys to Washington through interweaving storylines with an enlightening intimacy, with season one focusing on Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Michelle Pfeiffer will star as Betty Ford and Gillian Anderson will play Eleanor Roosevelt.

The First Lady will premiere in the spring of 2022.

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