Viola Davis to portray Michelle Obama in new television series, First Ladies

Viola Davis will play former US First Lady Michelle Obama in a new TV drama, according to multiple US news outlets.

The Oscar-winning actress will portray Obama in First Ladies – a Showtime series looking at several US presidents’ wives throughout history.

Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford will be the focus of the first series, written by novelist Aaron Cooley from materials sourced entirely from the public domain. Davis and her partner Julius Tennon will serve as non-writing executive producers on the project via their JuVee Productions company, alongside Cathy Schulman via Welle Entertainment, Jeff Gaspin via Gaspin Media and Brad Kaplan via LINK Entertainment, according to Deadline.

First Ladies will aim to provide insight into both the personal and political lives of presidents’ spouses.

It will also show how many major political decisions were made in the White House’s east wing, where the First Lady and her staff are based. The Obamas spent eight years in the White House from 2008 to 2016.

Michelle Obama has met the actress on several occasions. In 2017, Davis posted a tribute to Obama on Facebook, uploading a picture of the pair together and writing: “May you continue to shine your light and impact future generations to come.”

Davis won her Oscar for best supporting actress in 2017 for Fences and has also previously starred in The Help, Widows and Suicide Squad.

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