Showtime has cast the rest of the Roosevelt family in its upcoming anthology series The First Lady. Per Deadline, joining Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt and Kiefer Sutherland as President Franklin D. Roosevelt are Ellen Burstyn (Pieces of a Woman), Eliza Scanlen (Sharp Objects) and Cailee Spaeny (Mare of Easttown).
Burstyn will play Sara Delano Roosevelt, the mother of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt’s mother-in-law. “Fiercely devoted to her only son, she commissioned a pair of houses as a wedding present for Franklin and his wife, on the strict condition that she could move in next to them. She had a complex and often domineering relationship with Eleanor, but the pair eventually grew close.”
Scanlen will portray a “young Eleanor Roosevelt. The favorite niece of President Theodore Roosevelt, Eleanor lost both of her parents at a very young age. At 15, Eleanor was sent to Allenswood Academy, where she became an independent thinking, progressive and self-confident young woman. She married her fifth cousin Franklin in 1905.”
Spaeny will play Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, “the eldest child and only daughter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. Anna was a writer, newspaper editor and special aide-de-camp to her father, acting as his assistant during World War II. Beloved by both parents, Anna also carried the burden of being the peacekeeper in her parents’ unconventional marriage.”
Described as “a revelatory reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House”, the first season of The First Lady will focus on three former First Ladies: Betty Ford, Michelle Obama and Eleanor Roosevelt. Along with Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt is Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit) and Viola Davis (How To Get Away With Murder) as Betty Ford and Michelle Obama respectively. The series will be directed and executive produced by Susanne Bier (The Undoing).
Also starring the series are Aaron Eckhart (Line of Duty) as President Gerald Ford, O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) as President Barack Obama, Dakota Fanning (The Alienist) as Susan Elizabeth Ford, Rhys Wakefield (True Detective) as Dick Cheney, Judy Greer (Kidding) as Nancy Howe, Jayme Lawson (The Batman) as a young Michelle Obama and Kristine Froseth (Looking for Alaska) as a young Betty Ford.
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