Viola Davis to star as Michelle Obama in new TV show

February 6, 2020
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Viola Davis will play Michelle Obama in an upcoming drama about America’s first ladies.

The 54-year-old will also be an executive producer on First Ladies, along with her husband actor Julius Tennon through their production company JuVee.

The Oscar-winning actress wrote on Twitter: “Sooo proud!!! Honoring and elevating these powerful, worthy Queens with respect.”

A Showtime production, the drama’s first season will tell the story of three presidential wives, Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Michelle Obama.

Davis runs a production company with her husband Julius Tennon
Image:
Davis runs production company JuVee with her husband Julius Tennon

While political shows normally focus on the world-changing decisions taking place in the West Wing of the White House, this one will highlight the personal and political lives of the women in the East Wing.

Showtime president of entertainment Jana Winograde described having Davis play Obama as “a dream come true”.

Winograde said: “Throughout our history, presidents’ spouses have wielded remarkable influence, not only on the nation’s leaders but on the country itself.

“First Ladies fits perfectly within the Showtime wheelhouse of drama and politics, revealing how much personal relationships impact both domestic and global events.”

It’s the first time Michelle Obama will have been portrayed on TV, although she was played by actress Tika Sumpter in the 2016 film Southside With You.

Davis was the first black actor to achieve the triple crown of acting
Image:
Davis was the first black actor to achieve the triple crown of acting

Behind the scenes, the former US president and his wife have signed a multi-year production deal with Netflix to make their own movies, series and documentaries through their production company Higher Ground.

Davis is the first black actor to achieve the triple crown of acting – an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony.

She will finish work on the sixth and final series of ABC drama How To Get Away With Murder in the spring.



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