Gillian Anderson to Play Eleanor Roosevelt in New Series 'First Ladies'

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday February 25, 2021
Originally published on February 24, 2021

Gillian Anderson at BAFTA Film Awards in London, Feb. 2, 2020
Gillian Anderson at BAFTA Film Awards in London, Feb. 2, 2020  (Source:Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Gillian Anderson will play Eleanor Roosevelt in Showtime's drama "The First Lady," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The "X Files" actress, fresh off an acclaimed run playing Margaret Thatcher in Netflix's "The Crown," joins Michelle Pfeiffer and Viola Davis for the upcoming anthology series, the first season of which focuses on First Ladies Betty Ford (Pfeiffer) and Michelle Obama (Davis).

Amy Israel, Executive Vice President of Scripted Programming at Showtime, said "Gillian Anderson is an actress of incredible range and exquisite talent — she is the perfect choice to complete this powerhouse trio, who will inhabit the roles of these iconic women."

Roosevelt, who was the first lady from 1933-1945, was the longest serving in U.S. history. The Hollywood Reporter says of Roosevelt, "Controversial for her outspokenness, particularly on civil rights, she was the first presidential spouse to hold regular press conferences, write a daily newspaper column and host a weekly radio show. She also pushed the United States to join and support the United Nations and became its first delegate."

Anderson also stars in the British comedy "Sex Education," in which she plays Dr. Jean Milburn, an overly frank sex therapist and mother to lead character Otis, played by Asa Butterfield. Netflix recently announced the show would return for a third season, though a release date — and whether or not the show has been able to resume filming in the pandemic — is still unknown.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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