It looks like Viola Davis will be taking on the role of a lifetime.
In the upcoming Showtime anthology series, the Oscar winner will be playing none other than Former First Lady Michelle Obama. Now it’s officially been ordered to a series!
As Variety writes, this news comes around five months after it was first reported the project was in development.
According to The Hollywood Reporter last August, it was announced that First Ladies, a one-hour drama, would focus on the personal and political lives of some of the White House’s most famous spouses, with the first season showcasing Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford.
“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,” the logline reads, adding, “This series will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of our most enigmatic heroes.”
Clearly playing any First Lady isn’t easy, but playing this country’s first African-American one is going to be a challenge. An actress would have to dig deep and embody all the obstacles that Mrs. Obama had face from not wanting to be in the spotlight to being labeled as “an angry Black woman” from mainstream media to finding her own identity during the 8 years she and former President Obama lived in the White House.
That, and whoever was to play her would have to channel that level of strength, regalness and sparkle, Michelle exudes every time she walks into a room. But here’s what we know: If anyone can do it and do it well, it’s Viola.
So to celebrate this amazing casting news, here are 7 times that whether on the red carpet, speaking her mind or giving an inspiring speech, Viola Davis gave us First Lady Michelle Obama realness.
1. Uses Her Platform To Speak Truth To Power
Like Michelle’s ‘when they go low, we go high speech,” Viola isn’t afraid to speak truth to power. Especially when it comes to the barriers that so many Black women in America have to face. Here, Viola won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama (the first in the Academy’s history) and sheds light on what stands in the way Black actresses succeeding in white Hollywood. This is bravery y’all.
2. The Queen Of Colors On The Red CarpetSource:Getty
There isn’t a color that the Oscar, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Award-winning actress cannot rock and basically own. From red to blue to white to this canary yellow one-shoulder Michael Kors Collection dress she wore to the 2017 Golden Globes, it’s clear that like Michelle, fashion is one of her biggest friends.
3. Has A Smile And Sense Of Humor That Melts Our HeartsSource:Getty
Like Michelle’s “Turnip For What” video, this pic of Viola at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in 2017 always makes us laugh because we love seeing a Black woman carefree, enjoying life and being silly. That, and we love to see a Black woman winning, especially an Academy Award.
4. The Epitome of Not Just Black Beauty, But All Beauty
Whether it’s the White House or the big or small screen, for so long we have been told that our bodies and our look don’t fit into the mainstream. But for both women, their visibility, presence and influence have affirmed what we have always known about ourselves: We are beautiful, we are worthy.
5. Always Dripping With Swag
Remember when #ForeverFLOTUS broke Beyonce’s Internet with those glittery Balenciaga thigh-high boots? All swag…and Viola ain’t too shabby on that end either. Here for her photoshoot for the 2018 Winter cover of L’officiel USA, the HTDAWM star is serving up a serious lewk AND a mood! That confidence is clear and very First Lady becoming.
6. Slays The Magazine Covers…Everytime
Over the years our Former First Lady has always given us angles and radiated power on the covers of magazines such as Vogue, Ebony and In Style. And so has Viola, most recently on the 2018 cover of NetAPorter. She did not come to play…she came to slay!
7. Never Afraid To Shift America’s Mindset
Michelle has and continues to shed light on racism in America, as did Viola in this eye-opening sit-down with Joy-Ann Reid at 2018’s Women in the World Summit in New York City. Here she didn’t hold back about colorism in America, the impact that Jim Crow has had on us as a society and the importance of paying Black women what they are worth.