The First Lady star Michelle Pfeiffer doesnt want to play a real person again. One of the most recognized performers of her time Pfeiffers career has spanned four decades. She earned the attention of Hollywood after taking on her first leading role in Grease 2. Despite the musical film being a critical and commercial failure it did propel Pfeiffer into more serious films including The Fabulous Baker Boys. By the 90s Pfeiffer was a household name and earned widespread acclaim for her work as Selina Kyle Catwoman in Batman Returns.In 2020 Showtime announced that the series The First Lady was in the works then called First Ladies. Directed by Susanne Bier the White House centered anthology series by Aaron Cooley focuses on the countrys most high profile spouses personal and political lives with season 1 following Eleanor Roosevelt Betty Ford and Michelle Obama. Pfeiffer was cast as Betty Ford who was in the White House from 1974 to 1977 when Gerald Ford served as the President. During her tenure as First Lady Betty Ford made a profound impact with her comments on hot button issues and was transparent about her struggles with alcoholism and substance abuse.
Now Pfeiffer opens up about taking on the challenging role. In an EW conversation with her co stars Pfeiffer says Betty Ford will be her last portrayal of a real person. Pfeiffer explains that playing a real person comes with its own weighty set of challenges. However she was honored to take on the role. Read Pfeiffers full comment below Pfeiffer has tackled playing real people before The First Lady including LouAnne Johnson in Dangerous Minds and Ruth Madoff in The Wizard of Lies. However The First Lady seems to have been an especially challenging endeavor for all involved. Recently Pfeiffers co star Viola Davis revealed portraying Michelle Obama was difficult and she was terrified to play the former First Lady. Considering Davis Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson who plays Eleanor Roosevelt are long established talents Davis and Pfeiffers comments speak to the complexity of the roles. Luckily the lead performances of all three actors continue to receive critical acclaim across the board.
Pfeiffer who is known for her ability to bring authenticity and vulnerability to her roles was the ideal choice to explore Betty Fords groundbreaking term as First Lady. If Pfeiffer sticks with her decision to make Ford her last portrayal of a real person it would be an excellent role to end on. Of course the actors career shows no sign of slowing down Pfeiffer recently wrapped her role in the highly anticipated Ant Man and the Wasp Quantumania. The First Lady airs Sundays on Showtime.