Michelle Obama is thrilled with the news that Viola Davis will be playing her in The First Lady. ET’s Kevin Frazier and his son, Reece, spoke to the former first lady about Davis’ casting in Showtime’s upcoming anthology series, with Obama gushing that the actress “is the greatest.”
“I feel that I’m not worthy,” she said. “I wish I could be better to live up to the character that Viola has to play, but it’s exciting.”
“Anything Viola does, she does it with passion and vigor, and I know she will do no less for this role,” Obama added of the actress, who will be joined by O-T Fagbenle as Barack Obama in the series.
Back in 2019, Davis told ET that she was “a little scared” to play Mrs. Obama in the show, which is described by the network as “a revelatory reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House.” It will also star Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford and Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt.
“She’s smart. She’s confident. She’s articulate. She believes in sisterhood,” Davis said of Obama. “… I wanna honor her. I wanna honor her with this portrayal because that’s what drama is. That’s what we do as actors, we want to honor the human being. We don’t want to give a portrayal that isn’t easy for people to swallow.”
While a premiere date for The First Lady has yet to be announced, fans can currently see the real-life Obama in her new Netflix children’s show, Waffles + Mochi.
The former first lady explained to ET how the show helped continue the work she started in the White House, while also being incredibly entertaining.
“I knew I wanted to find a way to continue the conversation about healthy eating and movement and Waffles + Mochi does it in a fun and creative way,” she said, adding that her kids, Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19, “were mesmerized” by the series.
“I remember when my kids were little and there wasn’t a lot of TV that I wanted to watch with them. There was a lot of great kids TV, but to have a show that I thought was funny and that was entertaining for them, that was exciting, that took you around the world, that would teach them about experiencing different kind of foods, this is exactly the kind of show I would’ve wanted,” she added. “… I watch this show even without my kids because it is hilarious.”