By Joe Otterson
March 2, 2021
Dakota Fanning has signed on to play Susan Ford in the Showtime anthology series “The First Lady,” Variety has learned.
Susan is the only daughter of Betty Ford and President Gerald Ford, who will be played in the series by Michelle Pfeiffer and Aaron Eckhart respectively. Susan was a teenager during her father’s time in the White House and is said to have often introduced progressive ideas to her family.
“The First Lady” will also star Viola Davis as Michelle Obama, Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt, and O-T Fagbenle as President Barack Obama, among others. The series is described as a reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House.
Fanning will be a series regular, appearing in six episodes. The role reunites her with Pfeiffer, with whom she starred in the 2001 film “I Am Sam.” Her appearance in the film earned her a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, making her the youngest person to be nominated for the award at the age of seven. Fanning was most recently seen in the TNT series “The Alienist.” Her feature credits include “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” “War of the Worlds,” “Uptown Girls,” “Man on Fire,” the “Twilight” films, and “Please Stand By.”
She is repped by UTA, Echo Lake Entertainment, and Hansen Jacobson.
“The First Lady” is written and executive produced by Aaron Cooley. Davis is also executive producing along with Julius Tennon and Andrew Wang of JuVee Productions. Cathy Schulman of Welle Entertainment executive produces along with Jeff Gaspin via Gaspin Media, and Brad Kaplan of LINK Entertainment. Susanne Bier is attached to direct and executive produce. Showtime and Lionsgate Television will produce.