By Nellie Andreeva
March 2, 2021
Dakota Fanning is set to portray Susan Elizabeth Ford opposite Michelle Pfeiffer’s Betty Ford and Aaron Eckhart’s Gerald Ford in Showtime’s anthology series The First Lady, headlined by Viola Davis, Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson. Davis executive produces the series, directed and executive produced by Susanne Bier and produced by Lionsgate TV and Showtime.
The First Lady, created by Aaron Cooley, is a revelatory reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House. Season 1 focuses on Eleanor Roosevelt (Anderson), Betty Ford (Pfeiffer) and Michelle Obama (Davis).
Fanning, a series regular who will appear in six episodes, will play Susan Elizabeth Ford, the only daughter and youngest child of President Gerald Ford (Eckhart) and Betty Ford (Pfeiffer). As a teenager in the White House during the tumultuous mid-70’s, she often introduced progressive ideas to the presidential family.
The First Lady reunites Fanning with Michelle Pfeiffer, with whom she co-starred in the 2001 feature I Am Sam. For her performance in the movie, then seven-year-old Fanning became the youngest performer to have been nominated for a SAG Award. She won a Best Young Actor/Actress Critics Choice Award for I Am Sam well as for War of the Worlds.
Fanning is joining a cast of series regulars that also includes O-T Fagbenle as well as recurring guest stars Rhys Wakefield, Judy Greer, Jayme Lawson and Kristine Froseth.
Cooley and Bier executive produce the series along with Davis, Julius Tennon and Andrew Wang via JuVee Productions, Cathy Schulman via her Welle Entertainment, Jeff Gaspin via Gaspin Media, Brad Kaplan via Link Entertainment.
Fanning recently starred in the two installment of TNT’s The Alienist and appeared in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. She is repped by UTA, Echo Lake Entertainment and attorney Steve Warren.