Aaron Eckhart has signed on to play President Gerald Ford in the upcoming Showtime anthology series “The First Lady.”
Formerly known as “First Ladies,” the show is described as a reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House. Eckhart joins previously announced series stars Viola Davis and Michelle Pfeiffer, who will play Michelle Obama and Betty Ford respectively. Variety exclusively reported that Jayme Lawson and Kristine Froseth will play a young Obama and a young Ford, while Pamela Adlon and Rhys Wakefield will also appear in the show. The first season of the series will also explore the life of Eleanor Roosevelt, with that role yet to be cast.
Gerald Ford Jr., star linebacker for the University of Michigan Wolverines, married Betty Bloomer Ford in 1948 and served as a member of the House of Representatives for 25 years, holding Michigan’s 5th congressional district seat from 1949 to 1973. He later became the only person to serve as both Vice President and President of the Unites States without being elected to either office by the Electoral College.
Eckhart is primarily known for his film roles, having starred in features like “The Core,” “The Dark Knight,” “Bleed for This,” “Thank You for Smoking,” and “Erin Brockovich.” “The First Lady” will mark the first regular live-action television role of his career, though he is lending his voice to the upcoming AMC animated drama “Pantheon.”
He is repped by CAA and Hirsch Wallerstein.
“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.
Deadline first reported Eckhart’s casting.