Entertainment

Criticism of Viola Davis marks the premiere of the series ‘The First Lady’

– After premiering in the United States on the 17th, today it arrives on the Movistar Plus+ grid The First Lady, a new anthology drama focused on the figure of three former first ladies from three very different historical stages: Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Michelle Obama. Three women played, respectively, by Gillian Anderson (The Crown, The X-Files), Emmy and Screen Actor Guild winner; Oscar and Emmy nominee Michelle Pfeiffer (Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Lady Falcon); and Oscar, Emmy and Tony winner Viola Davis (Maids and Maids, How to Defend a Murderer).

The series also stars Kiefer Sutherland (24) as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Aaron Eckhart (wander) as President Gerald Ford, Dakota Fanning (the alienist) as Susan Elizabeth Ford; Regina Taylor (I’ll Fly Away) as Michelle Robinson Obama, Lily Rabe (American Horror Story) as Lorena “Hick” Hickok, and Jayme Lawson (batman) as the young Michelle Obama. Other guest stars are OT Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) as President Barack Obama, Judy Greer (Kidding) as Nancy Howe, Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist) as Sara Delano Roosevelt, Jackie Earle Haley (Secret Games) as Louis McHenry Howe, Maria Dizzia (Orange Is The New Black) as Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, and Kate Mulgrew (The man who came from the stars) as Susan Sher.

In the West Wing of the White House, many of the most relevant decisions with the greatest global impact were made from the shadows by charismatic, proactive and complex first ladies. The first season of this series takes a look behind the curtain to delve into the personal and political lives of Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, and Michele Obama, as well as those of their respective families, charting their own path to Washington, immersing themselves in their past and following them in their great moments beyond the White House. The stories of three unique and enigmatic women who intertwine in an intimate and organic way, almost as if the walls of the White House could speak.

American critics have been considerably harsh, not so much with the general tone of the series, but particularly with Viola Davis’ portrayal of Michelle Obama. They speak, for example, that her gestures are nothing like those of the first lady between 2009 and 2017. But Davis, in an interview with the BBC, has “dispatched” saying that “the criticism was incredibly hurtful. Critics are useless. And I’m not saying this to be rude. They always feel like they’re telling you something you don’t know. In a way it’s like you’re living a life where you’re surrounded by people lying to you and they’re like, ‘I’m going to be the one to come up and tell you the truth.’ So that gives them the opportunity to be cruel to you. It is almost impossible to answer them. You’re either doing too much or you’re not doing enough.”

Davis considers that they do not take into account how complicated it is to interpret a person whose presence and importance are so recent in people’s memories. Something that obviously does not happen in the case of the other two former first ladies who appear in the series.

The 10-episode series, created by Aaron Cooley, is executive produced by Academy Award winner Cathy Schulman (Crash), and the winner of a golden statuette and an Emmy Susanne Bier (In a better world), who is an executive producer and directs the entire first season.

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