Here's What Michelle Obama Told Viola Davis Ahead Of 'The First Lady'


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Viola Davis is opening up about the talk she had with Michelle Obama as she prepared to play the former first lady in Showtime's upcoming series.

The First Lady premiering on Sunday (April 17) will feature Davis doing her best to "honor" Obama's legacy with her acting, Deadline reports.

During Deadline's Contenders TV event, the former How To Get Away With Murder star was asked about her upcoming role.

"What's dramatic about Michelle?" an audience member questioned Davis.

"I'll tell you what's dramatic," Davis said. "She is a Black woman and the first Black woman in the White House built by slaves, someone who literally was perceived to be overly masculine, not feminine, angry, hostile, and I will share one thing that she said to me."

Davis revealed she had a private conversation with the former first lady before taking on The First Lady. The actress chose not to disclose all the details of their talk but told the audience she would say "one thing" Obama told her.

"She said, 'I'm not even an angry person.' Isn't that something? Listen, I am sort of an angry person, but she's not. And so what I wanted to do was honor her and not the perception of what Black women are supposed to be," Davis said.

The First Lady will depict White House history through the eyes of former first ladies in a 10-episode series. Obama will be played by Davis, Eleanor Roosevelt's role went to Gillian Anderson, and Michelle Pfeiffer will be portrayed as Betty Ford.

According to Deadline, in one of the series' scenes, Michelle Obama expresses her fears for Barack Obama's safety when he began his presidential run. In the show, Michelle Obama will even use the N-word to describe the vicious racism and hate Barack Obama will likely face during his campaign.

Davis said, “We use creative license because we all know that Michelle Obama is someone who does not like politics, the viciousness of it, and so it was an imagined conversation. She added, "And I did push for those words to be used because I know that those are the words that Black people use in private. We do."

"We use those words in private, especially to drive something home, and Michelle Obama is from the South Side of Chicago. So I felt it was imagined but I felt good about it being something that could have happened,” Davis noted.

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