Kiefer Sutherland Brought In to Play Franklin D. Roosevelt on 'The First Lady'

The 'Designated Survivor' actor will star opposite Gillian Anderson, who has been tapped to portray Roosevelt's wife Eleanor, in the anthology project from Showtime.

AceShowbiz - Kiefer Sutherland is heading back to the Oval Office after signing on to portray President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Showtime series "The First Lady".

The actor, who portrayed reluctant U.S. leader Tom Kirkman in "Designated Survivor", will join Gillian Anderson in the anthology project. She'll play Roosevelt's wife, Eleanor.

Viola Davis, who also executive produces, and Michelle Pfeiffer will portray Michelle Obama and Betty Ford in the first season of the upcoming series, created by Aaron Cooley and directed by Susanne Bier.

Viola has previously talked about her casting as Michelle. "She's smart. She's confident. She's articulate. She believes in sisterhood," the 55-year-old said.

"I wanna honor her. I wanna honor her with this portrayal because that's what the drama is. That's what we do as actors, we want to honor the human being," she added. "We don't want to give a portrayal that isn't easy for people to swallow."

Michelle herself has commented about Viola's casting. "I feel that I'm not worthy," she said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. "I wish I could be better to live up to the character that Viola has to play, but it's exciting. Anything Viola does, she does it with passion and vigour, and I know she will do no less for this role."

Aaron Eckhart will portray President Gerald Ford, O-T Fagbenle will tackle President Barack Obama, and Dakota Fanning has been cast as Susan Elizabeth Ford in the series.

Sutherland joins a long list of actors who have portrayed the 32nd President onscreen - Bill Murray, Kenneth Branagh, Ralph Bellamy, Jon Voight, and David Strathairn have also played Roosevelt.

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