FX announced today that Uzo Aduba, Rose Byrne, Kayli Carter, Ari Graynor, Melanie Lynskey, James Marsden, Margo Martindale, Sarah Paulson, John Slattery, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Tracey Ullman will join Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett in the limited series Mrs. America for producer Dahvi Waller and executive producers Stacey Sher, Waller, Coco Francini, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck and Blanchett. The series will debut in 2020.
Mrs. America tells the story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and the unexpected backlash led by a conservative woman named Phyllis Schlafly, played by Blanchett. Through the eyes of the women of that era – both Schlafly and second wave feminists Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and Jill Ruckelshaus – the series explores how one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the 70s helped give rise to the Moral Majority and forever shifted our political landscape.
The newly announced cast features (in alphabetical order):
UZO ADUBA as SHIRLEY CHISHOLM – Chisholm not only made history as the first African American Congresswoman, but also became the first African American candidate to run for President from a national political party when she launched her unprecedented 1972 campaign.
ROSE BYRNE as GLORIA STEINEM – Steinem was the most recognizable leader of the women’s movement, who co-founded Ms. Magazine and played a major part in the effort to pass the ERA.
KAYLI CARTER as “PAMELA” (Fictional) – “Pamela” is a young, impressionable housewife who is an early member of Phyllis’ anti-ERA movement.
ARI GRAYNOR as BRENDA FEIGEN-FASTEAU – A Harvard-educated lawyer, Feigen-Fasteau was a young feminist in the women’s movement who co-founded Ms. Magazine with Steinem and helped the feminist effort to pass the ERA.
MELANIE LYNSKEY as ROSEMARY THOMSON – Thomson was a homemaker in Schlafley’s inner circle who eagerly joined her fight against the ERA.
JAMES MARSDEN as PHIL CRANE – Crane was a conservative congressman from Phyllis’ home state of Illinois and one of her most powerful allies.
MARGO MARTINDALE as BELLA ABZUG – A leading figure in the feminist movement, Abzug was a three-term Congresswoman who spearheaded the effort to pass the ERA.
SARAH PAULSON as “ALICE” (Fictional) – “Alice” is Phyllis’ best friend who joins Phyllis’ efforts to block the ERA.
JOHN SLATTERY as FRED SCHLAFLY – Phyllis’ husband was a prominent lawyer, GOP donor and anti-communist.
JEANNE TRIPPLEHORN as ELEANOR SCHLAFLY – Eleanor is Fred’s unmarried sister and a close confidante of Phyllis. Eleanor is a devoted aunt to Phyllis’ six children.
TRACEY ULLMAN as BETTY FRIEDAN – Known as the mother of the women’s movement, Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique and co-founded the National Women’s Political Caucus. She was an active proponent of the ERA.
Mrs. America is written by Emmy Award winning writer Dahvi Waller (Mad Men) and executive produced by two-time Academy Award nominee Stacey Sher, Waller, Coco Francini, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, and Blanchett, with Micah Schraft serving as Co-Executive Producer. Mrs. America marks Blanchett’s first role in an American television program. The nine-episode limited series is produced by FX Productions, with Waller serving as showrunner.