Cate Blanchett to lead Mrs. America limited series for FX

One of Hollywood's brightest stars, Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actor Cate Blanchett, has been tapped by FX to lead MRS. AMERICA, a nine-episode limited series that's sure to rattle a few cages as it explores the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The show comes courtesy of Emmy-winning writer Dahvi Waller (ELI STONE, MAD MEN, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES), Oscar-nominated producer Stacey Sher (ERIN BROCKOVICH, GATTACA), and FX Productions. Blanchett, Sher, Waller, and Coco Francini will executive produce with Waller acting as showrunner.

According to the upcoming program's press release:

“Mrs. America tells the true 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 Cate 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.”

Recently, John Landgraf, CEO, FX Networks and FX Productions said:

"Cate Blanchett is one the great actors of our time – and we are truly honored to have her star in Mrs. America. We have no doubt that Cate is the perfect actor to play the role of Phyllis Schlafly, who was one of the most polarizing and fascinatingly complex figures of the ‘70s for her opposition to and role in defeating the Equal Rights Amendment, which to this day has never been ratified. Dahvi Waller’s scripts are extraordinary, and I’m thrilled to re-unite with my former Jersey TV partner Stacey Sher, and commend her on assembling such a dynamic foursome of gifted, female, artist-producers to take on this timely story."

Blanchett then added her own take to the conversation by saying:

“I feel privileged to have this opportunity to collaborate with Dahvi, Stacey and Coco under the robust and fearless FX umbrella. I am extremely excited about delving into the material as there couldn’t be a more appropriate time to peel back the layers of this recent period of history, which couldn’t be more relevant today.”

While it strikes me as odd that FX would focus down on an anti-feminist activist figure during today's heightened #MeToo climate, I have to wonder if I'm  now guilty of judging a book by its cover with regard to Schlafly's controversial character. While my instinct is to balk at the idea, I must admit that Blanchett's involvement in the project has me quite intrigued. After all, I can't recall the last time that she'd done me wrong. Perhaps this is an opportunity to learn about the other side of the fence ... or, it's a series that will float like a lead balloon. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. Color me optimistic.



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