Cate Blanchett is coming to TV for the first time (and for an Emmy), and here’s your first look at her in action. The trailer for the Oscar winner’s new FX limited series “Mrs. America” dropped Thursday.
Based on real events, the series stars Blanchett as Phyllis Schlafly, a conservative who sparked the backlash during the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The all-star cast includes Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm — the first African-American congresswoman — Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem and Margo Martindale as congresswoman Bella Abzug. Sarah Paulson also stars as a fictional character, Alice, Phyllis’ best friend who joins her efforts to block the ERA.
“I am not against women. I am not against women working outside the home,” Blanchett’s Phyllis declares in the trailer. “But what I am against is the women’s liberation movement.”
During the show’s panel at Thursday’s Television Critics Association winter press tour, Blanchett shared that she was unfamiliar with Schlafly until the project and explained why she felt it was vital to tell the story now, focused on a person who carried some outdated views and could be perceived, as a reporter put it, unlikable.
“I’m interested in, always, that drama is a place to explore gray areas … but it’s a non-judgmental series that asks a myriad of generations, ‘What do you think about this?’ ‘How do you feel about that figure or that policy or that movement? How would you describe yourself? What’s your relationship?’ You might understand your mother-in-law. It’s all about conversation, and I think it’s so relevant to the world in which we live, not just for women, but for men,” Blanchett said. “I think it’s a really interesting thing to ask: What was so terrifying about the notion of equality and how do we view the Constitution? I think the Constitution has become a biblical document. We’re so terrified to alter it, to amend to, to change, and surely democracy has to be an organic beast, so that’s one conversation to be had. It’s to spark a conversation for me.”
The nine-episode series will premiere with three episodes on Wednesday, April 15 on the network’s new streaming hub, FX on Hulu. Subsequent episodes will debut on the platform weekly.