FX has filled out the ensemble for its upcoming limited series Mrs. America, and it’s straight out of the Prestige TV playbook.
Sarah Paulson, James Marsden and Uzo Aduba are among 11 additions to the drama, which will star Oscar winner Cate Blanchett. 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 (Blanchett).
Through the eyes of the women of that era, Mrs. America “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 official synopsis reads.
Here’s a breakdown of the newly cast roles:
* Paulson (American Horror Story) as Alice, the fictional best friend of Phyllis who joins her efforts to block the ERA
* Marsden (Westworld) as Phil Crane, a conservative congressman from Phyllis’ home state of Illinois and one of her most powerful allies
* Aduba (Orange Is the New Black) as Shirley Chisholm, who made history as the first African-American congresswoman. She also became the first African-American candidate to run for president from a national political party when she launched her unprecedented campaign in 1972.
* John Slattery (Mad Men) as Fred Schlafly, Phyllis’ anti-Communist husband who was a prominent lawyer and GOP donor
* Rose Byrne (Damages) as Gloria Steinem, the most recognizable leader of the women’s movement, who co-founded the magazine Ms. and played a major part in the effort to pass the ERA
* Margo Martindale (The Americans) as Bella Abzug, a three-term congresswoman who spearheaded the effort to pass the ERA
* Ari Graynor (I’m Dying Up Here) as Brenda Feigen-Fasteau, a Harvard-educated lawyer and young feminist who co-founded Ms. with Steinem
* Melanie Lynskey (Castle Rock) as Rosemary Thomson, a homemaker in Schlafley’s inner circle who eagerly joined her fight against the ERA
* Tracey Ullman (The Tracey Ullman Show) as Betty Friedan, known as the mother of the women’s movement. An active proponent of the ERA, Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique and co-founded the National Women’s Political Caucus.
* Jeanne Tripplehorn (Criminal Minds) as Eleanor Schlafly, Fred’s unmarried sister and a close confidant of Phyllis, who is also a devoted aunt to Phyllis’ six children
* Kayli Carter (Godless) as Pamela, a young and impressionable (and fictional) housewife who is an early member of Phyllis’ anti-ERA movement
Mrs. America, which spans nine episodes, is slated for a 2020 premiere on FX. Your thoughts on this cast? Drop ’em in a comment below.