As if having Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning actress Cate Blanchett portraying conservative anti-Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) activist Phyllis Schlafly wasn’t enough to get eyeballs glued to FX‘s Mrs. America, the network has announced 11 more stellar names coming aboard the upcoming limited series. Joining Blanchett are Uzo Aduba, Rose Byrne, Kayli Carter, Ari Graynor, Melanie Lynskey, James Marsden, Margo Martindale, Sarah Paulson, John Slattery, Jeanne Tripplehorn, and Tracey Ullman.
Set to premiere on FX in 2020, Mrs. America tells the true story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and the unexpected backlash led by a conservative woman named Phyllis Schlafly (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.
Created, written, and executive produced by series showrunner Dahvi Waller and executive produced by Stacey Sher, Waller, Coco Francini, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, and Blanchett, Mrs. America traces the history of – and resistance to – the ERA movement. Captain Marvel writers/directors Boden and Fleck are set to direct the first two episodes of the season:
● 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.
● 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.
● Carter as Pamela – Pamela, a fictional character, is a young, impressionable housewife who is an early member of Phyllis’ anti-ERA movement.
● 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.
● Lynskey as Rosemary Thomson – Thomson was a homemaker in Schlafley’s inner circle who eagerly joined her fight against the ERA.
● Marsden as Phil Crane – Crane was a conservative congressman from Phyllis’ home state of Illinois and one of her most powerful allies.
● 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.
● Paulson as Alice – Alice, a fictional character, is Phyllis’ best friend who joins Phyllis’ efforts to block the ERA.
● Slattery as Fred Schlafy – Phyllis’ husband was a prominent lawyer, GOP donor and anti-communist.
● 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.
●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.