Viola Davis Says ‘It’s Terrifying’ Portraying Michelle Obama in ‘The First Lady’

by Jamila Lizet White

March 29, 2021

Photo by Stefania D’Alessandro/Jim Bennett/Getty Images

Viola Davis is feeling the pressure of portraying Michelle Obama in Showtime’s anthology series, The First Lady. While appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the 55-year-old actress revealed how she’s preparing for the role after making a decision that she “can’t take back.”

Photo By: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“I think it was temporary insanity,” the Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom actress jokingly said after Jimmy Fallon asked why she accepted the role. “I lost my damn mind for about five minutes and made a damn decision that I can’t take back.”

“The woman is a damn goddess,” she continued. “Everybody knows her. Everybody feels like they want to protect her.”

Taking the advice she gives her daughter Genesis, the NAACP Image Award-winning actress is “going to do the best I can” and has been preparing for the role by speaking to the former First Lady for several hours.

“It’s terrifying because … sometimes someone doesn’t live up to whatever image you have in your head. But when they do live up to the image, it’s quite frightening. It really is.”

In 2019, TV One reported that the How to Get Away With Murder actress was slated to executive produce and portray the author in the series that will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of First Ladies.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, the Waffles + Mochi star expressed similar feelings of praise towards Davis.

“I feel that I’m not worthy,” Obama said. “I wish I could be better to live up to the character that Viola has to play, but it’s exciting.”

“Anything Viola does, she does it with passion and vigor, and I know she will do no less for this role,” she added.

Watch the full interview below and tell us: will you be tuning in?

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