O-T Fagbenle to play Barack Obama in new series ‘The First Lady’

Opposite Viola Davis as Michelle Obama

O-T Fagbenle has been cast as Barack Obama in a recurring role in the forthcoming anthology series The First Lady.

The Handmaid’s Tale star will appear alongside Viola Davis as Michelle Obama in Showtime’s new drama series which, according to a press release, aims to reframe US politics “through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House”.

Michelle Pfeiffer will star as Betty Ford and Aaron Eckhart as President Gerald Ford in the first season, and Gillian Anderson will portray Eleanor Roosevelt. Susanne Bier (The Undoing) is on board to direct and executive produce.


Last April, Fagbenle created, wrote, directed, composed, executive produced and starred in the original series Maxxx for Channel 4 and Hulu. His other credits include The Five, The Interceptor, Looking, As If, and Doctor Who.

There is currently no release date set for The First Lady.

Fagbenle will next be seen as Mason in the Marvel film Black Widow opposite Scarlett Johansson.

Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh in a scene from the ©Walt Disney Studios new movie: ‘Black Widow’ (2020). CREDIT: LANDMARK MEDIA / Alamy Stock Photo

The film currently has a May 7, 2021 release date in the UK. It’s already been pushed back twice due to the coronavirus crisis, with the original May 2020 postponed and then moved again to November 2020.

Johansson has revealed a little of what to expect from her character in the movie. Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment at Comic-Con in 2019, the actress said it will revolve more around her characters flaws.


“I’m excited for fans to see the flawed side of her, what she perceives to be the flawed side of her,” she said. “I’m looking to wipe out some of that red in my ledger so you guys will be seeing more of that.”