Viola Davis Talks Playing Michelle Obama: ‘I’m a Little Scared’

Viola Davis is about to step into Michelle Obama’s shoes for the upcoming Showtime drama series “First Ladies,” but the esteemed actress admits she has her own fears about playing the major role. Even Oscar winners get nervous!

The “How to Get Away with Murder” star spoke to “ET” about the importance of the part, revealing that she considers the challenge a critical chapter in her career. “Listen, here’s the thing: You could either fail really big or succeed really big, and I feel this is my sort of succeed very big or fail very big moment," Davis confessed.

"I'm a little scared… I've met Michelle Obama and… awesome. Exactly what you think she is, she is. She's awesome," she went on to say. “She’s awesome in every way. She’s smart. She’s confident. She’s articulate. She believes in sisterhood.”

Viola also said that she hopes to “honor” the former first lady, and that diving into Michelle’s 2018 best-selling memoir, “Becoming,” will help. Davis added, “I want to honor her with this portrayal, because that’s what drama is. That’s what we do as actors; we want to honor the human being. We don’t want to give a portrayal that isn’t easy for people to swallow.”

In addition to focusing on Michelle Obama, the initial season of “First Ladies” will tell the stories of Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford. Davis is the only cast member to be announced so far.

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