The First Lady: Laura Bush actress spills on 'most challenging role to date'


The First Lady Showtime series delves into the lives of Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Michelle Obama. Laura Bush (played by Kathleen Garrett) also makes an appearance and was the First Lady of the United States from 2001 to 2009. Actress Garrett spoke to about her role and its challenges.

Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson have been transformed into Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt respectively for the new Showtime drama.

The First Lady will peel back the curtain on the lives of the three female figureheads in American politics.

As part of the recurring cast, Garrett stars as the wife of George W Bush, the 43rd president of the United States.

She said playing a real person was a challenge in itself, as well as having to deal with a tricky filming schedule.

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The star told “I have to say this was my most challenging role to date, to play a historical, famous, living person, one to whom I will be compared.

“Viola [Davis] spoke about her anxiety concerning what Michelle Obama might think of her portrayal and I have to say, I am right there with her about Mrs Bush.

“Time wasn’t on my side in preparing for the role, I was cast shortly before filming so I had a lot of catching up to do.

“Thank heavens Mrs Bush wrote and narrated an autobiography. I was able to kill two birds with one stone, learn about her life and hear her voice.

“Her accent is a very specific West Texas one.”

“Her humanity, her deep love for her husband, her compassion, her intelligence and very importantly, her kindness.

“I felt honoured to play Mrs Bush and very much wanted to bring the dignity and respect she deserves. Lord, I hope I came close to achieving that.”

Laura met George W Bush in 1977 and they were married later that year.

Her husband’s political involvement began during their marriage and she campaigned alongside him during his unsuccessful 1978 run for the United States Congress.

They later celebrated his successful Texas gubernatorial campaign.

Actress Garrett is also an author and voice-over artist with many notable credits to her name.

She starred in The Trial of the Chicago Seven, Law & Order and its spin-off Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

One of her most recent roles was as Sasha Thomas in Netflix’s Inventing Anna.

Speaking on what she learned about the real Anna Delvey (played by Julia Garner), she told “Julia Garner gave me insights into Anna Delvey when we shot our scenes together.

“What I found fascinating was how exceptional her mind is, her fluency in seven languages, the masterminding and manipulation of those in the New York social scene, those in powerful positions, and the way she sucked people in.

“What also captivated my interest was her lack of remorse for swindling everyone, especially those who believed in her, cared, and helped her.”

The First Lady airs on Showtime on Sundays.


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