With less than a week to go before Davhi Waller's Mrs. America makes its FX on Hulu-exclusive debut on Wednesday, April 15, Waller and executive producer Coco Francini, as well as stars Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Uzo Aduba, and more are taking viewers behind the scenes of the limited series. Mrs. America traces the history of, and resistance to, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) movement. That "resistance" came in the form of conservative Phyllis Schlafly (Blanchett), with the network and streamer doing a fine job over the past few weeks giving viewers a closer look at Schlafly as well as Bella Abzug (Margo Martindale), Gloria Steinem (Byrne), Betty Friedan (Ari Graynor), Shirley Chisholm (Aduba), Jill Ruckelshaus (Elizabeth Banks), and others.
Aduba's Shirley 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's Gloria 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. Kayli Carter's Pamela is a young, impressionable housewife who is an early member of Phyllis' anti-ERA movement. Graynor's Brenda Feigen-Fasteau is a Harvard-educated lawyer and young feminist in the women's movement who co-founded Ms. Magazine with Steinem and helped the feminist effort to pass the ERA. Melanie Lynskey's Rosemary Thomson was a homemaker in Schlafley's inner circle who eagerly joined her fight against the ERA. James Marsden's Phil Crane was a conservative congressman from Phyllis' home state of Illinois and one of her most powerful allies. Martindale's Bella Abzug was a leading figure in the feminist movement and a three-term Congresswoman who spearheaded the effort to pass the ERA.
Sarah Paulson's Alice is Phyllis' best friend who joins the effort to block the ERA. John Slattery's Fred Schlafly is Phyllis' husband, a prominent lawyer, GOP donor, and anti-communist. Jeanne Tripplehorn's Eleanor Schlafly is Fred's unmarried sister and a close confidante of Phyllis. Eleanor is a devoted aunt to Phyllis' six children. Ullman's Betty Friedan is known as the mother of the women's movement, wrote The Feminine Mystique, co-founded the National Women's Political Caucus, and was an active proponent of the ERA. Banks' Jill Ruckelshaus was a pro-choice, socially progressive Republican appointed by President Gerald Ford to advance women's rights and keep the Republican Party from being taken over by Schlafly and the religious right. Created, written, and executive produced by series showrunner Waller and executive produced by Waller, Blanchett, Oscar-nominated producer Stacey Sher, Francini, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Mrs. America has tapped Captain Marvel writers/directors Boden and Fleck to direct the first two episodes.