Set to premiere Wednesday, April 15, Davhi Waller's 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 (Cate Blanchett), and now the FX on Hulu series is spotlighting one of the bravest in the fight for equal rights: Margo Martindale's Bella Abzug. The three-term congresswoman was a leading figure in the feminist movement who spearheaded the effort to pass the ERA legislation.
Told through the perspectives of the women of that era — Schlafly as well as second-wave feminists like Abzug, Gloria Steinem (Rose Byrne), Betty Friedan (Ari Graynor), Shirley Chisholm (Uzo Aduba), and Jill Ruckelshaus (Elizabeth Banks) — Mrs. America explores how one of the toughest battles in the culture wars of the '70s helped give rise to the Moral Majority and forever shifted our political landscape.
Here's a look at the all-star cast for FX on Hulu's Mrs. America:
● Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm – 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.
● Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem – 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 as Pamela – Pamela, a fictional character, is a young, impressionable housewife who is an early member of Phyllis' anti-ERA movement.
● Ari Graynor as Brenda Feigen-Fasteau – A Harvard-educated lawyer, Feigen-Fasteau was a 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 as Rosemary Thomson – Thomson was a homemaker in Schlafley's inner circle who eagerly joined her fight against the ERA.
● James Marsden as Phil Crane – Crane was a conservative congressman from Phyllis' home state of Illinois and one of her most powerful allies.
● Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug – A leading figure in the feminist movement, Abzug was a three-term Congresswoman who spearheaded the effort to pass the ERA.
● Sarah Paulson as Alice – Alice, a fictional character, is Phyllis' best friend who joins Phyllis' efforts to block the ERA.
● John Slattery as Fred Schlafly – Phyllis' husband was a prominent lawyer, GOP donor and anti-communist.
● Jeanne Tripplehorn as Eleanor Schlafly – Eleanor is Fred's unmarried sister and a close confidante of Phyllis. Eleanor is a devoted aunt to Phyllis' six children.
● Tracey Ullman as Betty Friedan – Known as the mother of the women's movement, Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique and co-founded the National Women's Political Caucus. She was an active proponent of the ERA.
● Elizabeth Banks as Jill Ruckelshaus – A pro-choice, socially progressive Republican appointed by President Gerald Ford to advance women's rights – and to 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, Coco Francini, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Mrs. America has tapped Captain Marvel writers/directors Boden and Fleck to direct the first two episodes.