Actress Michelle Pfeiffer has had a long and prosperous career that has seen her take on roles of every variety from her debut role in The Fabulous Baker Boys to Catwoman in Batman Returns to her recent Oscar-nominated role in French Exit. However, one type of role she finds herself done with is due to her recent work in the Showtime series The First Lady a White House-centered anthology series written by Aaron Cooley and directed by Susanne Bier. Each episode focuses on the country's most high-profile spouses' personal and political lives. This season saw the likes of focus on Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, and Michelle Obama. Pfeiffer played Betty Ford who made a profound impact with her comments on hot button issues and was transparent about her struggles with alcoholism and substance abuse. It was a role that any actress would find challenging mentally and straining physically.
It's because of the work she did in the new series that she has confirmed in an Entertainment Weekly conversation with her co-stars that, despite being "honored" to take on the role, Betty Ford will be her last portrayal of a real person something she had done multiple times in the past including playing LouAnne Johnson in Dangerous Minds (1995) and Ruth Madoff in the 2017 TV film The Wizard of Lies. She explains her reasons why in her full comment below:
"I said I would never do it again. It's just, it's very, very weighty. And it's with you all the time. Every choice you make, and you just want to honor the person that you're playing and you want to be as authentic as possible, knowing that there will be times where you're not and you can't be. I'm never doing it again. I didn't know half of the contribution that Betty Ford made. Of course, like most people, I knew of her struggle with alcohol abuse and drug addiction, and her founding the Betty Ford clinic, but that's really kind of the extent of it. And I mean, is if that isn't enough, there's so much more to her. I'm really honored that I was given the opportunity to share that story with everyone."
It's understandable the pressure of getting historical figures right, especially in such a vocal era where social media makes sure EVERYONE'S thoughts are heard. This perhaps frees up Pfeiffer to take on more daring roles though, for now, fans of hers can catch her returning as Janet van Dyne in next year's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Stay tuned!