The limited series, which will stream on Hulu, features actress Rose Byrne playing famed equal rights activist Gloria Steinem

By Benjamin VanHoose
January 10, 2020 09:57 AM
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Political battle lines have been drawn in the new teaser for Mrs. America.

On Thursday, FX debuted the first trailer for its nine-part limited series that chronicles the contentious equal rights movement in the 1970s. The glimpse at the star-studded show promises a complex exploration of feminism, religion and their intersection in the evolving American culture.

Available to stream exclusively on Hulu in April, the TV series boasts an all-star cast led by Cate Blanchett, who portrays real-life conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, who pushed against the passing of the Equal Rights Amendment during the era. Schlafly died in 2016 at age 92.

“I am not against women,” Blanchett, 50, assures in the opening of the trailer. “But what I am against,” she adds, “is the women’s liberation movement.”

On the other side of the “messy” revolution is Bridesmaids star Rose Byrne, who steps into the shoes of iconic equal rights activist Gloria Steinem, a prominent figure in the movement still active today.

Cate Blanchett in Mrs. America, Phyllis Schlafly in 1973
| Credit: Sabrina Lantos/FX; AP/Shutterstock

“How long are we supposed to wait?” says Byrne, 40, in the preview. “How much time do we give people to adapt to change? Or am I the only one who’s so f—ing tired of waiting?”

Blanchett’s character later adds: “This fight is not about equality, it’s about power. And I’m just getting started.”

The rest of the ensemble cast is rounded out by Elizabeth Banks, Tracey Ullman, Uzo Aduba, James Marsden and Sarah Paulson, who previously shared scenes with Blanchett in 2018’s Ocean’s 8.

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Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem in Mrs. America
| Credit: Sabrina Lantos/FX

During a Television Critics Association event held on Thursday, Blanchett opened up about tackling such a controversial historical figure, saying she merely wanted to present all sides to the character.

“Whether I like or dislike a character, whether it’s Phyllis or Elisabeth I is utterly irrelevant, it’s not my place,” she said, according to Variety. “My place is to present a character warts and all.”

The Oscar winner, who is set for another TV role this year with immigration drama Stateless, said Mrs. America will shine a light on the current political climate.

“I’m a passionate lover of history. I don’t think you can in any way understand the present unless you look into the past,” she said, later adding: “We’ve got haranguing matches and shouting, but we haven’t got robust public discourse [today]. These women actually talked and debated these things through. They didn’t always agree with one another, but they discussed.”

Mrs. America is available to stream on Hulu in April.