"Sometimes someone doesn't live up to whatever image you have in your head. But when they do live up to the image, it's quite frightening," Viola Davis said

By Nicholas Rice
March 27, 2021 12:30 PM
Advertisement

Viola Davis has nothing but love for Michelle Obama!

While appearing virtually on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Friday, the 55-year-old actress raved about the former first lady, 57, and said she has spoken to Mrs. Obama, whom she is portraying in Showtime's forthcoming anthology series, The First Lady.

When asked by host Jimmy Fallon if the two had been in communication since she accepted the role, Davis said, "Oh yes, I have ... for several hours."

"And it's terrifying because ... sometimes someone doesn't live up to whatever image you have in your head. But when they do live up to the image, it's quite frightening," the Suicide Squad star continued. "It really is."

Fallon, 46, agreed with Davis' sentiments, stating that Obama "actually is that cool and that awesome."

Viola Davis, Michelle Obama
Credit: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images; Jim Bennett/Getty Images

The First Lady will explore the personal and political lives of some of America's most charismatic, complex and dynamic first ladies, with season 1 focusing on Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford in addition to Mrs. Obama.

"Throughout our history, presidents' spouses have wielded remarkable influence, not only on the nation's leaders but on the country itself," Jana Winograde, Showtime's president of entertainment, said in a previous statement. "[The show] fits perfectly within the Showtime wheelhouse of drama and politics, revealing how much personal relationships impact both domestic and global events."

"Having Viola Davis play Michelle Obama is a dream come true, and we couldn't be luckier to have her extraordinary talent to help launch this series," Winograde added.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Earlier this month, while chatting with Entertainment Tonight, Mrs. Obama reacted to the news that Davis will be playing her in The First Lady, sharing that she is thrilled to see the star's portrayal.

"I feel that I'm not worthy," the Becoming author told the outlet. "I wish I could be better to live up to the character that Viola has to play, but it's exciting."

"Anything Viola does, she does it with passion and vigor, and I know she will do no less for this role," Mrs. Obama added of the actress, who will star opposite O-T Fagbenle as Barack Obama in the series.

RELATED VIDEO: Michelle Obama Gets Real About Her COVID Year: Unexpected Blessings, Quarantine Hobbies & Depression and What's Next

While chatting with Fallon on the late night television series, Davis continued to speak about her upcoming role and how monumental it is.

Joking around, Fallon asked Davis if she has to "keep testing herself" with the roles she takes on, to which the Ma Rainey's Black Bottom actress replied, "I don't know. I think it was temporary insanity."

"I lost my damn mind for about five minutes and made a damn decision that I can't take back," she joked. "Because [Michelle] is a goddess. And everybody knows her, everybody feels like they want to protect her."

But, as Davis noted, she is just going to approach the role like she would any other and do her best. "Here's the thing. I'm just gonna do the best I can," she added. "That's what I say to my daughter. I say, 'Genesis, let me tell you something. Mommy is doing the best she can,' so that's it."