Michelle Pfeiffer is currently starring on The First Lady as Betty Ford. The show has not been getting great reviews, and I don’t want to bag on it because it’s not even bad in an interesting way, it’s just a weird combination of looking expensive but being as chintzy as a 1990s Lifetime miniseries. I mean, at one point, Keifer Sutherland falls out of bed and gasps, “My legs! They won’t work!” to indicate FDR has polio, which is an unintentionally hilarious way to portray a serious illness/disability in the year of our lady, 2022. While watching screeners, I kept thinking, HOW did this show go SO wrong, with all these talented people involved? The only thing I can think of is that someone tried a “no notes” approach and it blew up in their face, because The First Lady definitely needed a lot of notes. Anyway, Michelle Pfeiffer is the best part and she’s covering The Hollywood Reporter to talk about the show and her career resurgence (she never really went away). 


Pfeiffer has always seemed pretty cool and normal, which is the gist of the interview, conducted by Lacey Rose. They talk about Pfeiffer’s habit of self-doubt, how her representatives call her “Dr. No” because they’re so used to her accepting roles and then panicking and trying to back out, and they talk about the time Pfeiffer was in a cult, which, honestly, I would read a whole deep dive on just that. She also throws a lovely shout-out to her first husband, Peter Horton, who bolstered her self-esteem in the early portion of her career and convinced her to keep pursuing movie roles even when the parts weren’t great, a strategy that ultimately paid off for her. In the era of publicly delivered custody papers, normalize friendly celebrity exes. And they touch on her longtime relationship with David E. Kelly, with whom she has never worked. Maybe that’s the secret to a successful Hollywood marriage—don’t work together. Pfeiffer seems to credit it.


Anyway, it’s a good read about a good actor enjoying a renewed career, although I feel like they skim over the really interesting stuff, like the cult thing and Pfeiffer’s cruelty-free perfume brand, Henry Rose. (I went through a weird patch mid-pandemic where I decided to wear a different perfume every day and I had a lot of fun with the Henry Rose sample set.) I would also read a deep dive about how she and just eight other people are running a perfume company, or I would watch that show, it sounds like a setup for a high concept ensemble comedy. However much The First Lady cost, throw that much money at a comedy series starring Michelle Pfeiffer as the CEO of a perfume startup. Finally, I shall leave you with this, from Lacey Rose, about the other famous people interviewed for a celebrity profile, which turns into a lowkey “Paul Rudd remains an unproblematic fave” story: