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Hot off her supporting and star stellar role in 12 Years a Slave, Alfre Woodward has been tapped to play the president of the United States opposite Katherine Heigl in an upcoming NBC drama State of Affairs.
According to thegrio.com, Woodward will play President Roberta Payton and Heigl will star as her late son’s ex-girlfriend Charleston “Charlie” Whitney Tucker.
The drama described as Scandal meets The West Wing, revolves around a maverick CIA officer (Heigl) who was plucked from the field to become the president’s daily briefer, assuming responsibility for targeting America’s most critical threats while navigating the unique lifestyle that comes with such a high powered job.
Woodward’s role on State of Affairs may be the first time an African American woman has ever portrayed the Commander-in-Chief.
The drama is directed by Joe Carnahan and produced by Universal TV. Direct Carnahan writes the script alongside Alex Hawley, Heigl, Bob Simonds, Henry Crumpton and Julia Franz as executive producers.
Other black women in the pilot mix this season when the drama premiers include Jada Pinkett Smith, Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer.
Woodward received an Emmy nomination for her role in Lifetime’s ‘Steel Magnolias’ and she shared a 12 Years a Slave SAG ensemble nomination… She was also nominated for 17 Emmys and won 4 for her television work on Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, Miss Evers’ Boys and the Practice. In 1983, she was nominated for an Academy Award for her supporting work in Cross Creek.
Playing the role of Commander-in Chief is not Woodward’s first insight into the political world; in the real world, Woodward attended and performed at a dinner to raise money for Hillary Clinton’s New York senatorial campaign. She was a Barack Obama supporter, as she hosted a summit during the Democratic National Convention in 2012.