WATCH: OLTL's Tika Sumpter as Michelle Obama in Southside With You
Posted Thursday, August 25, 2016 6:08:17 AM
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WATCH: OLTL's Tika Sumpter as Michelle Obama in Southside With You
One Life to Live alum Tika Sumpter (ex-Layla Williamson) shares behind-the-scene details on Southside With You, the movie in which she plays First Lady Michelle Obama.

Plenty of actors have taken on President Barack Obama since he came into office almost eight years ago, but not too many have publicly portrayed his wife, Michelle. And that's what makes Tika Sumpter's (ex-Layla Williamson) role as the first lady in the new film Southside With You so special.

The former daytime actress plays Mrs. Obama in the movie, but during a time long before she took up residence in the White House. The biopic takes place in the summer of 1989, when Barack (successfully) attempted to woo Michelle Robinson during a date across the South Side of Chicago. But Sumpter says Southside With You is much more than a love story, and Michelle is a character all women can relate to and perhaps find inspiration from.

"Michelle doesn't dumb herself down for anybody and when she walks in the room, she's unapologetic for who she is," Sumpter, who also serves as a producer for the film, tells Bustle. "She's OK with who she is. We all have flaws, but it's about how we move with them. This movie is also about change and self-realization. I just love that I was able to play a confident, smart woman, who didn't dumb herself down for anyone."



However, taking on the role of the future first lady was no easy task, especially because the job inherently comes with a lot of pressure, and Sumpter has never actually met Michelle. Luckily, she was able to study her via videos and the book Michelle's brother, Craig Robinson, wrote about their family. Sumpter also studied with a dialect coach. " I never wanted to imitate her, I just wanted to embody her," she shares, and then jokes, "I wanted to do it well and not have it be an SNL skit or something. SNL's great, but I didn't want to make her a caricature."

Especially because, as the actress explains, she's pregnant with her first child and can't wait for her future daughter to see the film. "It makes me so excited, especially because I'm having a girl," she gushes. "I feel like I'm birthing this movie, I'm birthing her, and this is the time where women are really standing up for themselves... I feel like it's the time of the woman and what an amazing time to be alive right now with having a child and bringing a girl into this world and knowing that she can be fierce and fabulous and smart and stand on her own two feet and be proud of who she is, as is her mom."

Southside With You is now showing in theaters nationwide and you can check out the trailer below. For more from Sumpter on playing Mrs. Obama, read Bustle's full interview here.

What do you think about Sumpter taking on the role of Michelle Obama? Are you planning on watching Southside With You? Do agree with her statement that now is the time of the woman? Do agree with her statement that now is the time of the woman? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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