"I would watch her work and I would think, 'What planet is this little actress from?' Pfeiffer recalls of working with her young costar on their 2001 film.
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When she signed on to share the screen with Dakota Fanning again after two decades, Michelle Pfeiffer was curious how things would go.

The two actresses — currently starring as first lady Betty Ford and her daughter Susan — first worked together on 2001's I Am Sam, when Fanning was just six years old.

"I was so excited, just selfishly, to see her. She was such a marvel at six," Pfeiffer says while filming the latest installment of EW's Around the Table video series with her First Lady castmates Viola Davis, Gillian Anderson, Kiefer Sutherland, and Fanning. "She was just a marvel ... I would watch her work and I would think, 'What planet is this little actress from?' Because she would just channel things," Pfeiffer continues. "And I was curious to see if she could still do that. And she can. And she can and I'm so jealous. And we just had so much fun."

I Am Sam
Michelle Pfeiffer and Dakota Fanning in 'I Am Sam'.
| Credit: Everett Collection (2)

Pfeiffer says she bought Fanning a Barbie Winnebago while working on I Am Sam. But on the First Lady set, the actress — now 63 and 28 years old — traded Barbies for Bordeaux.

"We loved working on it and it was such an honor to be a part of it, but it wasn't easy," Pfeiffer says of filming the new Showtime drama, on which she portrays Betty Ford through her various struggles and triumphs over her life. "But we had pizza night."

"And we had pizza nights and lots of laughs," recalls Fanning. "Lots of laughs. Lots of wine," adds Pfeiffer. "Lots of wine. Lots of laughs," Fanning agrees.

The First Lady
Michelle Pfeiffer and Dakota Fanning in 'The First Lady'.

"I've always held Michelle on this really special pedestal because she was the first actress I ever worked with," Fanning gushes about her costar. "And so, just getting to know her as an adult — and spend time with her and work with her — was such an unbelievable experience."

To hear more from the cast of the new Showtime series, check out the full Around the Table interview. The First Lady airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET starting April 17.

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