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Ellen Burstyn Joins Political Animals

NEW YORK - JANUARY 12:  Actress Ellen Burstyn attends the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Awards gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 12, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

Ellen Burstyn has been cast as Sigourney Weaver's mother in Political Animals, the USA miniseries about an ex-First Lady who becomes Secretary of State. Weaver plays said politician, and Carla Gugino plays a Washington journalist who's long been a thorn in her side. Burstyn's character in the script is funny and salty and a bit of a boozehound, and she's described as "a tough Chicago broad and one time Vegas showgirl [who] has mellowed into the family’s grande dame." James Wolk plays Weaver's son and chief of staff, so ... there are some good genes being passed down in this fictional family.

Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images