Andie MacDowell has signed on to play the lead in ABC’s drama pilot Model Woman, playing a character inspired by Eileen Ford.

The project, from Sony TV’s TriStar Television and ABC Studios, is a fictionalized family soap inspired by Robert Lacey’s book Model Woman: Eileen Ford And The Business Of Beauty, the recently published biography of the outspoken and controversial woman who started as a model and went on to co-found the famous Ford Modeling Agency with her husband Jerry.

Written by Reality Bites scribe Helen Childress and directed by Richard Shepard, Model Woman is set in the late 1970s during the notorious Model Wars and centers on Bertie Geiss (MacDowell) – a tempestuous matriarch and uncompromising businesswoman at the helm of an internationally renowned modeling agency. Confident, powerful, cunning woman who rarely loses control, Bertie is at the top of her game – and she intends to stay there.

The Four Weddings and a Funeral and Groundhog Day alumna MacDowell recently headlined the Hallmark Channel series Cedar Cove. She is repped by Gersh and manager Risa Shapiro at RMS Productions.