Entertainment

Producers of “Mary & George” felt pressured to cast a character described as “the most handsome man in the world”. Enter Nicholas Galizin.


Starz’s mary and george Not your typical period drama.

According to Benjamin Woolley’s 2017 book, The King’s Assassins: The Fatal Affair of George Villiers and James IThis provocative seven-episode limited series, starring Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galitzine, doesn’t shy away from sex as it explores the efforts people go to gain and maintain power. , debauchery and scandal.

Set in 17th-century Jacobean England, Moore stars as little-known historical figure Mary Villiers, a clever and cunning woman who recruits her charming second son, George. George Villiers (Galitzin) comes to seduce King James I (Tony Curran) as a means of gaining a better social status for his family. What begins as a transaction between George and the King evolves into a more complex relationship: love, lust, and ultimately greed.

“From the beginning, we wanted to make a show with a little bit of a punk attitude, because the Jacobean court was pretty debauched,” executive producer Lisa Marshall tells Yahoo Entertainment. “It was a place of relative freedom after the constraints of society.” “The Elizabethan court. We want to embrace that.”

But finding the right actors to play the trio was a process. Moore, the only American on the project, was the first choice for Mary, an unapologetic matriarch who was always planning her next move – sometimes at the expense of those she loved.

“Julianne had never played a role like this before. I think she was very interested in the role of Mary,” Marshall said. “We always wanted to create a Machiavellian character, maybe a little bit evil, but having fun and we’re always on her side. Julianne embodies that perfectly.”

Galitzine, after success, his star continues to grow red, white and royal blue and upcoming your thoughtsWas one of the first actors to join. Marshall said that since George was described as “the most handsome man in the world,” there was even more pressure to meet that visual expectation. “When he walked into a room, everyone would stop … and talk.”

The producers said Galizin “brings out the show’s best characters – from callow, inexperienced young man to man obsessed with power.”

Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galizin star as Mary and George Villiers.

julianne moore and galizin mary and george(Sky TV UK)

At the beginning of the play, James is portrayed as a royal who prefers raucous parties and sleeping with male lovers to ruling the throne. As the series continues, the layers are peeled back to reveal the tragic roots of the King.

“I looked back at his childhood,” Curran told Yahoo Entertainment, “and it was a very traumatic childhood.” Both of his parents were violently murdered under different circumstances. He was also kidnapped for a year as a teenager.

“There’s a wonderful line, ‘James has always grown up in fear,’ and Tony really embodies that in his performance,” Marshall said. “You really feel for the King and he brings so much empathy to the character. Heart.”

Marshall recalled pause A magazine from years ago recounted James’s sexuality and his close relationships with men – something she had not learned while studying history at a British university. That article inspired her and executive producer DC Moore to embark on a path that would lead to Woolley. book and beyond, mary and george.

Examining themes of queerness and sexual fluidity through the lens of George and James’ love was interesting for the filmmakers. “We think our sexuality is very fluid now, but if you go back 400 years ago, people looked at sex in a very different way,” Marshall said. “I think it feels very fresh and modern.”

She continued, “The king’s court was actually built around [James’s] Love and lust for young people. Each one is trying to push a different hot young man to try and seduce the king so that they can take power. I think people judge this differently than we think. “

Curran shared that he and Galizin went out to dinner with director Oliver Hermanus (who directed the first three episodes) to discuss how to portray the emotional intimacy and rawness of their sex scenes. It’s possible,” the Scottish actor said, noting that he often seeks feedback from his on-set intimacy coordinator.

“Like all great loves, they have peaks and valleys, beautiful moments and some very dark moments. We focused on the characters we were playing, serving the story, serving the script, and expressing ourselves in those moments. , because there is a tenderness between these two people,” Curran continued.

Marshall said, “There is no denying that James was in love with George Villiers.” The question is, did George ever love James?

“We never really find out how much George loved him, or how much he used him so that he could come to power. But I like to think there was a real love between these two men. It’s something that’s never been depicted before — —for all the obvious reasons,” Marshall explained.

although mary and george Creative freedom is definitely required, but the overall mood remains the same.

“As long as there have been men and women, there have been queer relationships,” Curran said. “Embrace who you are, embrace your identity, no matter what your sexual orientation is, your background, the color of your skin, your beliefs — I think that’s important today. ‘Be true to yourself,’ because if we’re not true to ourselves, what do we have?”

mary and george Premieres Friday on Starz and the Starz app.



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