Filming gets underway this week in the UK on Mary and George, starring Julianne Moore, for AMC and Sky Atlantic.
The hefty 8 x 60 period drama is created by DC Moore and based on the true story of Mary Villiers (Moore) who moulded her son, George, to seduce King James I and become his all-powerful lover. The scheming pair went on to become hugely rich and influential.
Hera Pictures produces Mary & George in association with Sky Studios; Moore’s scripts are inspired by the non-fiction book 'The King’s Assassin' by Benjamin Woolley.
Oliver Hermanus is lead director; he also exec produces alongside Sam Hoyle for Sky Studios, Liza Marshall for Hera and writer Moore.
Lead actor Moore said at the time of the official commissioning news: “Mary Villiers was a woman who through her own actions rose to become a powerful and influential figure in Jacobean London. It’s a daunting but exhilarating challenge to bring her to life on screen.”
Liza Marshall, executive producer for Hera Pictures added: “The incredible Julianne Moore is our dream casting for Mary – a woman who was damned by her contemporaries but was always the smartest person in the room. Indomitable women like Mary have too often been written out of history but with DC Moore’s brilliant scripts and Oliver Hermanus at the helm, we will reclaim her story to make a truly unique, unmissable show.”
Writer Moore commented: “Since I first read about Mary Villiers’ life – and all she achieved with her son, George – I’ve been obsessed with bringing this story to the screen. Between King James’ often-overlooked love and lust for men, Mary’s extraordinary rise as a woman in a man’s world, and George’s (many, many) sexual and political conquests, this is a profoundly rich, and, as yet entirely untold on screen, story, about a pair of ‘commoners’ who conquered all before them.”