In the upcoming HBO limited series, Catherine the Great may be at the end of her reign, but she still wields “absolute power.”
Helen Mirren holds that power in her iron fist in the new trailer for Catherine the Great, which follows the Russian monarch in the 18th century as she strikes a passionate relationship with Russian military leader Grigory Potemkin (Jason Clarke). Make that a steamy relationship, per the footage of their affair in the preview.
“When I was young I dreamed of freedom, I dreamed of breaking chains,” Catherine, pulling a Mother of Dragons, says. “But, as you get older your choices narrow. So, instead I gave us an empire, but I knew exactly what I was doing.”
Despite their trysts, Grigory better tread lightly because, as Catherine adds, “I will not share my throne with anyone.”
The four-part historical drama hails from director Philip Martin (Prime Suspect) and writer Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I), both having worked with Mirren before. But it was the actress who came up with the idea.
“Helen Mirren came to me with the idea for Catherine the Great when we were working with her on Woman in Gold, saying it’s a part she’s always wanted to play,” executive producer David M. Thompson said in a previous statement. “I’m delighted we’re now making the series and indeed we can’t think of anyone better for the role.”
After playing Queen Charlotte in The Madness of King George, Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, and the titular Elizabeth I, Mirren just can’t stay away from those queenly roles.
Catherine the Great will air on HBO this fall and Sky Atlantic in the U.K. and Europe.