Downton Abbey creator's lavish new HBO series reveals cast
The writer-producer’s lavish upcoming drama series The Gilded Age is set among the ultra-rich in 1882 New York.
Here’s the show’s official description: “The American Gilded Age was a period of immense economic change, of huge fortunes made and lost, and the rise of disparity between old money and new. Against this backdrop of change, the story begins in 1882 — introducing young Marian Brook, the orphaned daughter of a Southern general, who moves into the home of her rigidly conventional aunts in New York City. Accompanied by the mysterious Peggy Scott, an African-American woman masquerading as her maid, Marian gets caught up in the dazzling lives of her stupendously rich neighbors, led by a ruthless railroad tycoon and his ambitious wife struggling for acceptance by the Astor and Vanderbilt set. Will Marian follow the established rules of society, or forge her own path in this exciting new world that is on the brink of transformation into the modern age?”
And here’s a breakdown of the new characters:
Baranski as Agnes van Rhijn — “Agnes is a proud and stubborn aristocrat who will never accept that the world has changed, and that ancient values are being replaced by new ones. She found herself penniless as her parents’ plantation was foundering, even before the war, but she managed to catch a husband just in time. Agnes has a son named Oscar, whom she worships, but her worship is not returned.”
Nixon as Ada Brook — “Ada is another victim of the collapse of the old south, but unlike her sister Agnes, she never found a way to get out until it was too late, and she was forced back on her sister’s charity. She is not naturally confrontational, but she is capable of standing up for what she believes.’
Peet as Bertha Russell — “Bertha comes from the ordinary middle-class. She backed her instincts when she set out to catch her husband George, the son of a merchant family who has proved to be a financial genius. She is determined to use her money and position to break into a society that resists change at every turn.”
Spector as George Russell — “A classic robber baron of his own time, Russell is pleasant enough in company. He’s fond of his wife and his children, but utterly ruthless in business. He has already acquired millions, and billions will follow. In every challenge, George must win.”
The Gilded Age has been ordered for 10 episodes and a premiere date is not yet announced.