EXCLUSIVE: Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music star Julie Andrews is the first actor officially cast in Shondaland’s Untitled Bridgerton Project, an hourlong period series for Netflix based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling series of novels. Andrews will voice the pivotal character of Lady Whistledown in eight-episode series, slated to premiere in 2020.
Created by Scandal veteran Chris Van Dusen, the untitled Bridgerton drama is set in the sexy, lavish and competitive world of Regency London high society. From the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair to the aristocratic palaces of Park Lane and beyond, the series unveils a seductive, sumptuous world replete with intricate rules and dramatic power struggles, where no one is truly ever on steady ground. At the heart of the show is the powerful Bridgerton family. Comprised of eight close-knit siblings, this funny, witty, daring and clever group must navigate the upper ten thousand’s marriage mart in search of romance, adventure and love.
Andrews will lend her voice to Lady Whistledown. Anonymous to readers, this mysterious, sharp-tongued gossip writer uses a curious mix of social commentary and scathing insult to send the season of 1813’s ton into an all-out frenzy.
Van Dusen executive produces with Shondaland’s Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers. The Untitled Bridgerton Project is one of eight series ordered by Netflix last year as part of Rhimes’ mega-deal with the internet network.
Set between 1813 and 1827, the Bridgerton Series is a collection of eight novels, each featuring one of the eight children of the late Viscount Bridgerton: Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth. Lady Whistledown’s gossip columns “narrate” the first four books. Additionally, the character headlined two novellas that are part of the franchise, The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown and Lady Whistledown Strikes Back.
The casting expands Andrews’ relationship with Netflix. She co-created with her daughter Julie’s Greenroom, which recently launched on the global streaming platform.
Andrews made her feature debut in 1964’s Mary Poppins, winning an Oscar for her performance as the titular magical nanny. The following year, she earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Maria Von Trapp in The Sound Of Music. She received her third Academy Award nomination for her dual role in Victor/Victoria. Most recently, Andrews was the voice of Kharaten in blockbuster Aquaman.