EXCLUSIVE: Harry Richardson (Poldark), Thomas Cocquerel (Alive) and Jack Gilpin (Billions) are set as series regulars in Julian Fellowes’ The Gilded Age drama series at HBO. The project is a co-production between HBO and Universal TV.
The fictional epic of the millionaire titans of New York City in the 1880s hails from the Downton Abbey team of Fellowes, producer Gareth Neame and director Michael Engler. They join previously announced series regulars Christine Baranski, Cynthia Nixon, Amanda Peet, Morgan Spector, Denée Benton, Louisa Jacobson, Taissa Farmiga, Blake Ritson and Simon Jones.
Created, written and executive produced by Fellowes, The Gilded Age centers on a period of immense economic change in America, 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?
Richardson will play Larry Russell. Appealing and good natured with an easy charm, Larry is a recent Harvard graduate eager to make his way in the world. Above all, Larry is his mother’s child, her Achilles’ heel, the one person she loves without limit. And he loves her as well. He is protective of his little sister, Gladys, and like her he is a classic child of the rich. He thinks he doesn’t care about money, because he has always had plenty of it.
Cocquerel is Tom Raikes, a sensible young lawyer from Doylestown, PA. He’s been a solitary and career-driven practical man but is smitten when he meets Marian, his late client’s orphaned daughter. He relocates to New York City in pursuit of a relationship with her. Tom understands that Marian’s family, specifically her two aunts, are very conservative, and he’s careful not to overstep any boundaries along the way. He’ll put up a fight to get what he wants, but he’s an appealing, charming gentleman above all else.
Gilpin portrays Church, the Russell family’s butler. He is American, from a dismal background, but evades his past by excelling at his job. He has no time for nonsense in the workplace due to his attention and care for his job. Above all, he is Bertha’s ally, and he intends to stay reasonably true to her every step of the way, unlike her own maid.
Fellowes, Neame, Engler and David Crockett executive produce, and Engler also directs.
Richardson played the role of Drake Carne for three seasons on BBC One’s Poldark. Most recently he was seen in six-part TV series Total Control for Blackfella Films in Australia, alongside Rachel Griffiths and Deborah Mailman, an official selection in the Television section of the 2019 Toronto Film Festival. Richardson is repped by Hamilton Hodell, ICM and Morrissey Management.
Cocquerel recently wrapped shooting Escape Room 2 for Sony Pictures Entertainment. He most recently was seen as the lead in the independent feature Alive opposite Angus MacFayden, as well as playing the leads in In Like Flynn, an Australian/US co-production, and the independent film The Divorce Party. On the television side, he just wrapped a season-long arc on the CW’s The 100. Cocquerel is repped by CAA, Management 360 and Shanahan (Australia).
Gilpin most recently was seen as Sean Ayles on Billions, and he also has appeared Madam Secretary, The Night Of and The Good Wife, among others. His film credits include, Adventureland, 21, Quiz Show, The Juror and Something Wild. Gilpin is represented by Buchwald.