Carrie Coon To Star In HBO’s Julian Fellowes Series ‘The Gilded Age’ In Recasting

photo by Maarten de Boer

EXCLUSIVE: Carrie Coon has been set as one of the main leads in Julian Fellowes’ drama  The Gilded Age at HBO. The nine-episode series is a co-production between HBO and Universal TV.

Coon will play Bertha Russell. She replaces Amanda Peet, who originally had been cast in the role but had to pull out over scheduling issues. The Gilded Age, which films in New York where the period drama is set, was slated to begin production this spring. With all Hollywood production suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic, the series is eyeing a new start of production in the fall when Peet no longer will be available.

The fictional epic of the millionaire titans of 1880s New York City hails from the Downton Abbey team of Fellowes, producer Gareth Neame and director Michael Engler.

Coon’s Bertha Russell 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.

Coon joins series regulars Christine Baranski, Cynthia Nixon, Morgan Spector, Denée Benton, Louisa Jacobson, Taissa Farmiga, Blake Ritson, Simon Jones, Harry Richardson, Thomas Cocquerel and Jack Gilpin.

Created, written and executive produced by Fellowes, The Gilded Age centers on 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 Union general, who moves into the New York City home of her thoroughly old-money aunts Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook. Accompanied by Peggy Scott, an accomplished African-American woman, Marian inadvertently becomes enmeshed in a social war between one of her aunts, a scion of the old-money set, and her stupendously rich neighbors, a ruthless railroad tycoon and his ambitious wife, George and Bertha Russell. In this exciting new world that is on the brink of the modern age, will Marian follow the established rules of society or forge her own path?

Fellowes, Neame, Engler and David Crockett executive produce, and Engler also directs.

Coon most recently was seen on TV starring as Vera Walker in the second season of USA Network’s anthology drama series The Sinner. She won the first-ever double TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Drama for her work on both The Leftovers and Fargo. Her breakout role in Season 3 of Fargo also earned her an Emmy nomination. Her upcoming films include IFC’s The Nest and Sony Pictures’ Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Coon, an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, is repped by UTA, Foundation Talent Management and Peikoff Mahan Law.

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