Judith Light will star as Blanche Knopf, co-founder of the Knopf publishing house. Knopf, who was married to publishing giant Alfred A. Knopf, is widely credited with bringing in Child’s hugely successful Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Knopf worked with a swath of top writers during her career including Sigmund Freud, Albert Camus, John Updike and Raymond Chandler as well as Child.
HBO Max picked up to series Julia in January after ordering a pilot. The eight-episode series sees Happy Valley star Sarah Lancashire play Child with David Hyde Pierce as her husband Paul. The series is currently in production.
Julia, whose pilot was written by Daniel Goldfarb and directed by Charles McDougall, is inspired by Child’s extraordinary life and her long-running television series, The French Chef, which pioneered the popular cooking-show genre. Through Julia and her singular can-do spirit, the series explores an evolving time in American history: the emergence of public television as a new social institution, feminism and the women’s movement, the nature of celebrity and America’s cultural growth. At its heart, the series is a portrait of a loving marriage with an evolving and complicated power dynamic.
Brittany Bradford, Fran Kranz, Fiona Glascott, Bebe Neuwirth, Isabella Rossellini and Jefferson Mays also star.
Julia is produced by Lionsgate and 3 Arts. Chris Keyser serves as showrunner executive produces along with 3 Arts Entertainment’s Erwin Stoff. McDougall, Goldfarb and 3 Arts’ Kimberly Carver also executive produce. Todd Schulkin is a consulting producer on behalf of the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.
Light next will be seen in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tick,Tick… Boom!, having had a run of TV roles on series including Transparent, Manhunt: Deadly Games and Ryan Murphy’s The Politician and American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace. She is also set to co-star and executive produce upcoming limited series Shadows in the Vineyard.
Light is repped by The Gersh Agency and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.