Helen Mirren – actor, legend, national treasure – brings the Empress of Russia to life in a period drama full of “politics, passion and power”.
“Do you know what I hold in my hand? Absolute power.”
If Downton Abbey has left a hole in your TV schedule and you can’t wait for The Crown to return, hell, even if you’re mourning Game of Thrones coming to a close, Helen Mirren’s new role as Russian Empress Catherine The Great might just be the answer you’ve been looking for.
According to Sky, this four-part drama “delves into the politically tumultuous and sexually charged court of the most powerful female monarch in history. Catherine wielded supreme power throughout Russia for nearly half of the 18th century – strong-minded, independent, brilliantly intelligent and sexually liberated, she was the definition of the modern woman.”
Mirren herself came up with the idea for the show, which has been penned by the same genius behind The Crown and Elizabeth I, so we’re guaranteed something incredible.
Here’s everything we know about the period drama so far…
Is there a trailer for Catherine the Great?
Yes, there is – and it’s pretty rock’n’roll. It’s almost enough to make you wish you’d been busy ruling Russia in the 18th century yourself, actually.
Check it out:
What has Helen Mirren said about her role in Catherine the Great?
“I am very excited by the possibility of embodying a woman from history who grabbed and then wielded great power,” Mirren said of the series, explaining that she had always wanted to play the Russian empress.
“She rewrote the rules of governance by a woman, and succeeded to the extent of having the word Great attached to her name, Catherine the Great.”
Who else is starring in Catherine the Great?
Mirren is not the only major star to appear in the period drama: Mudbound’s Jason Clarke will join her as Russian nobleman Grigory Potemkin. Indeed, the series will focus as much on Catherine and Grigory’s passionate love affair as it does her attempts to keep and expand her dominance throughout Russia and Europe.
Meanwhile, Bodyguard and Line of Duty star Gina McKee will play Catherine’s confidant Praskovya Bruce, while Years and Years’ Rory Kinnear is set to bring Nikita Ivanovich Panin (aka Catherine’s political mentor) to life.
Finally, Grigory Orlov, who fathered Catherine’s son and was virtually co-ruler with her until his fall, will be played by Richard Roxburgh. Fans of the Moulin Rouge! will definitely recognise the Australian actor, as he played The Duke in Baz Luhrman’s iconic musical.
When is Catherine the Great set to air?
An exact air date for the Sky and HBO series has yet to be announced – but according to the trailer, this four-part drama is set to arrive in autumn 2019.