Sam Heughan and Keeley Hawes in To Olivia

To Olivia: Sam Heughan and Keeley Hawes star in a new Roald Dahl biopic

Posted by for Life

A new Roald Dahl biopic lands on Now TV this weekend, starring Keeley Hawes, Hugh Bonneville and Sam Heughan.      

Roald Dahl is the beloved author of some of our most treasured children’s books, including Matilda, George’s Marvellous Medicine, James And The Giant Peach, The BFG and The Witches

We know and love his characters so much, but how much do we really know about their creator? We’re about to find out in To Olivia, which is a new biopic of Dahl.

Before becoming the world’s most famous children’s authors, Dahl was a pilot and intelligence officer who rose to become an acting wing commander during World War II. After the war, he married Hollywood actor Patricia Neal and focused on his writing career. 

The film follows Dahl and Neal in the 60s, when they retreated to the English countryside to bring up their growing family. It focuses on the strains on their relationship after their daughter Olivia – who the film is named after – died from measles aged only seven. 

According the synopsis, “Their shared grief becomes a source of redemption and strength which changes their lives forever.”

Keeley Hawes
Keeley Hawes stars as Patricia Neal in To Olivia.

Who is in the Roald Dahl movie cast?

Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey, Paddington) will star in the lead role of Dahl. Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard, Line Of Duty) will play Neal. And Outlander fans will be excited to learn that Sam Heughan, who of course plays Jamie Fraser, joined as film star Paul Newman (Newman worked with Neal, and the pair co-starred in 1963 classic Hud, which earned Neal an Oscar win and Neal an Oscar nomination). 

Speaking about Heughan’s role when it was announced in 2019, producer Donall McCusker (The Hurt Locker) said: “We are delighted that Sam has joined us, he is the perfect actor to play Paul Newman and a terrific addition to our already wonderful cast.”

Heughan wrote on Twitter: “So excited to share this! Lucky to be part of this beautiful movie, brilliantly lead by @hughbon as Roald Dahl and the amazing @Misskeeleyhawes as Patricia Neal! Paul Newman was immensely talented, generous and an American icon. So fortunate!”

Hawes responded, tweeting: “Such exciting news.” And Bonneville wrote: “Who knows? You knows.”

Watch the trailer for To Olivia

As you can see from the trailer, To Olivia will be an emotional, heartwarming and magical watch – the perfect thing for a cold weekend in lockdown. It also shows a side to the author that we perhaps didn’t know much about before. 

When is the new Roald Dahl film being released?

To Olivia will be available to watch on Now TV and Sky Cinema from Friday 19 February 2021. 

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…