A First Glimpse at ‘The Gilded Age,’ Julian Fellowes’s Sumptuous New Period Drama

Fans of period dramas are expecting a double list of projects from Julian Fellowes in 2022. While the Crawleys will return for Downton Abbey: a new era in March, the long-awaited Fellowes The golden age It will premiere on January 24 on HBO. Set in New York in the late 1800s, the nine-part drama series finds its heroine in Marian Brook, played by Meryl Streep’s daughter, Louisa Jacobson, in her acting debut.

Cynthia Nixon and Christine Baranski will play the conservative and wealthy aunts of Marian Brook.

Photo: Alison Cohen Rosa / HBO

When her father passes away, Marian must move from the Pennsylvania countryside to New York, with her wealthy aunts, Agnes van Rhijn (Christine Baranski) and Ada Brook (Cynthia Nixon), taking her in as a companion. Your reading on the social revolution underway in Manhattan? “Power belongs to the old New York, my dear, not the new, never the new,” Baranski declares in the first trailer. “The old ones have been in charge since before the revolution, until the new people invaded.” Dividing Marian’s loyalties: her new friend, Peggy Scott (Denée Benton), who moves to town to try her hand at writing, and the neighbors of her aunts, George and Bertha Russell (Morgan Spector and Carrie Coon), who they made an amazing fortune. through the burgeoning rail industry.

And although Fellowes has made fun of it Downton Fans can see a cameo by the young widowed countess (Maggie Smith) in the series, there is no doubt that much of the drama will focus on people more like the other “grandmother” of Crawley’s daughters: the Newport socialite. Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine). “These people were extraordinary,” Fellowes said of the industrialists of the Gilded Age when announcing the series in 2016. “You can see why they scared the old guard, because they saw no borders. They wanted to build a palace, they built a palace. They wanted to buy a yacht, they bought a yacht. And the old guard of New York was not like that at all, and suddenly this whirlwind of haute couture descended on their heads. They redesigned themselves being rich. They created a rich culture that we still have ”.

The Russells will act as symbols of the wealthy families that are turning Manhattan society upside down.

Photo: Alison Cohen Rosa / HBO

Curiously, The sopranosBob Shaw served as a production designer on The golden age, weather Moonrise kingdomKasia Walicka-Maimone has supervised the dressing room. Filming has reportedly taken place at various locations in Rhode Island, including Bellevue mansions such as Chateau-sur-Mer and Cornelius Vanderbilt’s legendary summer residence, The Breakers. Lyndhurst, a gothic-style mansion in Tarrytown, New York, is also expected to appear, while the town of Troy, with its well-preserved 19th-century buildings, will replace Victorian-era Manhattan. To quote George de Spector in the preview: “Let the tournament begin.”


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