Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey, is working on another epic historical drama, this time plotted in the 1880s in New York City – often known as the Gilded Age – and centering on the rivalries between two affluent families in a tale of old vs new money.
Carrie Coon, Taissa Farmiga, Cynthia Nixon, Christine Baranski, and others are the cast members of the upcoming HBO series, which will premiere on Sky Atlantic in January 2022.
Marian Brook (Louisa Jacobson), an aspiring writer, has her life turned upside down when she relocates from countryside Pennsylvania to New York City to live with her old money aunts Agnes van Rhijn (Baranski) and Ada Brook (Nixon).
Julian Fellowes’s latest historical drama, The Gilded Age, is set in and around New York in the 1880s.
During this age of wealth in the United States owing to the economic boom, the show will go along with the comings and goings of the uppermost echelons of New York’s high society.
The tale starts in 1882 with Marian Brook, the orphaned daughter of a Union general who moves into the New York City house of her old-money aunts Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook.
Marian, joined by talented African-American lady Peggy Scott, unwittingly becomes embroiled in a social battle between one of her aunties, an old-money scion, and her excessively wealthy neighbors, George, and Bertha Russell, and their son Larry, the ruthless railroad tycoon and his ambitious wife.
Julian Fellowes, who wants his many fans to believe in the characters, makes it clear that The Gilded Age is not a prelude to Downton Abbey, which premiered in 1912 with the news of the Titanic’s sinking.
Julian explains, “In truth, The Gilded Age is about an era far more premature than Downton Abbey.” “It’s the New York of the 1880s, with all the many sorts of activities that were going on.”
Production of Gilded Age
In February, the series began filming at the residences Chateau-sur-Mer, The Elms, and The Breakers in Rhode Island.
It was then shifted to New York, where it was filmed in the Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown and other locations across the city, including Fifth Avenue in the 1970s and Bethesda Terrace in Central Park.
For several weeks, filming took place in Troy, between Second and Third Streets, near the city’s astonishing Washington Park. This is one of the state’s two non-governmental parks. The architecture in the region is ideal for portraying Manhattan in the nineteenth century.
Building facades, fancy stores, faux cobblestone, and many horse-drawn carriages helped set designers turn Washington Park and Monument Square into 1880s style.
The Gilded Age was supposed to be filmed last year, but the coronavirus pandemic thwarted those preparations. A casting business advertised in The Times Union that it was searching for extras.
To depict parts in the 1880s, producers are searching for ladies with long hair who are willing to wear corsets and bustles and males with facial hair and children.
The Cast of Gilded Age
Marian Brook, the young heroine from an ancient Pennsylvania family, is played by Louisa Jacobson (Meryl Streep’s daughter), a newbie to The Gilded Age cast.
Marian’s aunt Ada Brook will be played by Cynthia Nixon, who is well recognized for her part as Miranda in Sex and the City. Marian’s second aunt, Agnes van Rhijn, is played by Chicago actress Christine Baranski.
Aurora Fane, Agnes van Rhijn’s niece, via marriage and who takes Marian under her wing, is played by Kelli O’Hara (The King & I). Agnes’ son Oscar Van Rhijn, played by Blake Ritson in Indian Summers, is one of Marian’s potential suitors.
Tom Raikes ( start from The 100, Thomas Cocquerel), a respectable young lawyer, is another gentleman on the scene.
Marian’s African American companion and aspiring writer Peggy Scott are played by Denée Benton (Hamilton). Arthur Scott, a freed slave, and a wealthy businessman are played by John Douglas Thompson, while six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald plays Dorothy.
Bertha Russell is portrayed by Carrie Coon (The Leftovers), while her robber-baron husband, George Russell, is played by Morgan Spector (Homeland).
Gladys (American Horror Story) is played by Taissa Farmiga, while Harry Richardson plays Larry (from Poldark). Richard Clay’s secretary is played by Patrick Page (Hadestown).
Caroline ‘Carrie’ Astor, one of New York’s most influential women’s daughters, is played by Amy Forsyth (The Path). In contrast, Ward McAllister, Mrs. Astor’s confidant and gatekeeper of her social circle, is played by Nathan Lane (Mouse Hunt).
Watch for Jeanne Tripplehorn (Big Love) in the role of Sylvia Chamberlain, a tall, gorgeous, and enigmatic woman in society. Cornelius Eckhard, Ada’s previous boyfriend from her days in Pennsylvania, is played by Bill Irwin (Rachel Getting Married), who may still have feelings for her.
The Release Date of the Gilded Age
The Gilded Age will premiere on HBO in the United States on January 24, 2022, at 9 p.m. On Tuesday, January 25, it will premiere on Sky Atlantic and the streaming service NOW in the United Kingdom. HBO and Universal Television, a branch of Universal Studio Group, collaborated on the nine-part series.