Jodie Turner-Smith is one of those actresses who completely steals every scene she’s in. So it’s little wonder she was tapped to portray one of England’s most divisive former queens, Anne Boleyn, in a new psychological thriller.
After news of the project was announced last year, now we have our first look at the Queen & Slim star in her royal role. Looking as stunning as ever, in the newly released image, Turner-Smith as Boleyn wears a velvety black dress with the queen’s signature ‘B’ pearl necklace and veil. She stands in a darkened room, clearly aware that her marriage to King Henry VIII isn’t going to plan – and potentially already aware of her fate.
The three-part series Anne Boleyn will cover Boleyn’s final months from her point of view, “as she struggles to secure a future for her daughter and challenge the powerful patriarchy closing in around her,” Variety reports. The series, which will air on the U.K.’s Channel 5 network later this year, will depict the key moments that caused Boleyn to topple from her throne, reflecting her strength, fatal vulnerabilities and determination to be an equal among men.
As for who will join Turner-Smith on screen, Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You) plays Boleyn’s brother, George Boleyn; Mark Stanley (Game of Thrones) plays Henry VIII; and Lola Petticrew (Dating Amber) plays Jane Seymour, the woman vying for Boleyn’s husband’s heart.
In one of the British Royal Family’s most famous tales, in 1533 Boleyn convinced King Henry VIII to break from the Catholic Church to get a divorce from his then-wife, Catherine of Aragon, and marry her. Boleyn subsequently became the Queen of England from 1533 and 1536, during which time she gave birth to Queen Elizabeth I, but failed to give the king a male heir. She was executed on the grounds of treason, adultery and witchcraft on May 19, 1536, and her husband famously went on to marry another four women before his death.
In a statement about her casting, Turner-Smith, 34, said, “I am so excited to join these exciting filmmakers in bringing the story of one of history’s most controversial queens to the screen. Delving deeper into Anne Boleyn’s immense strengths while examining her fatal weaknesses and vulnerabilities, Eve [Hedderwick Turner]’s scripts immediately captured my imagination.”
The actress continued, “In the hands of Lynsey Miller, the legend of this formidable queen and fierce mother will be seen as a deeply human story that is still so relevant for today. I look forward to bringing my heart and spirit into this daring retelling of the fall of this iconic woman.”