According to Deadline, Emmy Award-nominated actress Carrie Coon (Fargo) has officially signed on to replace Amanda Peet (Brockmire) in Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes’ newest period drama series The Gilded Age which is set to debut on HBO. Peet has decided to depart from the drama due to scheduling issues that was caused by ongoing global pandemic.
This project marks Coon’s second collaboration with HBO as she previously starred in the network’s critically-acclaimed mystery drama The Leftovers which ran on-air for three seasons from 2014-2017. She will next be seen in Jason Reitman’s highly-anticipated Ghostbusters: Afterlife which is set to premiere on March 5, 2021.
Coon will now be playing the leading role of Bertha Russell, a woman who comes from the ordinary middle class. Her official character description reads: “She backed her instincts when she set out to catch her husband George, the son of a merchant family who has proved to be a financial genius. She is determined to use her money and position to break into a society that resists change at every turn.”
Set in 1880s New York City, The Gilded Age was a period of immense social upheaval, of huge fortunes made and lost, and of palaces that spanned the length of Fifth Avenue. In the series, Marian Brook is the wide-eyed young scion of a conservative family who will embark on infiltrating the wealthy neighboring family dominated by ruthless railroad tycoon George Russell, his rakish and available son Larry, and his ambitious wife Bertha, whose “new money” is a barrier to acceptance by the Astor and Vanderbilt set. Marian is about to experience a whole new world springing up right outside her front door.
The series will star Christine Baranski (The Good Fight) as Agnes van Rhijn, Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) as Ada Brook, Morgan Spector (Homeland) as George Russell, and Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story) as Gladys Russell. It will also feature Blake Ritson, Simon Jones, Louisa Jacobson, Denée Benton, Harry Richardson, Thomas Cocquerel and Jack Gilpin. Emmy nominee Jeanne Tripplehorn (Big Love, Grey Gardens) has also signed on for the recurring role of Sylvia Chamberlain.
The Gilded Age is executive produced by the creative team of Downton Abbey consisting of Julian Fellowes, Gareth Neame, David Crockett and Micheal Engler, who will also direct the series from a screenplay written by Fellowes.
Fellowes, who is an Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning writer, was honored with an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special and was nominated three other times. On the film side, Fellowes won an Oscar in 2002 and was Golden Globe nominated for his screenplay of Gosford Park.