Coming off from her Golden Globe-winning performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Crown Season 4, Gillian Anderson has found her next TV project in the form of Hulu’s acclaimed comedy-drama The Great. Anderson has officially signed on for a guest-starring role in the upcoming second season of the Elle Fanning-led series. She will also next be seen in the long-awaited third season of Netflix’s Sex Education and in Showtime’s anthology series The First Lady.
Anderson is set to appear in two episodes of The Great Season 2 and will be playing the role of Catherine’s mother Joanna. Described as a glamorous socialite from Germany, Joanna is sometimes also known as the “maestro of marriage” for her abilities to arrange high-profile partnerships for her daughters. She has heard rumors of her daughter’s coup and come to Russia to see it for herself. Though the apple of Catherine’s eye and a doting mother, it soon becomes clear Johanna has more sinister intentions to save her family’s reputation.
The Great is a satirical, comedic drama about the rise of Catherine the Great through 18th Century Russia from outsider to the longest-reigning female ruler in Russia’s history. Season 1 is a fictionalized, fun, and anachronistic story of an idealistic, romantic young girl, who arrives in Russia for an arranged marriage to the mercurial Emperor Peter. Hoping for love and sunshine, she finds instead a dangerous, depraved, backward world that she resolves to change. All she has to do is kill her husband, beat the church, baffle the military and get the court onside. A very modern story about the past that encompasses the many roles she played over her lifetime as a lover, teacher, ruler, friend, and fighter.
The series stars Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great, Nicholas Hoult as Russian emperor Peter, Phoebe Fox as Marial, Adam Godley, Gwilym Lee as Grigor, Charity Wakefield, Douglas Hodge, and Sacha Dhawan.
The Great is written and executive produced by Tony McNamara (The Favourite) with Matt Shakman (Game Of Thrones) serving as the director. Fanning and Marian Macgowan are also set as executive producers.
For its first season, the series had earned three major Golden Globe nominations including Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy as well as Best Actress and Best Actor for Fanning and Hoult.