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[Herald Interview] 'Mary & George' will resonate with global audience: actors

Julianne Moore, Nicholas Galitzine and Tony Curran say story will speak to audience despite historic setting

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : March 1, 2024 - 22:17

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A scene from A scene from "Mary & George," starring Julianne Moore (Sky Studios Limited 2024)

Julianne Moore, Nicholas Galitzine and Tony Curran said their latest period drama "Mary & George" will connect with global audiences by exploring social constraints and the theme of human greed in 17th-century England.

The 7-part historical drama series narrates the story of Mary Villiers, an ambitious, minor member of the gentry who is determined to rise to power by grooming her second son George Villiers to become the favorite of King James I.

Set during the Jacobean era in England, the series re-imagines the real-life relationship between George Villiers and King James I, who were reportedly lovers. The series is set to premiere on a slew of international streaming services. All seven episodes of "Mary & George" will launch on April 26 on Wavve.

Julianne Moore said Mary Villiers, who spent years of her life bound to her abusive husband, is a type of character that modern people can thoroughly empathize with.

An Academy Award-winning actor, Moore is known for her performance in "Boogie Nights," "The Big Lebowski," "Magnolia" as well as her Oscar-winning role in "Still Alice."

"What was wonderful about the character was that she was aware of what her status was and was angry about it," said Moore, via a virtual interview held with reporters on Friday.

"Her voraciousness, the idea that she couldn't stop, was interesting to me, because she was so angry and felt so marginalized that nothing was ever going to be enough for her," she said.

"So I think that I could understand (Mary), given when she lived and how little she had, what that must have been like, and I think that's something that's resonant for people today -- when you live in a world that's stratified by economics, gender and by opportunity or anything, people feel that they don't have access to something. I think we can all understand that," added Moore.

Tony Curran, who plays the role of the hedonistic King James I, added that the drama series narrates a story that could resonate with an international audience.

"The story is obviously set in a Jacobian era, but I think the subject matter and the contemporary nature of our script from DC Moore (will resonate with audiences around the world)," said Curran.

"The story is globally relatable, with the struggle of a woman trying to make her way through a time when she was powerless, the sexual nature of a queer king -- and those sort of aspects will (have the global audience empathize with the) human struggles, culture, society, politics and gender (portrayed on-screen)," he said.

Galitzine, who portrays the role of George Villiers, expressed his excitement at the prospect of global audiences tuning in to watch the drama series.

"I'm so excited for international audiences to watch this because it's so interesting learning about the history of another country. I'm a fan of Korean cinema and learning about Korea through that, I think, has been so joyous for me," he said.

"You know, for me to be an Englishman and find this story so intriguing, I can only imagine for other people from different backgrounds and cultures who are so removed from it -- I can only imagine it would be fascinating for them," he said.

A scene from A scene from "Mary & George," starring Nicholas Galitzine (left) and Tony Curran (Sky Studios Limited 2024)