Meet the new queen!
The Queen & Slim star is set to play the Tudor-era historic figure in a three-part psychological drama.
Lia Toby / Getty Images
The cast will also feature Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You), Amanda Burton (White House Farm), Jamael Westman (Animals), Thalissa Teixeira (Trigonometry), and Barry Ward (Des).
The series will explore the final months of Anne Boleyn’s life, from her perspective — which will include her challenging the patriarchy, fighting to provide a future for her daughter, and more.
Hulton Archive / Getty Images
For those unfamiliar with her history, here’s a little background:
Anne Boleyn ruled as Queen of England from 1533–1536 as King Henry VIII’s second wife. She’s often referred to as one of the most colorful figures in British history, due to their turbulent marriage, acts of treason, and ultimately, her beheading.
Jodie recently spoke to Variety and expressed her excitement about tackling this role:
“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’s scripts immediately captured my imagination. 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.”
But unfortunately, not everyone felt the same way about Jodie being cast for this role.
Rich Fury / Getty Images
Their disdain didn’t come from thinking she’s untalented. Nope. It was simply because they noticed an obvious difference between Jodie and Anne Boleyn: their race.
Some people pointed out that a white person would never be chosen to portray a Black historical figure.
@Variety Anne Boleyn was white. A white person would not be picked to play a well known historical black person, it would be classed as white washing. The same applies the other way around in my opinion 🤷♀️
@Variety Anne Boleyn – 2nd wife of Henry V111 – both were white. If a white woman was cast to play Rosa Parks there would quite rightly be outrage. Similarly with this casting – it’s not acceptable. This constant taunting & twisting of white culture must be challenged
actors, including white actors, have been portraying people of difference races and ethnicities
While others stated that actors, including white actors, have been portraying people of difference races and ethnicities for centuries.
@SaltyDuchess @Variety Well, apart from all the times a white person *was* picked to play a black character. Some of them are listed here: https://t.co/4HiM8XYC2B
To everyone freaking out about the prospect of a black actor playing Anne Boleyn, just a gentle reminder that first BAME woman to play Anne was back in 1933 – by Merle Oberon who was of Indian/ Polynesian descent – and like Jodie Turner-Smith undoubtedly will, she totally rocked.
And then there were those who were simply thrilled to see Jodie in another amazing role.
Jodie Turner-Smith is going to play Anne Boleyn and I have never felt more blessed
Anne Boleyn being played by Jodie Turner-Smith is the best thing I’ve heard all month x
But despite all the commotion, both Jodie and director Lynsey Miller are still passionate about bringing the story to life!
thank you @lynseymiller8 !!!! https://t.co/OCGrb03LXe
Historian Dan Jones will serve as executive producer of the series, while Sony Pictures Television will distribute it internationally.
We’ll update you as more details are released.
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