We’ve seen Dame Helen Mirren play Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen and Queen Elizabeth I in an Emmy-winning 2005 miniseries. Now she’s taking on another regal role in Catherine the Great, HBO’s upcoming miniseries about Russia’s longest-ruling female leader.
The just-released trailer shows Mirren fully capturing the 18th century Empress’ imperious streak. “Do you know what I hold in my hand,” Mirren’s Catherine the Great asks as she raises her fist. “Absolute power.”
Later, she declares: “I will not share my throne with anyone.” Check it out below.
Directed by Philip Martin (The Crown) and written by Nigel Williams, who also wrote Mirren’s Elizabeth I miniseries, Catherine the Great is due to debut in the fall.
Jason Clarke co-stars as Grigory Potemkin, a military leader who was a great favorite of Catherine, and the cast also includes Skyfall‘s Rory Kinnear and Bodyguard‘s Gina McKee.
Speaking at a British Film Institute event earlier this year, Mirren said that the miniseries will offer a revisionist portrait of the Empress, who has sometimes been portrayed as promiscuous and somewhat monstrous.
“That was calumny thrown at her by history because history doesn’t like very successful, very powerful women,” Mirren said. “They have to drag them down and history tried to drag Catherine down. I hope we are going to reinstate her reputation as the incredible leader that she was.
“I’m not saying she didn’t have her faults,” Mirren added. “She made mistakes and finished up quite tyrannical but she was originally a reformer and a Westerniser, if you like, of this vast, vast country.”
Bring it on!
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