Sep 23
2019

With over 60 films under her belt, Helen won an Emmy in 2006 for her lead role in TV mini-series, Elizabeth I, and the following year, won an Oscar for her outstanding portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen. Now she is marking her return to the small screen in style, after a decade long absence, playing Catherine the Great in a new Sky period drama that promises to be jam-packed full of politics, passion and power. The story charts the dramatic rise and fallof arguably the most powerful female monarch in history.

The four-part historical drama will focus on the final stages of Catherine’s reign and her affairwith Russian military leader Grigory Potemkin -the man who ultimately helped her shape Russia’s future and expand the country’s Empire. Helen explains that she hopes she can change the perception of the Russian monarch, often remembered more for her promiscuity than her politics. “History tried to drag Catherine down because history doesn’t really like very successful, powerful women. 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. She made mistakes and finished up quite tyrannical but she was originally a reformer of this vast, vast country.” The complete article can be read in the press library.

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Sep 07
2019

Helen Mirren makes for a thrilling Catherine the Great. In the upcoming, eponymous HBO miniseries, the Oscar winner plays the 18th-century Russian leader with ruthless panache, cutting down all the men attempting to usurp her throne. “It would be a terrible mistake to go against me,“ she warns in the trailer above. The project was apparently kick-started when Mirren said in an interview that she would one day like to play the monarch, who ruled during Russia’s Golden Era and had a notoriously rocky marriage to Peter III. Producers David Thompson and Charles Pattinson heard the word and quickly made it so. Now Mirren hopes the four-part miniseries will help people see Catherine in a new light. “History doesn’t like very successful, very powerful women,” Mirren told the Independent. “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,” the actor added. “She made mistakes, and finished up quite tyrannical. But she was originally a reformer and a Westernizer, if you like, of this vast, vast country.” The four-part series also stars Jason Clarke as Grigory Potemkin, the military commander who became Catherine’s lover. Catherine the Great will debut on October 21 at 10 p.m. on HBO.

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Aug 28
2019

All episodes of the four-part Sky original drama Catherine The Great have been confirmed to air on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW TV on Thursday 3 October, with a linear playout at 9pm. Starring Academy Award® winner Helen Mirren as the iconic Russian Empress alongside Jason Clarke, Gina McKee and Rory Kinnear, the series follows the latter years of the Catherine The Great’s reign and her passionate affair with Grigory Potemkin (Jason Clarke), amid a backdrop of scandal, intrigue and immense conflict. Unable to publicly marry, Catherine and Potemkin’s story is one of obsessive love for each other and their country as they develop a unique and devoted relationship, overcoming their adversaries to build Russia’s reputation as one of the great European powers of the 18th Century. Written by Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I) and directed by BAFTA and Emmy® Award-winning Philip Martin (The Crown), Catherine The Great is produced by Origin Pictures and New Pictures. It is the third commission from Sky and HBO’s global drama partnership, which to date has included The Young Pope and Chernobyl, which recently received 19 Emmy® Award nominations. Catherine The Great is one of many notable Sky commissions airing this year, as Sky continues to invest in original productions. Sky has recently committed to more than double its investment in original drama, comedy and documentary through Sky Studios, the commissioning and production arm of Sky. Sky Studios brings to screen unique stories from the very best talent in Europe and is the creative home of Sky’s award-winning and much-loved Sky originals. The complete press release can be read over at Sky.

Aug 01
2019

After her award-winning performances as Elizabeth I. and Elizabeth II., Dame Helen Mirren is adding another commanding and unforgettable royal ruler to her glittering CV as she heads the cast of Sky Atlantic’s sumptuous drama “Catherine the Great”. The four-part series, which has been filmed in Russia, Latvia and Lithuania, follows the formidable 18th century Russian empress’ dramatic later years as she tranforms her nation into one of Europe’s greatest powers. All the political and sexual intrigue surrounding Catherine’s colorful court is also brought to life, including her passionate and complex romance with military leader Grigory Potemkin (Jascon Clarke), who helps her bring Russia to glory. Gina McKee (Bodyguard) co-stars as Catherine’s confidant and lady-in-waiting Countess Braskovya Bruce and Rory Kinnear is shrewd politian Nikita Panin, the governor to her son Paul (Joseph Quinn). Richard Roxburgh, Kevin McNally, Paul Ritter and Paul Kaye also feature. “Catherine rewrote the rules of governance by a woman and succeeded to the extent of having the word ‘great’ attached to her name”, explains Mirren, who thinks the drama will offer a new take on the empress. “History tried to drag Catherine down. I hope we are going to reinstate her reputation as the incredible leader that she was”.

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Jul 26
2019

At 73, Helen Mirren has learnt a few things about life… finding power in insecurity, why marriage is ultimately the right choice and the joy of a good charity job. With her return to television imminent – playing Catherine the Great in a new miniseries – Emma Clifton looks at the wisdom, worries and loves of the illustrous star. Helen Mirren often makes headlines, and because she’s Helen Mirren, there’s always a feisty coolness to the story behind the news. Recently, there was one such moment when she was asked if she had any regrets about how she has been treated as a young actress. “Being old is cool, but, oh, how I wish I were 18 now with the strength and courage to say ‘Fuck Off,” she said. “If I could go back and tell my younger self anything, it would be this: “Darling, learn these two words: Fuck. Off. All my life I never learnt to say those words, I just learned to be nice, to play along”.

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