Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons To Star:
HBO Films Miniseries Elizabeth I
Debuting In 2006
Hugh Dancy, Patrick Malahide And Ian McDiarmid Co-Star;
Directed by Tom Hooper From A Script By Nigel Williams;
Executive Produced For Company Pictures By George Faber, Charles Pattinson
And Suzan Harrison; Produced By Barney Reisz
Helen Mirren ("The Clearing," "Gosford Park") and Jeremy Irons ("Being Julia," "The Merchant of Venice") star in Elizabeth I, a two-part HBO Films miniseries currently filming in Vilnius, Lithuania. Directed by Tom Hooper ("Red Dust," "Prime Suspect VI - The Last Witness") from a script by BAFTA Award-winning screenwriter and acclaimed novelist Nigel Williams ("Dirty Tricks," "The Wimbledon Poisoner"), Elizabeth I, explores the intersection of the private and public life of Elizabeth I in the latter half of her reign, offering a personal look at her allies, her enemies and her suitors.
Hugh Dancy ("King Arthur"), Ian McDiarmid ("Star Wars" episodes I, II, III and VI) and Patrick Malahide ("
Told through her relationship with the two key men in her life, the Earl of Leicester and the Earl of Essex, Elizabeth I finds
Says Colin Callender, president, HBO Films, "We have wanted to work with Helen Mirren for many years, and this remarkable role is an extraordinary showcase for Helen's great talents. It's an extraordinary portrait of a leader struggling with the responsibilities of power and the impact it has on her personal life. Playing opposite the great Jeremy Irons and exciting newcomer Hugh Dancy, Helen Mirren's interpretation of the role promises to be a provocative reexamination of one of history's great characters."
Adds screenwriter Williams, "Told through the eyes of Elizabeth herself, this is the story of a woman in supreme command in a violent and turbulent age. A fiercely intelligent, outstandingly courageous and passionate woman, her tragedy was that her head and her heart could never be reconciled."
The events of Part One of Elizabeth I are presented through the prism of
Part Two follows the latter years of
Helen Mirren (Elizabeth I) has won numerous awards for her work in TV and film. A two-time Academy Award(r) nominee, for supporting roles in "Gosford Park" and "The Madness of King George," she has won two Emmy(r) Awards ("The Passion of Ayn Rand" and "Prime Suspect 4: Scent of Darkness"), and has received five additional nominations; two SAG Awards (cast award and female actor award for "Gosford Park"), with three additional nominations; a Golden Globe Award for "Losing Chase," with five additional nominations; and three BAFTA Awards for her starring role as Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison in the PBS series "Prime Suspect," with five additional nominations. Her film credits include "Calendar Girls," "Raising Helen," "Last Orders," "Teaching Mrs. Tingle," "Some Mother's Son," "Cal," "The Mosquito Coast," "The Long Good Friday," "Excalibur," "The Comfort of Strangers," "Pascali's Island," "The Pledge" and "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover." Her next film is "Shadowboxer." Mirren made her directorial debut last year with the short film "Happy Birthday."
Jeremy Irons (Earl of Leicester) won an Academy Award(r), a Golden Globe Award and Best Actor awards from the National Society of Film Critics, and the
Hugh Dancy (Earl of Essex) has appeared in such films as "King Arthur," "Black Hawk Down," "Tempo," "Ella Enchanted" and "The Sleeping Dictionary." He recently completed filming on "Shooting Dogs" and "Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction." His TV work includes "Young Blades," BBC's "Madam Bovary" and Sam Mendes' "David Copperfield." Dancy's previous work with
Ian McDiarmid (Burghley) has starred as Palpatine in the last four "Star Wars" films: "Episode III - Revenge of the Sith," "Episode II - Attack of the Clones," "Episode I - The Phantom Menace" and "Episode VI - Return of the Jedi." His other movies include "Sleepy Hollow," "Restoration," "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," "
Patrick Malahide (Sir Francis Walsingham) most recently appeared in "
Tom Hooper (director) is a Best Director Emmy(r) nominee for the two-part drama "Prime Suspect 6 - The Last Witness," which starred Elizabeth I's Helen Mirren. Most recently he directed the feature film "Red Dust," with Hilary Swank. Hooper's TV work includes "Daniel Deronda," which won the Best Mini Series award at the 2003 Banff TV Festival, "Love in a Cold Climate," "Cold Feet II," two one-hour specials for "Eastenders," which won back-to-back BAFTA Awards for Best Soap, "Byker Grove," "Quayside" and "Painted Faces." In addition to Hooper's extensive background in commercials and corporate film and video, he directed "The Trial" and "A View from the Bridge" for the stage.
Nigel Williams (screenwriter) is a respected screenwriter, playwright and novelist. A two-time BAFTA Award winner, his screen adaptation of William Horwood's novel "Skallagrigg" and his screenplay for "The Storyteller: Greek Myths" won him BAFTA TV awards. His recent TV screenplays include "Footprints in the Snow," "Uncle Adolf," "Arena: Harold Pinter," "Bertie and Elizabeth," "Dirty Tricks," which won an International Emmy(r) Award, and "It Could Be You," among others. Williams' novels include "My Life Closed Twice," "Jack Be Nimble," "Star Turn," "Black Magic," "They Came From S.W.19," "East of Wimbledon," "Two and a Half Men in a Boat," "Scenes from a Poisoner's Life," "From Wimbledon to Waco" and "Stalking Fiona." He has written TV adaptations of three of his novels, among them "Fortysomething," "The Wimbledon Poisoner" and "Witchcraft."
George Faber (executive producer) has executive produced such TV programs as HBO's Emmy(r)-nominated "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers," "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby," "Anna Karenina," "Sons and Lovers," Jimmy McGovern's "The Lakes" and "White Teeth," as well as the recent Paul Abbott series "Shameless." He was executive producer on HBO's "Deadly Voyage" and associate producer on HBO's "Shot Through the Heart." His feature film credits include "Priest," "Persuasion," "Morvern Callar," "Mojo," "My Son the Fanatic" and "A Room for Romeo Brass."
Charles Pattinson (executive producer) is a producing partner with George Faber at Company Pictures. His producing credits include the films "Morvern Callar," "A Room for Romeo Brass," "The Stringer" and "Saigon Baby." Pattinson's extensive TV credits include HBO's "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers," "Shameless," "P.O.W.," Jimmy McGovern's "The Lakes," "40", "Unconditional Love," "Sons and Lovers," "Serious and Organized," "White Teeth," "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby," "Anna Karenina" and HBO's "Shot Through the Heart."
Suzan Harrison (executive producer) has executive produced such TV films as "The Rotter's Club," "Uncle Adolf," "White Teeth," "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby," "