Lara Pulver, Annabelle Wallis, Lesley Manville, Anna Chancellor, Samuel West and Rupert Evans will all feature in the four-part drama that explores the early life of Ian Fleming, the charming, enigmatic creator of 007.
Fleming (W/T) from Ecosse Films is a co-production for BBC AMERICA and Sky Atlantic and distributed by BBC Worldwide.
Lara Pulver, (Sherlock, Da Vinci’s Demons) joins the cast as Ann O’Neill, the elegant Baroness whose wartime meeting with Ian Fleming was to alter the course of the rest of both their lives. A leading figure of London’s social elite, married but having an affair with Esmond Rothermere, the owner of the Daily Mail, Ann infatuates Ian with her enigmatic aura. Fleming (W/T) explores how two fiercely independent and self-assured individuals met their match in each other, enjoying an enduring, though tumultuous life long relationship.
About her casting Pulver said:
"I am thrilled to be playing Ann, a real life high society siren worthy of Fleming's finest fictional femme fatales. In extraordinary times Ann had the ear of politicians as powerful as Churchill and counted artists like Lucian Freud among her friends, yet was consumed by a torrid romance with the great Ian Fleming; a twisted and passionate love that would last the rest of their lives."
Ann is not the only woman in Fleming’s life, however, and we meet Muriel, who in contrast to Ann, is an innocent tom-boyish girl whose pretty face and blond curls prove irresistible to the young Ian Fleming. Muriel will be played by Annabelle Wallis, (Pan Am, The Tudors).
Lesley Manville, (Another Year, Vera Drake) will play Ian’s mother, Eve Fleming, a force of nature and one of the seminal women in Fleming’s life. Despite being presented with every advantage in life, Ian’s failures make him an utter disappointment to her - especially when compared to his successful and charming older brother, Peter, the celebrated travel writer and war hero whose success Ian was always trying to emulate. Peter will be played by Rupert Evans (World Without End, Hellboy).
Samuel West, (Mr Selfridge, Hyde Park on Hudson) will play Admiral John Godfrey, Director of Naval Intelligence and in some respect Fleming’s inspiration for M. After hiring Fleming to shake up Naval Intelligence, Godfrey struggles to contain his free spirited employee.
Accompanying Godfrey in Naval Intelligence is Lieutenant Monday, the Admiral’s secretary and prototype for Miss Moneypenny. Monday will be played by Anna Chancellor, (The Hour, Four Weddings and a Funeral).
Fleming (W/T) was commissioned by Anne Mensah, Sky’s Head of Drama. Huw Kennair-Jones is Executive Producer for Sky, Ecosse Films’ Douglas Rae, Michael Parke and Robert Bernstein also Executive Produce. Fleming (W/T) is Produced by Sarah Curtis.
Fleming (W/T) will be shot on location in the United Kingdom and Budapest in early 2013.
Note to editors:
BBC AMERICA delivers U.S. audiences high-quality, innovative and intelligent programming. Established in 1998, it has been the launch pad for talent embraced by American mainstream pop culture, including Ricky Gervais, Gordon Ramsay, Graham Norton, and successful programming formats including ground-breaking non-scripted television like Top Gear and top-rated science-fiction like Doctor Who. Owned by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, BBC AMERICA has attracted both critical acclaim and major awards including an Emmy®, five Golden Globes® and ten Peabody Awards. The channel attracts one of cable’s most affluent and educated audiences and is available on cable and satellite TV in more than 80.4 million homes. It broadcasts in both standard and high-definition, with content available On Demand across all major digital platforms. Online, www.bbcamerica.com is the place to go to dig deeper into pop culture with a British twist. Find out more by visiting www.press.bbcamerica.com or follow us on www.twitter.com/bbcamerica.
I am thrilled to be playing Ann, a real life high society siren worthy of Fleming's finest fictional femme fatales. In extraordinary times Ann had the ear of politicians as powerful as Churchill and counted artists like Lucian Freud among her friends, yet was consumed by a torrid romance with the great Ian Fleming; a twisted and passionate love that would last the rest of their lives."