tale of sex and royal intrigue in the Court of King Henry VIII is
brought alive in The Other Boleyn Girl for BBC TWO
McElhone, Jodhi May, Jared Harris and Steven Mackintosh star in
The Other Boleyn Girl, a tale of sex and royal intrigue for
BBC TWO, Jane Tranter, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning, announced
film reveals the little-known story of Mary Boleyn, who was mistress
to King Henry VIII before he married her sister, Anne.
by Philippa Gregory's novel of the same name and loosely based on
fact, The Other Boleyn Girl tells how the happily married Mary (McElhone)
is forced by her family to become Henry VIII's mistress after catching
his eye at Court.
horrified by her predicament, she quickly falls in love with the
young King (Harris), but whilst pregnant and in confinement, the
King's wandering eye turns to her ruthless, ambitious sister (May).
scheming relations - including her brother George (Mackintosh) -
make her step aside so Anne (May) can manoeuvre herself into becoming
Natascha McElhone has starred in Hollywood hits such as The Truman
Show and The Devil's Own and stars opposite George Clooney in Steven
Soderbergh's Solaris, which is released in the US later this year.
May will be seen in leading roles in two BBC dramas this autumn
- Tipping the
Velvet and Daniel
Harris's (Henry VIII) credits include the films Lush, Happiness
and I Shot Andy Warhol.
Mackintosh (George) won an RTS award for his part in Care and has
appeared in the BBC's award-winning Our Mutual Friend and Lock Stock
and Two Smoking Barrels.
cast members include Philip Glenister, Jack Shepherd, John Woodvine
and Ron Cook.
producer Ruth Caleb says: "The Other Boleyn Girl tries to get
behind historical events and the politics of history to explore
the emotional lives of those involved.
a story of love, loss and passion; about women and ambition and
how the two sisters deal with power.
great families of the time used their daughters as pawns to gain
favours from the King and the Boleyn family were anxious to thrust
their girls into his orbit."
cast have spent four weeks in workshops improvising the script together
with Director Philippa Lowthorpe.
Davies is script consultant and Gregory is acting as historical
Producers are David Thompson and Alex Holmes.
of the period drama begins at Berkeley Castle near Bristol next
Other Boleyn Girl is the first full-length feature directed by Philippa
Lowthorpe, an award-winning documentary-maker (Three Salons at the
Seaside, A Childhood, A Skirt Through History).
says: "We are doing history in a completely different way.
The improvisation process should bring a freshness and modernity
to the production, each actor is able to interpret their own role
rather than the script presenting one writer's view of history."
Thompson, Head of BBC Films, says: "We have been concentrating
on finding new ways to approach drama, working with documentary
makers moving into drama. This is a joint initiative between the
BBC's drama and factual departments."
The production is the latest in a series of acclaimed films from
BBC Films created through improvisation and produced by Ruth Caleb.
of Control, shown recently on BBC ONE, which won the Michael
Powell Award for Best British Film at the Edinburgh International
Film Festival; Tomorrow La Scala! which debuted at the Cannes Film
Festival and will be shown on BBC TWO later this year; When I Was
12 and Last Resort.
is also producing the improvised Rehab,
directed by Antonia Bird and scripted by Rona Munro, which is currently
in post-production for BBC TWO, and her other recent credits include
Care which won the Prix Italia for Best Drama (singles) as well
as the BAFTA Award for Best Single Drama.
the same awards, Caleb received the Alan Clarke Award for Creative
Contribution to Television.
The Other Boleyn Girl is a BBC Films production for BBC TWO.