The Line of Beauty
Who's Who of The Line Of Beauty
Dan Stevens plays Nick Guest
Handsome and gay, Nick starts the story as an awkward, middle class boy from the
provinces hungry to explore the wider world.
Fiercely intelligent, with a First
from Oxford and a passion for Henry James, he is seduced by the beautiful things
and beautiful people that he encounters through the glamorous Fedden family.
he increases in confidence, Nick becomes sexually assertive and self-assured
within London's Eighties gay scene, and a charming player in the world of
privilege in which he now moves.
Nick is a chameleon; he wants to be all things to all people but is never quite
at home anywhere.
Desperate to be a part of the seductive world of the Feddens,
he is blinded to the darker undertones of their world.
He forms a protective
bond with Catherine, whose illness interests him and whose sexual experience
He desires Toby, respects Rachel's upper-class languor and acts
as a second son to Gerald, whom he treats with jovial reverence.
Nick is the embodiment of romantic readiness. He is quick to fall in love, and
eternally frustrated that each of his relationships have to be conducted as
Though aware of the social gulf between them, Nick throws
himself headlong into an affair with Leo, his first love, and has his heart
broken when Leo puts an abrupt end to things.
With Wani, Nick acts as an
indulgent parent towards a child he loves too much, constantly amazed by Wani's
Tim McInnerny plays Gerald Fedden
Charismatic and larger-than-life, newly elected MP Gerald Fedden is becoming a
real player within the Tory party and has even been tipped for a job in the
Gerald feeds off the adrenalin of politics and is enthralled by Mrs
Thatcher ("the Lady"), though his home constituency of Barwick (Nick's parents'
home) is rather a burden of duty.
Gerald is a charming bon viveur, a great host and a canny networker.
And he has
an enviable family life; the seemingly perfect marriage and beautiful children.
But as we are drawn further into the story, his selfishness and ruthless
ambition begin to emerge.
Life in the family home is gradually torn apart by
revelations of an affair with his secretary, Penny, and the emotional
instability of his daughter, Catherine.
Unwilling to shoulder the blame
personally, Nick becomes the inevitable scapegoat.
Alice Krige plays Rachel Fedden
Gerald's elegant and charming wife, Rachel, is from a family of wealthy Jewish
She appears the consummate politician's wife. She is cultured and
sophisticated, runs a beautiful house and is a brilliant hostess for their
endless dinner parties and soirees.
She makes a great effort to make Nick feel a
part of the family, and becomes everything that Nick wished his real mother
Rachel is more sensitive than Gerald, but remains as incapable as her husband of
accepting the severity of Catherine's illness.
When the family is threatened by
scandal, Rachel refuses to face up to the whole truth and duly stands by her
As Nick is made scapegoat for their problems, it is her sharp and shocking
remonstration that cuts him the deepest.
Oliver Coleman plays Toby Fedden
Beautiful and sporty, Toby is refreshingly uncomplicated and open. He is the
golden boy upon whom Gerald's hopes are pinned, though he lacks Cat's quick wit.
Toby is an innocent in the world of the Feddens, and never judges them or anyone
Even when his parents invite the parents of an ex-girlfriend to stay with
them all in France, Toby is quick to brush over any awkwardness.
He is a good
friend to Nick, and genuinely upset at the end that Nick hasn't been more open
Hayley Atwell plays Catherine Fedden
Catherine is Toby's self-harming, manic depressive younger sister, who is
sparky, amusing, dangerous, sexy, and rude to the Feddens' friends.
she is a loose cannon, speaking the truth where no one else dares.
increasingly heavy dosage of lithium suggests the Feddens' desire to silence
these "eccentric outbursts" and maintain the family's fragile status quo.
the family's conscience, and when events reach breaking point, it is Catherine
who exposes the lies that both the family and Nick have been living.
Catherine is a beguiling, damaged and needy character, with a string of
disastrous relationships behind her.
She forms the closest bond to Nick because
he is intelligent and sensitive enough to understand her. Yet tragically it is she
who finally betrays him.
Don Gilet plays Leo Charles
Nick's first boyfriend, Leo, is black, works for the council, rides a bicycle
and lives in Willesden.
Leo is cocky, sexually promiscuous and, although
intelligent, not an intellectual.
He comes from a one-parent religious
background, where his homosexuality is a secret, and has been supported in the
past by Pete, an antiques dealer who now has Aids.
Despite the difference
between the lives they are living, Leo and Nick form a close bond.
Nick is left
reeling when Leo mysteriously ends their affair at its most intense point, and
it's only as the years pass that Nick begins to piece together the truth.
Though just a few streets away, Leo's world gives us a taster of life beyond the
privileged drawing rooms of the Feddens.
Alex Wyndham plays Wani (Antoine) Ouradi
Wani - beautiful, rich and decadent - comes from a Lebanese family and is heir to
a multi-million pound supermarket chain.
Wani is like a delinquent prince and
refuses to admit he is gay.
To appease his domineering father, he is newly
engaged to a girl carefully selected by the family, and keeps his affair with
Nick a secret.
Wonderful and pathetic, Wani at times treats Nick badly, but pays
for the privilege of doing so; everything in Wani's world can be bought.
later supports Nick financially, and Nick colludes in Wani's fatal cocaine and
sex-fuelled spiral of self-destruction.