*Jodie Turner-Smith is speaking out about the backlash over being cast as former Queen of England, Anne Boleyn.
We previously reported… the “Queen & Slim” star plays Anne Boleyn in a three-part drama that will air on the ViacomCBS-backed U.K. broadcaster Channel 5 U.K.
Directed by Lynsey Miller and penned by Eve Hedderwick Turner, the psychological series will detail the final months of the life of King Henry VIII’s second wife, EW reported.
“I am so excited to join these exciting filmmakers in bringing the story of one of history’s most controversial queens to the screen,” said Turner-Smith previously said in a statement, per Variety. “Delving deeper into Anne Boleyn’s immense strengths while examining her fatal weaknesses and vulnerabilities, Eve’s scripts immediately captured my imagination. In the hands of Lynsey Miller, the legend of this formidable queen and fierce mother will be seen as a deeply human story that is still so relevant for today. I look forward to bringing my heart and spirit into this daring retelling of the fall of this iconic woman.”
Most recently, Turner-Smith reacted to the criticism over her casting in Glamour U.K.’s May cover story, telling the publication, “I did know it would be something that people felt very passionately about, either in a positive or a negative way, because Anne is a human in history who people feel very strongly about,” she explained. “More than anything, I wanted to tell the human story at the center of all of this.”
The actress also noted that she “had just become a mother and that was what really jumped out at me, the story of Anne as a mother.”
Turner-Smith said her journey as a new mother helped shape her experience working on the project.
“To have the experience of working with people that have so much compassion for where I was in my journey as a mother as we were telling the story about a mother, I feel there was just so much more compassion in the storytelling,” she said.
“The drama will explore the final months of Anne Boleyn’s life from the eponymous queen’s perspective,” Channel 5 said in a statement. “The psychological drama follows her as she struggles to survive, to secure a future for her daughter, and to challenge the powerful patriarchy closing in around her.”
Fable founders Faye Ward and Hannah Farrell are the producers.
Ward and Farrell said: “We feel that history has side-lined the voice of this ambitious Queen in favor of the men who brought her down, and that Lynsey Miller’s beautiful, intimate vision will put Anne’s gaze at the heart of the piece.” Turner-Smith continued: “Delving deeper into Anne Boleyn’s immense strengths while examining her fatal weaknesses and vulnerabilities, Eve’s scripts immediately captured my imagination.”
Henry VIII split with the Catholic Church in 1533 to marry Anne Boleyn after divorcing Catherine of Aragon. The day after he had Anne beheaded, Henry married Jane Seymour.
Natalie Portman, Claire Foy and Natalie Dormer have previously portrayed Anne Boleyn.