HBO/Sky release first image of Helen Mirren as Catherine the Great


HBO and Sky have released first look images of Helen Mirren as Catherine the Great in the upcoming mini-series of the same name.

Helen Mirren stars as the titular character in HBO/Sky co-production of Catherine the Great, a four part mini-series about Empress of Russia Catherine II.

The first look image shows Mirren wearing a lavishly beautiful and intricate gown while standing in an ornate study. She looks absolutely gorgeous and regal while also looking like a force to be reckoned with.

Helen Mirren Catherine the Great / Hal Shinnie/HBO

The series is filming now in palaces across Europe in locations like Latvia, Russia, and Lithuania, but no release date has yet been made public.

Catherine the Great also stars Gina McKee (Notting Hill) as Catherine’s lifelong friend and confidante Countess Bruce, Rory Kinnear (Black Mirror) as Catherine’s advisor Minister Panin, and Richard Roxburgh (Hacksaw Ridge, Rake) as Catherine’s former lover and confederate Grigory Orlov.

Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean) is Grigory’s brother Alexei, and Sam Palladio as Catherine’s young lover Alexander Vasilichikov. The series is written by Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I, Fortysomething) and directed by Philip Martin (The Crown).

Catherine the Great, born a poor princess in what is now Szczecin, Poland, rose to power by marrying her second cousin Peter, who would later become Emperor Peter III, Tsar of Russia.

She would overthrow her husband in a military coup orchestrated by herself and Grigory and Alexei Orlov, becoming Empress of Russia in 1762 and ruling until her death in 1796. While Catherine was a shrewd ruler and diplomat, greatly expanding the kingdom of Russia during her reign, many urban legends have arisen due to her well documented sexual appetites.

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She had 22 lovers over the course of her 34 years on the throne, inspiring unsubstantiated rumors of novelty erotic furniture and totally false stories regarding the circumstances of her death.

Seeing as how Palladio will play one of Catherine’s young lovers, it seems the series will briefly, and hopefully tastefully, touch on this aspect of her life.

Source: Deadline