The eight-part series was directed only by women and boasts an all-female writing and producing team. Hulu is intending to even the playing field with its upcoming brothel drama Harlots.
The eight-part series — which stars Samantha Morton, Lesley Manville and Jessica Brown Findlay — promises to show as much male nudity as female nudity and tell its story from the perspective of women.
“It was very important to us from the beginning to make it about the female gaze. We were determined to make something different,” executive producer Alison Owen said Saturday during a panel for the drama at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour. “Our hope from the beginning was, ‘Everything from the whore’s eye view.'”
To ensure that the story comes from the perspective of women, only female directors were hired to helm the hourlong episodes. Among them: Coky Giedroyc (Penny Dreadful) and China Moo-Young (Thirteen, Humans). “We really set out to get all female directors. We got the best of the best in the U.K., and it has influenced the show exactly the way we wanted it to,” said executive producer Debra Hayward, who added that the series also has an all-female writing team.
Set against the backdrop of 18th century Georgian London, Harlots explores the city’s “most valuable commercial activity” (i.e. sex) based on the stories of real women. Written by Moira Buffini (Jane Eyre), the drama is based on an original idea by Buffini and Alison Newman.
“It’s a show about economics as much as it is a show about sex work,” said Manville, who plays a madam who threatens Morton’s character, Margaret Wells, as she struggles to reconcile her roles as mother and brothel owner. “What the show does really well is show prostitution from every social angle.”
Yesterday, Hulu announced its mid-season programming slate. The streaming platform will release Season One of Harlots on Wednesday, March 29th. There will be 8 episodes available. Jessica will star alongside Samantha Morton, Lesley Manville and Eloise Smyth.
Synopsis: Margaret Wells (Morton) struggles to reconcile her roles as brothel owner and mother to daughters Charlotte (Findlay) and Lucy (Smyth). When her business comes under attack from Lydia Quigley (Manville), a rival madam with a ruthless streak, Margaret must fight back even if it means losing her family and possibly her life. Harlots is a powerful family drama set in 18th Century London that offers a brand new take on the city’s most valuable commercial activity – sex.
Jessica Brown Findlay and Jessica Barden appeared on Day Break to talk about their new BBC drama The Outcast. We have also added some stills to the gallery, here.
After some gallery issues, we finally re built the image gallery. Sorry it took a little while. Just to remind all you UK fans, Jessica will star in The Outcast this weekend on BBC One. We have added x05 stills of her…
Downton Abbey star Jessica Brown Findlay talks about her starring role in BBC1’s emotional two-part post-World War Two drama, The Outcast. Jessica, 25, also reveals despite her success, she still has to audition for roles…
What can you tell us about BBC1’s new two-part drama, The Outcast?
“It’s not a particularly happy story! It is set in world were nobody is saying how they truly feel, and slowly those emotions start to come out. It’s very suppressed and filming was quite intense.”
What can you tell us about your character, Alice?
“She’s the second wife to Gilbert Aldridge, played by Greg Wise. His first wife Elizabeth drowned and Alice is far, far younger than any of the other wives in the village. Gilbert desperately thinks he’ll start again, almost from where Elizabeth was age-wise, but it results in Alice being very unprepared for a life in suburbia among mothers who’ve done it all and lived through World War Two with their children. Alice tries very hard to be a mother to Elizabeth’s son, Lewis, who witnessed his mother drown.”
Does traumatised Lewis warm to Alice?
“I think Alice just wants Lewis (George MacKay) to like her. But he’s so emotionally damaged from what he’s been through he isn’t able to talk about it, or get physical comfort from anyone, a hug or even someone just holding his hand. I think she takes the fact that he doesn’t immediately like her as a personal affront and it’s not. Alice finds it very difficult to communicate with Lewis and it only gets harder as he gets older.”
Does she plan to have children of her own?
“She desperately wants to be a mother and have her own child. She assumes if that becomes the case it will feel more like a family and that doesn’t necessarily work.”
Did you find it an emotionally draining role?
“It could be. I find it’s really important to shake it off. Sometimes after I’d finished a scene I wanted to go over to the other person and say ‘I didn’t mean it!’ I like to go home and cook something! “
Is Alice a lonely character?
“She is. She doesn’t really have any friends within the village. She’s lived in London and moved to this place where the other women don’t warm to her. Socially she feels she doesn’t know what to do or how to say things. She tends to put her foot in it a lot.”
How does she change as the story progresses?
“When we first see Alice she’s moving into Gilbert and Lewis’s house and is very excited. She wants to decorate it, get rid of the old things and put in the new. But slowly the house starts to feel like a prison. It’s her only place yet she’s not able to express or be herself there.”
It’s a village filled with secret troubles. What can you reveal?
“Everyone’s going through even darker things than Alice, Lewis and Gilbert, even though the Aldridges are made to feel as if they’re the only ones with problems! In the end Alice is able to accept the fact that she’s different and her family’s different, and that’s okay. It’s quiet change and self-acceptance.”
It’s another period drama for you. Did you enjoy the post-war costumes and sets?
“Interestingly, because Alice is quite different she doesn’t fit in when it comes to her physical appearance. She tries to be more glamorous than she really is, which riles a lot of the other mums! Later you see her desperately trying to conform and be like the others so she won’t be noticeable and her family will blend in. But it doesn’t work and as time goes on she lets herself go a bit!”
What would you like to do next?
“I’d love to do a comedy. That’s what I adore to watch. I think it’s the hardest thing to do but I’d love to go to work where if you trip up it can be included rather than cut. I can’t get enough of Modern Family. Ty Burrell is fantastic. But it’s a different pace so who knows?”
Given your success on Downton Abbey, Jamaica Inn and The Riot Club, do you find scripts come to you now?
“I audition for everything. But it’s changed from when I couldn’t get a job at all. It’s changed but there’s still that challenge where the bar is raised. You’re constantly a small fish in a bigger pond. But that’s where the challenge is. And as long as I learn and grow and am enjoying what I’m doing then that’s good.”
Based on Sadie Jones’s novel, The Outcast starts on Sunday July 12 at 9pm on BBC1.
Filming has been taking place in Hambleden for a BBC drama set in the Forties and Fifties. The two-part programme is an adaptation of the best-selling novel The Outcast by Sadie Jones, who has also written the script.
The show stars Jessica Brown-Findlay, who played Lady Sybil Crawley in Downton Abbey, George Mackay, who was in Pride and Sunshine on Leith, and Greg Wise, husband of Emma Thompson. It is produced by Blueprint Pictures, which has filmed in Hambleden twice in the last two years.
The coming-of-age story takes place between 1947 and 1957 in the fictional town of Waterford. Filming took place on three days last week in the village square and at St Mary’s Church and the sports and social club, which was transformed into a Forties-style police station. Other scenes were filmed in Fingest. Muffin Hurst, who lives in the village, said: “It’s always exciting when there’s some filming going on. It can become a bit tiresome with road closures but they are very good in Hambleden at notifying residents of what is going on and it’s a small price to pay for living somewhere so beautiful.” Ms Hurst, who runs the Henley Children’s Theatre Group, said her six-year-old son, Woody, had enjoyed watching all the action. “He sometimes finds it hard to separate TV and film from reality, so it’s quite good being able to show him how things get changed and then put on screen,” she said.
A year ago, Johnny Depp filmed musical fantasy film Into The Woods in Hambleden. His 1999 film Sleepy Hollow was also shot in the village. Other films and television series to have been filmed there include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 101 Dalmatians and Band of Brothers.
The Outcast is expected to be broadcast next year.
Jessica Brown Findlay has been cast in a new two-part adaptation of Sadie Jones’s The Outcast on BBC One.
Jones has based the script on her own Costa First Novel Award-winning book. The 2×90 minute drama also stars George Mackay, Greg Wise and Hattie Morahan.
It will be produced by Blueprint Pictures and directed by Iain Softley.
Head of BBC Films Christine Langan said: “The Outcast is a captivating and heart-breaking story of a young man’s desperate situation.
“I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to work with BBC One to bring a two-part adaptation to screen to retain the essence of Sadie Jones’s award-winning novel.”
Mackay plays Lewis, who is 10 years old when his mother Elizabeth (Morahan) dies, leaving him his father Gilbert (Wise) who he barely knows.
Gilbert remarries Alice (Brown Findlay), while Lewis relies on his friendships with neighbouring children Tamsin and Kit (Daisy Bevan and Jessica Barden).
The Outcast is described as “a deeply romantic, uncomfortably honest coming-of-age story set in booming post-war Britain”.
We have added x774 screencaps from the third and final part of BBC’s Jamaica Inn starring Jess. Enjoy…
Last night saw the premiere of Jess’ Jamaica Inn. We have screencaped it and added x875 photos to the gallery. The Times gave it 4 stars! The telegraph said it was “too self-conscious” with only 2 stars, The Guardian said “It was a towering achievement”, we loved it and thought Jess was as always superb!
What did you guys think – let us know by commenting in our chatbox.
We have added x10 new stills from Jamaica Inn. Check out the short clip and chat with director Philippa Lowthorpe, who joined Jess on the BBC Breakfast sofa – here.
Listen to Jess on BBC Radio 6 with Shaun here.
Shaun is after your Earworms before 8am, Matt Everitt has the Music News and actress Jessica Brown Findlay joins Shaun to chat about her new BBC drama – Jamaica Inn
Set in 1820 against the forbidding backdrop of windswept Cornish moors, the story follows the journey of young and spirited Mary (Brown Findlay) who is forced to live with her Aunt Patience after the death of her mother. Mary arrives at the isolated Jamaica Inn to discover her Aunt is a shell of the carefree woman she remembers from her childhood, and instead finds a drudge who is firmly under the spell of her domineering husband Joss.