Where you recognise the cast of Channel 5’s new drama Anne Boleyn from
Of course, like all good dramas, there’s Game Of Thrones alumni
Nope, you haven’t misread that. Channel 5 have got an actually good period drama on their hands with Anne Boleyn.
It feels bizarre for a channel renowned for Dogs Behaving Very Badly and Filthy Britain SOS to have somehow bagged a big budget Tudor drama starring one of the best new actors of her generation as the titular queen of England, but these are bizarre times we live in. And who are we to question how or why?
Anne Boleyn is 5’s new three parter, that spans the final five months of Henry VIII’s second wife’s life before she’s beheaded for treason. The show seeks to explore Anne’s life through a feminist lens as she struggles to deal with the constraints of the Tudor society she lives in whilst facing mounting pressure to conceive a male heir. The episodes are running consecutively across three nights, with the first one airing at 9pm last night, continuing same time tonight and finishing up tomorrow.
But who’s in it!? What else have they been in!? Where the bloody hell do I recognise Thomas Cromwell from!?
Let’s find out, shall we?
Jodie Turner-Smith – Anne Boleyn
British born but American raised Jodie is most known to audiences for her amazing lead performance in Queen + Slim, where she received critical acclaim. Her first ever role was on True Blood – she played a siren for four episodes, and then went on to have bigger roles in the TV shows Nightflyers and The Last Ship.
She had a small role in Nicolas Winding Refn’s sublime arthouse horror The Neon Demon, and you might also recognise her from the music video of Pillowtalk by Zayn Malik.
Paapa Essiedu – George Boleyn
Before playing Anne’s brother, Paapa has had an acclaimed theatre career, making his name in the Royal Shakespeare Company where he’s played lead roles like Romeo and Hamlet.
His best known role to date for most audiences, though, was his brilliant performance as Kwaame in Michaela Coel’s award winning drama I May Destroy You last year.
Mark Stanley – Henry VIII
Sitting on the Tudor monarch’s seat isn’t Mark’s first dalliance with a throne, because Mark is best known for his role of Grenn in Game of Thrones – who was good friends with Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly during his time in the Night’s Watch.
Besides Thrones, Mark was in the recent Hellboy remake and starred in ITV’s White House Farm.
Anna Brewster – Jane Boleyn
Brummy actress Anna is no stranger to the Tudor court – she played Countess Anne Stafford in The Tudors back in 2007 and portrayed Bazine Netal in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Aoife Hinds – Mary I
Aoife is the daughter of prolific Irish actor Ciaràn Hinds. She starred alongside co-star Jodie Turner-Smith in Nightflyers and recently had roles in Derry Girls and Normal People.
Jamael Westman – Edward Seymour
Jamael hasn’t done much of note in the world of telly and film, but has had huge success on the West End playing the lead role in Lin Manuel Miranda’s megabit musical Hamilton, which he’s played since 2017.
His role as Jane Seymour’s older brother for Anne Boleyn on Channel 5 is his first big TV part.
Barry Ward – Thomas Cromwell
Playing Thomas Cromwell for Channel 5 is Irish actor Barry Ward, who had roles most notably in The End of the Fucking World and alongside Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan in season three of The Fall.