Dame Helen Mirren will be playing Catherine the Great in an original mini-series due to start filming later this year. The show will focus on the end of the Russian Empress’s reign, where she began an affair with Grigory Potemkin.
The 72-year-old British star expressed her excitement over the show. “I am very excited by the possibility of embodying a woman from history who grabbed and then wielded great power”, she told The Daily Mail. “She rewrote the rules of governance by a woman, and succeeded to the extent of having the word Great attached to her name.”
Executive producer of Origin Pictures, David M. Thompson, said Mirren proposed the idea to the company herself in 2015. “Helen Mirren came to me with the idea for Catherine the Great when we were working with her on Woman in Gold, saying it’s a part she’s always wanted to play”, he says. “I’m delighted we’re now making the series and indeed we can’t think of anyone better for the role.”
The role marks a return to the royal for Mirren, who famously played Queen Elizabeth II in the 2006 film The Queen, winning an Oscar for the part. Earlier this year, Mirren confirmed she would not be playing the Queen in Netflix drama The Crown. “No, no. Done with that”, she said.
The series will air on Sky Atlantic in the UK and HBO in the USA and Canada next year.