Julianne Moore has yet to act in a period piece over the course of decades-long career—well, that is until Oliver Hermanus’ new mini series Mary & George. In it, she stars opposite Red, White, & Royal Blue star Nicolas Galitzine who plays the infamous George Villiers. The series is dark, twisted, and dramatic—and, interestingly, based on an outrageous true story. Below, everything you’d ever need to know about Mary & George.
What is the plot of Mary & George?
Mary & George, based on Benjamin Woolley’s 2017 novel The King’s Assassin, tells the real-life story of Mary Villiers, Countess of Buckingham (Moore) and her son George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham (Galitzine). The series follows the domineering Countess as she molds her charismatic son who seduces King James VI of Scotland (played by Tony Curran) and later becomes his lover. The mother-son duo “Rose from humble beginnings to become the richest, most titled and influential players the English court had ever seen, and the King’s most trusted advisors,” reads a series description.
Per an official synopsis, the seven episode series is “An audacious historical psychodrama about a treacherous mother and son who schemed, seduced and killed to conquer the Court of England and the bed of King James I.”
The description continues, “Always the smartest person in the room, Mary was never able to realise her full potential until she spots an opportunity to take advantage of the King’s voracious appetite for fine wine, fine company and fine men. George, naïvely beautiful and charismatic, is thrust into the spotlight as his mother masterminds their pursuit of the King.”
Is there a trailer for Mary & George?
The first trailer for Mary & George dropped in November 2023. Galitzine begins the teaser saying “Mother, have you found me a wife yet?” to which Moore replies, “I think we aim higher. King James.”
What follows is a dark, dramatic, and seductive Jacobean-era tale that winds between palatial castles and images of lust. A deadpan Moore recites a hilarious line about James saying he’s “so cockstruck, it’s like a curse” and rounds out the trailer with the words, “If I were a man, and I looked like you, I’d rule the fucking planet.”
A second, more extensive trailer was released on February 1st, 2024. Galitzine opens the trailer by saying “I have the power, I have the King, I have England,” to which Moore agrees, saying “What could possibly stop us now?”
This second teaser gives viewers some more backstory to the life of the Villiers family—depicting their humble beginnings all the way to their successful plot in seducing the King.
Who is in the cast of Mary & George?
Moore, Galitzine, and Curran will center much of the series, but the supporting cast is sure to deliver. Nicola Walker, Niamh Algar, Trine Dyrholm, Sean Gilder, Adrian Rawlins, Mark O’Halloran, Laurie Davidson, Samuel Blenkin, Jacob McCarthy, Tom Victor, Alice Grant, Amelia Gething, Mirren Mack, Rina Mahoney, and Simon Russell Beale are all set to appear in the drama.
Does Mary & George have a release date?
Mary & George premieres on Starz on April 5, 2024.
How can you watch Mary & George?
The show will air weekly on Starz, if that’s part of your cable package. A Starz streaming subscription is also available independently for $10 a month or as an add-on to your Hulu or Amazon Prime Video accounts.