Jodie Turner-Smith stuns as Anne Boleyn in new trailer
This new rendition “shines a feminist light on the final months of Boleyn’s life"
The first full trailer showing Queen & Slim star Jodie Turner-Smith as Anne Boleyn has been released by Channel 5, a ViacomCBS-backed U.K. broadcaster, according to Variety.
The trailer begins with Turner-Smith in a regal black outfit standing trial and pleading not guilty in front of an audience. As the trailer continues, we see Turner-Smith as a sometimes emotional and sometimes stoic Boleyn during some of the Tudor queen’s lowest moments.
The trailer asks the questions, ‘Dishonest or Devoted?’; ‘Traitor or Trailblazer?’; and ‘Sinner or Saint?’ Turner-Smith then says: “The world will know my innocence.” The trailer continues on to say that although we may know the history, we don’t know Boleyn’s story.
According to the Channel 5 synopsis, this new rendition “shines a feminist light on the final months of Boleyn’s life, re-imagining her struggle with Tudor England’s patriarchal society, her desire to secure a future for her daughter, Elizabeth, and the brutal reality of her failure to provide Henry with a male heir.”
Boleyn, who was known for challenging societal norms before eventually being beheaded, is shown in a new light with Turner-Smith’s performance as the actress pulls out a deep range of emotions.
Boleyn, of course, is an enormous historical figure known for being the second wife of King Henry VIII. By focusing on her perspective, the series is reportedly more psychological thriller than “stuffy period drama.”
At the time of her casting’s announcement, Turner-Smith shared, “Delving deeper into Anne Boleyn’s immense strengths while examining her fatal weaknesses and vulnerabilities, Eve’s scripts immediately captured my imagination,” referring to the show’s writer, Eve Hedderwick Turner.
Hedderwick Turner told Deadline last fall, “Jodie is a complete natural queen. She is magnetic and has this deep dignity that she brings to the part.”
In February, Turner-Smith was featured in Vogue UK, where she opened up about her new role, how it resonated with her as a Black woman and what Boleyn’s story means for today’s audiences.
“It resonated with me as a story about motherhood, having just had my own child, and it highlights the many ways in which female bodies were policed and politicised, and still are,” she explained. “In Anne’s case, whether her body ‘worked’ according to the patriarchy’s demands was literally a matter of survival.”
She dove into how universal the story’s themes are. “There’s so much about her story that feels modern,” Turner-Smith said. “It’s one I can relate to as a Black woman, and it shows how little has changed in terms of our desire to tear down powerful women, to not let them live in their truth.”
Anne Boleyn, which will be distributed internationally by Sony Pictures Television, also stars I May Destroy You breakout actor Paapa Essiedu as Boleyn’s brother, George Boleyn. Mark Stanley portrays the King himself, Henry VIII.
theGrio’s Jared Alexander contributed to this report.
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