After landing the talents of Hollywood star Maggie Gyllenhaal, seven-part BBC2 thriller The Honourable Woman has added a host of other famous faces to the cast.
The drama follows the story of Nessa Stein, the daughter of an arms dealer who, after years of charity work in the Middle East, has been appointed a lifetime peer in the House of Lords. But events take a dramatic turn following the murder of a Palestianian businessman and Nessa and her brother, Ephra, find themselves under the watchful eye of Whitehall and the Secret Intelligence Service.
Joining Gyllenhaal, who will play Nessa, is Oscar-nominee Stephen Rea (The Shadow Line) as top MI6 spy Hugh Hayden-Hoyle, who is on the verge of retirement but digs deep into the Steins’ murky family history. Lindsay Duncan (The Hollow Crown) has been cast as Hugh’s bitter ex-wife, Anjelica.
Janet McTeer OBE – who was recently praised for her portayal of Jacquetta Woodville in BBC1’s The White Queen – will play the head of MI6, Julia Walsh, who has a personal hold over Rea’s character, Hayden-Hoyle.
Broadchurch actor Andrew Buchan will appear as Nessa’s brother, Ephra, who has been overshadowed by his sister in the family business and is husband to his highly strung pregnant wife, Rachel (The IT Crowd’s Katherine Parkinson). Belgian actress Lubna Azabal (Paradise Now) will play Atika Halibi, nanny to the pair’s two daughters and a close friend to Nessa.
Game of Thrones actor Tobias Menzies has signed on to portray Nessa’s personal bodyguard, Nathaniel Bloom, while Genevieve O’Reilly (Spooks) will appear as her loyal PA, Frances.
Rounding off the starry international line up are Israeli actor Yigal Naor (House of Saddam) playing Shlomo Zahary, a close ally of the Stein family, and Eve Best (Nurse Jackie) as Monica Chatwin, a confrontaional MI6 agent from the Washington Bureau.
Directed by Bafta-winning Hugo Blick (The Shadow Line), the seven-part drama has just begun filming in London, with production set to continue for the next 18 weeks. The Honourable Woman is expected to broadcast in 2014 on BBC2 and the Sundance Channel.