Channel 5 psychological thriller, Anne Boleyn, starring Jodie Turner-Smith, airs this week over the course of three nights, and dramatises Anne Boleyn’s final months.
The drama series, filmed around the Yorkshire countryside (more on that in our guide to where Anne Boleyn was filmed), is set to take place during Anne’s final five months prior to her execution, when she was beheaded for treason in 1536.
In an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com, series writer Eve Hedderwick Turner said that she wanted to do Anne’s story “justice”.
“I feel sort of quite moved whenever I think about [her] and think, ‘God, I hope I’m doing you [Anne Boleyn] justice’,” she said.
The Anne Boleyn creator said she’s feeling the “pressure” ahead of her reimagining of the ill-fated queen, who was beheaded on the orders of her husband Henry VIII.
Channel 5 previously released a number of brand new first-look images, in which we’re introduced to more ensemble cast members and key courtiers, including Thomas Cromwell (Barry Ward) and Henry VIII’s mistress Madge Shelton (Thalissa Teixeira) in the Anne Boleyn cast.
In the first 20-second teaser clip, released by the broadcaster in April 2021, we see Queen & Slim actress Jodie Turner-Smith in the title role, dressed all in black except for a white veil and solemnly striding past assembled courtiers.
Read on for everything you need to know about Anne Boleyn.
Anne Boleyn release date
CONFIRMED: Anne Boleyn is set to premiere on Channel 5 on Tuesday 1st June at 9pm.
The three-part series finished its six-week shoot in December 2020, at UK locations including Castle Howard in North Yorkshire.
The series is directed by BAFTA Award-winning director Lynsey Miller (Deadwater Fell, The Boy with the Topknot) and written by newcomer Eve Hedderwick Turner.
Anne Boleyn cast
Queen & Slim actress Jodie Turner-Smith plays the titular role, Queen Anne Boleyn, wife to Tudor king Henry VIII (played by Mark Stanley).
Trigonometry’s Thalissa Teixeira, who stars as Henry VIII’s mistress Madge Shelton, exclusively told RadioTimes.com that the inclusion of actors of colour in Anne Boleyn was not an example of colour-blind casting, but instead an example of being “identity-conscious”.
On landing the lead role, Turner-Smith said in a statement: “I am so excited to join these exciting filmmakers in bringing the story of one of history’s most controversial queens to the screen. Delving deeper into Anne Boleyn’s immense strengths while examining her fatal weaknesses and vulnerabilities, Eve’s scripts immediately captured my imagination.
“In the hands of Lynsey Miller, the legend of this formidable queen and fierce mother will be seen as a deeply human story that is still so relevant for today. I look forward to bringing my heart and spirit into this daring retelling of the fall of this iconic woman.”
“I think that they [Anne and Henry] had a deep sexual desire for one another,” Mark Stanley (who plays Henry VIII) exclusively told RadioTimes.com. “And I think that was probably made bigger by the fact that, you know – she was such an impressive person. And someone who really could dominate at times, which I think for him was a bit of a rarity. So we went down the route of her being really quite powerful in those [sexual] situations.”
Channel 5 has released a further number of new images of the key characters, including Thomas Cromwell (Ward).
Meanwhile Thalisaa Teixeira plays Henry VIII’s mistress, Madge Shelton, who is also a lady in waiting to Anne Boleyn.
Lola Petticrew, who recently starred in the two-part drama Three Families, plays Anne’s rival, future queen Jane Seymour.
The actress spoke exclusively to RadioTimes.com, revealing that Anne Boleyn will feature a “talking point” kiss scene between Anne and Jane Seymour, both rivals for Henry VIII’s affection.
- For the latest news and expert tips on getting the best deals this year, take a look at our Black Friday 2021 and Cyber Monday 2021 guides.
Anne Boleyn trailer
You can watch the teaser trailer for Anne Boleyn (released in April 2021) here.
Anne Boleyn plot
The drama looks set to reexamine Anne Boleyn’s life and legacy through a feminist lens, “re-imagining” her struggles to conceive a boy and her pushback against the patriarchal society she was born into.
As reported by Deadline, the upcoming series Anne Boleyn “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”.
As the series covers the final months of her life, it will likely chart her downfall in 1536, including her miscarriage, the rise of her rival Jane Seymour (and Henry’s third wife), and the arrests of Anne’s alleged lovers.