Starring Richard Gere (yep, Hollywood A-lister Richard Gere) as a self-made American media tycoon, BBC2’s tense drama MotherFatherSon follows a family on the brink of self-destruction, as The Assassination of Gianni Versace screenwriter Tom Rob Smith delves into themes of loyalty, betrayal, and power.
The ambitious eight-part drama features an all-star cast, with Peaky Blinders‘ Helen McCrory and Happy Valley‘s Sarah Lancashire starring alongside Gere. Read on for everything you need to know about the cast of MotherFatherSon…
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Richard Gere plays Max Finch
Who is Max Finch? American-born media mogul Max Finch has British politics in the palm of his hand, with the power to heavily influence the upcoming general election. Asked to meet both the sitting prime minister, Jahan Zakari, and rising star of the opposition, the idealistic Angela Howard, he’s torn as to who to throw his support behind.
The ex-husband of the aristocratic Kathryn, Max is also keen to meet with their adult son, Caden, the editor of Max’s broadsheet newspaper The National Reporter. Max knows that Caden has been struggling with his responsibilities and falling out of line, but he doesn’t know the extent of his child’s inner turmoil.
Where have I seen Richard Gere before? American actor Richard Gere is probably best-known for a string of romantic comedies and dramas he starred in during the 1980s and 90s, including the films American Gigolo, An Officer and a Gentleman, Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride (the latter films both co-starred Julia Roberts).
He also played smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn in the Oscar-winning musical film Chicago, for which he won a Golden Globe.
Helen McCrory plays Kathryn
Who is Kathryn Finch? The ex-wife of Max Finch, the world-famous owner of a media empire, Kathryn is a member of the English aristocracy. Following her divorce, she’s been volunteering at a homeless shelter, where she’s grown close to Scott, a homeless man – but their relationship has caught the attention of the national press, given Kathryn’s famous ex-husband.
She loves her son, Caden, and is anxious about his current state of mind and apparent lack of social life outside of his career at the paper — she recalls how close they were when he was a child.
Where have I seen Helen McCrory before? Star of both stage and screen, British actress Helen McCrory is known for playing Narcissus Malfoy (mother to Draco Malfoy) in the Harry Potter film franchise, and for her role as Polly Gray in the hit drama Peaky Blinders.
She’s also had roles in Hugo, James Bond film Skyfall, and played Cherie Blair in The Queen, opposite Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II.
Billy Howle plays Caden Finch
Who is Caden Finch? Caden is the son of Max and Kathryn Finch. As Max’s would-be heir, he’s the editor of broadsheet newspaper The National Reporter, the cornerstone of Max’s media empire, but he’s struggling to cope with the pressures of the job as the general election approaches, and all eyes are on his paper’s political coverage – particularly after Caden loses Maggie (Sinéad Cusack), a nationally-renowned political correspondent.
He has a fraught and complex relationship with Max, whom he watches take possession of any room he walks into, including Caden’s newsroom. Caden lives alone, and is struggling to to conceal a serious cocaine habit.
Where have I seen Billy Howle before? British actor and model Billy Howle is probably starred in On Chesil Beach, a film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel of the same name, opposite Saoirse Ronan.
Howle reunited with Ronan for the 2018 film adaptation of The Seagull, co-starring Elizabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale), and has also acted in films including Dunkirk and Netflix’s Outlaw King.
Sarah Lancashire plays Angela Howard
Who is Angela Howard? She’s the main challenger in the upcoming general election. An idealistic politician, her campaign slogan is “No One Left Behind”, and in a meeting with Max she promises that she’s unwilling to break rules or tell lies in order to win .
Max is at first hesitant about her firm stances, but he privately admits that she’s “got something,” and debates whether or not to support her campaign over that of the sitting prime minister’s.
Where have I seen Sarah Lancashire before? Starting out as Raquel in Coronation Street, Lancashire has played the central role of Catherine Cawood, a police sergeant, in two series of television drama Happy Valley, winning a 2017 Best Actress Bafta. A third series has been commissioned.
Joseph Mawle plays Scott
Who is Scott? Scott is a homeless man who meets Kathryn at the shelter where she volunteers. The pair begin to smoke together and talk regularly, and during one of these meetings Scott reveals that just four years ago he had a job in the City, with a house and a wife.
Where have I seen Joseph Mawle before? International audiences will probably best recognise Mawle as Benjen Stark, a member of the Night’s Watch and the uncle of the Stark children, in HBO’s epic fantasy series Game of Thrones.
Niamh Algar plays Orla
Who is Orla? Orla is a mysterious military intelligence agent whom Caden meets at the army rehabilitation centre where he’s sent after his stroke. Caden quickly develops an attachment to her, but she’s resistant, and warns him that she struggles now to form relationships.
Where have I seen Niamh Algar before? Irish actress Algar was recently seen in the Channel 4 drama Pure, in which she played Amber Doherty. She’s also starred in comedy series Raised By Wolves, The Bisexual, and Seedling.
Danny Sapani plays Prime Minister Jahan
Who is Prime Minister Jahan? The sitting prime minister who, as a general election approaches, faces tough competition from newcomer Angela Howard, and is looking for Max Finch’s help.
He invites Max and his assistant Lauren to Number 10 Downing Street.
Where have I seen Danny Sapani before? British actor Danny Sapani is probably best-known for playing Sembene in Penny Dreadful and Tony Morecombe in E4’s teen comedy-drama Misfits. More recently he starred in BBC2’s Black Earth Rising as General Simon Nyamoya.
He’s also had small roles in various blockbuster films, including Black Panther, in which he played a Border Tribe Elder.
Pippa Bennett-Warner plays Lauren
Who is Lauren? Lauren is Max Finch’s talented aide, and his eyes and ears in London; she reveals that Caden, Max’s son, is not coping well with his role as a newspaper editor.
Max brings Lauren along to a secret meeting with Prime Minister Jahan, a fact that rankles with Caden, who believes that he should have been invited.
Where have I seen Pippa Bennett-Warner before? Bennett-Warner has previously played Harriet Lennox in period drama Harlots, and featured in in Sky1’s Sick Note, starring Rupert Grint.
Sinéad Cusack plays Maggie
Who is Maggie? Maggie is a former, nationally renowned (and beloved) political correspondent who leaves her long-time employer, the broadsheet newspaper The National Reporter, under bad terms. Although appreciated by Max, she doesn’t respect his son, Caden, the newspaper’s editor.
Maggie has cancer, and after she is fired, she plans to give up journalism. However, when former colleague Nick approaches her about a mysterious case, she’s tempted out of retirement.
Where have I seen Sinéad Cusack before? Tony and Olivier-nominated Irish actress Sinéad Cusack has appeared in films including V for Vendetta and Stealing Beauty, and has starred in various well-known television series including Call the Midwife, Marcella and Jekyll & Hyde. She is married to actor Jeremy Irons.
Paul Ready plays Nick
Who is Nick? Nick is a journalist and former colleague of legendary political hack Maggie. When he uncovers a potential story regarding the police, he goes to his editor, Caden — but unsatisfied with his response, Nick turns to Maggie.
Where have I seen Paul Ready before? Viewers will probably recognise Paul Ready as Rob MacDonald, the scheming aide to Keeley Hawes’ Home Secretary Julia Montague in BBC1’s “drama of the decade”, Bodyguard.
He also starred Henry Goodsir in The Terror and appeared in Utopia and Endeavour.
Elena Anaya plays Sofia
Who is Sofia? Sofia is Max’s new partner, and she is pregnant with their child. Sofia is Mexican, which prompts Max to look into investing in Mexico.
Where have I seen Elena Anaya before? The award-winning Spanish actress is probably best known for starring alongside Antonio Banderas in Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In, and for playing the disfigured scientist Dr. Maru in Wonder Woman.
Ciaran Hinds plays Walter
Who is Walter? Walter is Max Finch’s father, an ambitious businessmen whom we see in flashbacks.
Where have I seen Ciaran Hinds before? Irish actor Hinds is probably most recognisable for his role as Nights Watchman-turned-Wildling leader Mance Rayder in HBO’s fantasy series Game of Thrones. He’s also starred in numerous films, including Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,, Red Sparrow, and Justice League, in which he portrayed Steppenwolf.
Ginny Holder plays Ayesha
Who is Ayesha? Ayesha is the wife of Prime Minister Jahan, and mother to their son, Saif.
Where have I seen Ginny Holder before? Holder played Darlene Curtis in Death and Paradise, and has starred in medical drama series Holby City, in which she played Thandie Abebe-Griffin.
Carolyn Pickles plays Ruth
Who is Ruth? Ruth is Maggie’s partner. The pair live together, and since Maggie’s cancer diagnosis Ruth has been urging her to take time off.
Where have I seen Carolyn Pickles before? TV actress Carolyn Pickles is probably best known for her role as newspaper editor Maggie Radcliffe in Broadchurch. She’s also starred in Vera, Doctors, and New Blood, in which she played Maureen Williams.
This article was originally published in February 2019