Donald Sutherland leads the cast of US Danny Boyle drama Trust, playing eccentric billionaire J. Paul Getty. But he’s not the only famous face who will be appearing in this latest dramatisation of the notorious kidnapping of J. Paul Getty III.
- When is Trust on TV? Who’s in the cast? What’s it about?
- Danny Boyle’s John Paul Getty drama Trust to air on BBC2
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Here are all the characters you need to meet – and the stars who play them:
Donald Sutherland plays J. Paul Getty Senior
Who was J. Paul Getty Senior? John Paul Getty was a famous American oil tycoon and art collector. He was also the world’s first-ever billionaire, and the head of the wealthy Getty family. An enigmatic man, he lived in England with a “harem of mistresses” and a pet lion, and was so frugal that he kept a payphone in his mansion for visitors to use. When his grandson was kidnapped and ransomed in 1973, he immediately refused to pay up. He died in 1976.
Where have I seen Donald Sutherland before? The 83-year-old Canadian actor’s career spans more than five decades, and includes M*A*S*H, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, A Time to Kill, Citizen X, The Italian Job, Pride & Prejudice, and The Hunger Games franchise – where he played the key role of President Snow. He received an honourary Oscar from the Academy in 2017.
Harris Dickinson plays J. Paul Getty III
Who is J. Paul Getty III? Heir to the Getty fortune and grandson of J. Paul Getty Sr. Though only a teenager, he had a reputation for being wild. In 1973, at the age of 16, he was kidnapped in Rome – and his captors (the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate) demanded a multi-million dollar ransom. But while the kidnappers assumed the teenager’s rich family would pay up, they misjudged his miserly grandfather.
Where have I seen Harris Dickinson before? The English actor first came to attention in the 2017 movie Beach Rats. Recent roles have included Sam in BBC3’s Clique and Aaron Logan in Silent Witness, and in 2020 he’ll be appearing in Maleficent 2 as Prince Phillip.
Hilary Swank plays Gail Getty
Who is Gail Getty? Mother of the kidnapped boy. She was married to his father John Paul Getty Jr for nine years and had four kids with him, but the two divorced and she had no access to the Getty fortune. In the drama she is penniless and caught in the middle, and must negotiate with both the increasingly desperate kidnappers and her stubborn father-in-law to save her son.
Where have I seen Hilary Swank before? The Oscar-winning actress starred in Clint Eastwood’s 2004 sports drama film Million Dollar Baby, and played Brandon Teena in 1999 biographical film Boys Don’t Cry. You may also remember her for roles in Beverley Hills 90210, PS I Love You, and Logan Lucky.
Brendan Fraser plays James Fletcher Chace
Who is James Fletcher Chace? J. Paul Getty’s Texan private investigator, who sticks out as a bit of an oddity when he is sent to Italy.
Where have I seen Brendan Fraser before? Perhaps best known for playing Rick O’Connell in The Mummy trilogy, or for starring in George of the Jungle, Bedazzled, and Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Brendan Fraser had a bit of a hiatus from the spotlight since the early days of his career, but recently he’s been back with shows including The Affair and Texas Rising.
Anna Chancellor plays Penelope Kitson
Who is Penelope Kitson? One of J. Paul Getty Senior’s female companions. Seen as the smartest and funniest of his women, she refused to be his mistress (or his wife) and was prepared to stand up to him.
Where have I seen Anna Chancellor before? If you watched Ordeal by Innocence at Easter, you’ll have seen Anna Chancellor as cruel matriarch (and Agatha Christie murder victim) Rachel Argyll. Her other credits include Duckface in Four Weddings and a Funeral, Caroline Bingley in Pride and Prejudice and Juliet Shaw in Spooks.
Charlotte Riley plays Robina Lund
Who is Robina Lund? Getty’s friend and lawyer, who dealt with the kidnappers on his behalf. The real Robina Lund now lives in Scotland.
Where have I seen Charlotte Riley before? The actress, who played May Carleton in Peaky Blinders, will be everywhere this autumn – starring as Holly Evans in Press and Juliette in Dark Heart. You may also recognise her from Close to the Enemy, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, or Wuthering Heights. Fun fact: Charlotte Riley is married to Tom Hardy.
Michael Esper plays J. Paul Getty Jr
Who is J. Paul Getty Jr? Father of the kidnapped teenager and son of J Paul Getty Sr. He ran the Italian branch of Getty Oil and was married five times, including to Gail Harris – mother of J. Paul Getty III – although they divorced in 1964. At the time the drama is set he is an addict lost in a drug-induced daze in London and won’t even answer the phone.
Where have I seen Michael Esper before? The American actor played Gabe in Nurse Jackie, Donnie Pomp in Shades of Blue, and Dr Kenneth Jordan in Do No Harm.
Trust will air on Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC2, starting on 12th September