Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galitzine in "Mary & George" Source: Starz

'Mary & George' Stars Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galitzine Reflect on Show's Gay Slant

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

Actors Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galitzine play the title characters of the seven-part Starz miniseries "Mary & George," which premieres March 5. While historians aren't 100% sure that George Villiers and King James I were lovers, the two big-name stars are convinced, as is the show itself.

"'Mary & George' examines the lengths that the titular mother and son went to in order to climb the ranks of the English court by finding favor with King James I through George Villiers' relationship with him," Yahoo UK thumbnailed.

Known as the monarch who commissioned the translation of the Bible now known as the King James Version, James I was also known to have "favorites" among his courtiers, Yahoo UK noted, and "George Villiers was one..."

As for just how close the two were, Moore offered the evidence that "There is documentation.... there are the letters from King James to George where he keeps saying 'to my dear child and wife.'"

Galitzine – who shot to international stardom after his turn in the gay rom-com "Red, White & Royal Blue," opposite Taylor Zakhar Perez – told Yahoo UK that "it's important to note that it's historical fiction, and and we want to tell a very specific story as well. I think the series succeeds in doing that."

The show depicts Mary as encouraging her son to enter into a physical relationship with James I (Tony Curran) as a way of elevating both his and her own social status.

"I think Mary sees George as kind of a proxy for herself," Moore told the outlet. "She sees what's possible for him, she wants it for him and she wants it for her."

Moore also brought a sense of the strength of her character, as well as the limitations she faced as a woman living in 17th-century England.

"I think I wanted to highlight her anger at her lack of agency," Moore told the publication, going on to add: "She had no property, she had no value, she had responsibility with these children but she there's no way she's going to be able to provide for them, unless she married somebody else."

Added the star, "She has to access these relationships in order to survive so, for me, I think it was a really important story to tell, because it's easy to forget. It's easy to forget how few rights women had, and sometimes still have."

Out South African director Oliver Hermanus ("Moffie") is among the show's producers and also directs some of the episodes.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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