Jodie Turner-Smith has today been seen as Anne Boleyn for the first time as she films a convention busting Channel 5 drama.
The actress, 34, was pictured dressed in period costume for the new series, which also features Normal People’s Aoife Hinds and Paapa Essiedu, who shot to fame playing Hamlet.
Turner-Smith, a black actress born in Britain, is portraying Anne – who is widely accepted as being white – in the series.
Anne was the second wife of English King Henry VIII, whom he famously had beheaded.
The actress is playing the historical figure in three-part psychological thriller, which is set to give a feminist insight into her brief life as a royal.
Jodie Turner- Smith as been cast as Tudor queen Anne Boleyn in a new period drama
Turner-Smith, a black actress born in Britain, is portraying Anne Boleyn – who is widely accepted as being white – in the upcoming drama.
She has already earned praise for her roles in the likes of Queen And Slim, Jett and Nightflyers
Other members of the cast were seen filming the new show earlier today outside a church
White House Farm’s Amanda Burton was also seen in period dress for the historical show
Leading lady: Jodie Turner-Smith, 34, has landed the role of Queen Anne Boleyn in a new Channel 5 drama series (pictured in February)
White House Farm’s Amanda Burton and Des actor Barry Ward are also among the people taking part in the series.
Turner-Smith described Queen Anne Boleyn as ‘formidable and fierce’ as she spoke about her decision to take on the role.
The actress has previously earned praise for her roles in the likes of Queen And Slim, Jett and Nightflyers.
Anne, mother of Elizabeth I, was executed in 1536 at the Tower of London after falling out of favour with the Tudor king and losing a battle at court with enemies such as Thomas Cromwell.
The mini-series, written by Eve Hedderwick Turner, is being produced by Fable Pictures (who created Stan & Ollie) and will air on Channel 5 in due course.
Speaking about taking on the role, Jodie said: ‘Delving deeper into Anne Boleyn’s immense strengths while examining her fatal weaknesses and vulnerabilities, Eve’s scripts immediately captured my imagination.
‘The legend of this formidable queen and fierce mother will be seen as a deeply human story that is still so relevant for today,’ Turner-Smith said.
In a statement, Channel 5 said: ‘The drama will explore the final months of Anne Boleyn’s life from the eponymous queen’s perspective.
‘The psychological drama follows her as she struggles to survive, to secure a future for her daughter, and to challenge the powerful patriarchy closing in around her.’
Henry VIII’s love for Anne changed the course of English history: he split with the Catholic Church in 1533 to marry her after divorcing Catherine of Aragon.
The day after Anne’s beheading, Henry married Jane Seymour.
News of Jodie’s new role comes after months after she welcomed her daughter, Janie, with Fringe actor husband Joshua Jackson, 42.
In the October issue of
‘I had to learn how to breastfeed and how to be a mum—it really worked out for my baby,’ Turner-Smith said of the past few months during lockdown with her baby and husband.
The article reported that after giving birth in April, Jodie’s mother Hilda came to stay with them for three months amid the pandemic, and while protests began erupting around the world in the fight of social justice and racial equality.
Historical figure: The British actress is to play the second wife of English King Henry VIII – whom he had beheaded – in the convention-defying three-part psychological thriller
A feminist insight: Jodie described Queen Anne Boleyn as ‘formidable and fierce’ as she spoke about her decision to take on the role
New mum: News of Jodie’s new role comes after five months after she welcomed her daughter, Janie, with Fringe actor husband Joshua Jackson, 42 (pictured November 2019)
The Queen & Slim star reflected that it was a ‘comfort’ to have both her mother and husband with her and the baby during that time, without the outside pressures of work and amid a time of change and upheaval.
‘It doesn’t make sense that we still have to be screaming to the world that our lives matter. It doesn’t make sense that Black people are being senselessly mowed down by the police,’ Jodie said, expressing her feelings on the Black Lives Matter movement.
‘It doesn’t make sense, this country’s response to the global pandemic,’ she went on. ‘It doesn’t make sense that so many people are unemployed, and the government is bailing out corporations.
‘But what did make sense, inside of that, was the love of my family,’ she concluded.