The life of Catherine de’ Medici will be the focus of The Serpent Queen, an upcoming American TV show about the past.
There will be eight episodes of the historical drama. Jewish-American director Stacie Passon, who wrote and directed the 2018 crime thriller We Have Always Lived in the Castle and recently oversaw four episodes of Dickinson, is responsible for the pilot episode and several others.
Here’s a recap of everything we know about the new show, including the famous actors who will appear in it and the real-life events that inspired them.
Where did you film The Serpent Queen?
The film The Serpent Queen was shot in Amboise, Marseille, Chambord, Villandry, Chenonceaux and Castel Gandolfo, all in France and Italy. Principal photography for the first season of the historic series is reported to begin in April 2021 and conclude in September of the same year.
In a September 2022 interview with Cinemablend, showrunner Erwin Stoff said that while Season 1 was filmed during the Covid-19 pandemic, it was good for the studio.
The crew of “The Serpent Queen” even traveled to Castel Gandolfo, an Italian village in the Lazio region, to take a picture of the lens. They often filmed Italian scenes in the Piazza della Libertà on the grounds of the Papal Palace, Castel Gandolfo. Liv Hill, who plays Catherine, spoke about what it was like filming in the same locations where her character spent most of her filming.
The crew of The Serpent Queen reportedly camped out in Marseille, France’s second largest city, to film several scenes for the show. Marseille is a city in France, situated on the Gulf of Lion and the Rhône. It has a culture that is different from the rest of the country. There are many historical and maritime museums there and it is also known as the cultural and leisure center for the region.
More about the other places in France
Several important parts of “The Serpent Queen” take place in the city of Amboise, which is located in central France. The legendary Leonardo da Vinci lived there on the Clos Lucé estate in the Indre-et-Loire department. The famous fountain by Max Ernst from the 20th century is also right in front of the market and attracts many people.
The cast and crew of “The Serpent Queen” use real historical castles in different parts of France to show how big the 16th century fortresses were.
Several important scenes were filmed in and around the communes of Chenonceaux and Chambord, where the Chateau de Chenonceaux and Chateau de Chambord are located. The Serpent Queen series also uses the Chateau de Villandry, located at 3 rue Principale in Villandry.
The Serpent Queen is based on a true story
In The Serpent Queen, history is altered in a very different way. Based on Frieda’s non-fiction biography of Catherine de’ Medici, the TV show imagines her legendary life and reign. The show brings history to life and is based on the ruler’s biography. It’s also clear that the show will go beyond the norm in looking at art from a variety of angles.
Wikipedia says that Catherine married Henry in 1533. Henry was the second child of King Francis I of France and Queen Claude. Pope Clement VII, who was Catherine’s uncle, arranged their marriage.
Rather than have Catherine help run the government, Henry favored Diane de Poitiers, his chief mistress, who held much power over him.
After Heinrich’s death in 1559, Katharina came into the political limelight. She was the mother of King Francis II, who was only 15 years old and not very strong. After the death of Francis II in 1560, she gained great power and became regent for her 10-year-old son, King Charles IX.
After Charles died in 1574, Catherine was very important to the reign of Henry III, her third son. Only in the last months of her life did he stop listening to her advice and outlived her by seven months.
France was ruled by Catherine’s three sons at a time when political and religious disputes were almost constant. The monarchy faced difficult problems. Catherine, on the other hand, held together at least some of the institutions of government, such as the monarchy.
Catherine gave in first and made deals with the rebellious Calvinist Protestants, or Huguenots as they were later called. However, she did not fully understand the theological concerns driving her movement. She later used strict rules against her because she was so angry and upset.
In return, she was blamed for the persecutions that took place under her sons’ rule, most notably the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre of 1572, which killed many Huguenots in Paris and the rest of France.
Some historians have said that Catherine was not responsible for the harshest of royal decisions, but her letters show how tough she was. In reality, their power had always been limited by the effects of the civil war. It is unlikely that Catherine’s sons would have remained in power without her.
Find out who is in The Serpent Queen
Catherine De’Medici was played by Samanta Morton.
Catherine de’Medici is played by English actress Samantha Morton, winner of both a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. By the early 2000s, Morton had become a big name on the independent film scene.
She was in Morvern Callar (2002), for which she won the BIFA Award for Best Actress, and In America (2003), for which she was nominated for a second Oscar, this time for Best Actress.
Morton was a member of the Central Junior Television Workshop in Nottingham, where she joined British television in 1991.
She guest-starred in two Cracker episodes, four Soldier Soldier episodes and one Peak Practice episode in 1994. She had a major role on the ITV show Band of Gold where she appeared in twelve episodes (1995–1996).
Young Catherine, played by Liv Hill
It’s not easy to have two people play the same role. But to tell Catherine’s story, you have to focus on how young she was when she was ripped from her life, put on trial and her marriage ended in front of a large crowd of strangers.
To understand what she did to make a living, you have to think about how young she was when she got that job. According to reports, Liv was the best after an audition.
She is known for playing Sarah in the British films Jellyfish and Three Girls, both from 2017.
Amrita Acharia as Aabis
Aabis is the stage name of Amrita Acharia, who is Norwegian, English and Ukrainian. Catherine de Medici chose Aabis to go to France with her when she married Henri. Aabis was in their group.
Aabis was beautiful, and powerful men often coveted her. That made her what Catherine wasn’t. At first she was glad that Catherine had saved her from the rapacious Pope Clement, but when Aabis arrived at the French court, she made Catherine jealous.
Acharia began acting in small roles in TV shows and short films in 2010. She was chosen to play Irri, Daenerys Targaryen’s Dothraki servant, in the 2011 season of Game of Thrones.
Prince Henry played by Lee Ingleby
Prince Henry is played by Lee Ingleby. Henri looked like the prince every girl dreams of. Henri was angered from an early age that his father had used him and his brother, the Dauphin Francois, as political pawns and held them hostage in Spain.
Lee’s roles as Detective Sergeant/Detective Inspector John Bacchus on the BBC show Inspector George Gently is what people remember him for. He also played Stan Shunpike in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. On the BBC show The A Word he played Paul Hughes, the father of Joe’s autistic son.
Enzo Cilenti as Ruggieri
English actor Enzo Cilenti plays Cosimo Ruggeri, an Italian astrologer and occultist who offers advice to Catherine de’ Medici. In 1998, Cilenti played Antonio Bellini in the first episode of the TV show Trial & Retribution.
He had a small role as Lenny in the 2001 comedy Late Night Shopping. He had a small role as Carlo Franceschini in the BBC spy drama MI-5.
Cilenti has also appeared in a number of films and television shows including The Theory of Everything, Guardians of the Galaxy, Supercollider and Prisoners’ Wives.
Charles Dance as Pope Clement
Pope Clement VII, played by English actor Charles Dance, is Catherine’s uncle and the person planning their wedding. He has won SAGA twice and is Catherine’s uncle.
He was not elected head of the Catholic Church because of his religious beliefs, but because the Medicis knew that if they were to rule well, they had to put someone in their own family into that position.
In his role as Catherine’s guardian, he arranged her marriage to the French prince. He did not pay much attention to his lies, like the promise of a large dowry. Instead, he let Catherine deal with the consequences of his actions.
Since 1974, when he made his first film, Dance has had a great career. He played Guy Perron in the 1984 drama The Jewel in the Crown. This was one of his first major roles. In the 1992 film Alien 3, he starred as Dr. Jonathan Clemens.
Kiruna Stamell as Mathilde and George Jaques as Franz II
George Jaques is the name of Francis II, the first child of Catherine de’ Medici. He was king from 1559 to 1560. Jaques just starred in the 2022 Agatha Christie thriller as a German soldier. His next film, Surprised by Oxford, is still in post-production and he is also directing the TV show A Town Called Malice.
Mathilde, a minor character played by actress Kiruna Stamell, was employed as a servant in the convent where Catherine de Medici grew up. Katharina owed her freedom to Mathilde because when she married Katharina she went to the French court.
Mathilde was perfect for Catherine because she had no morals to begin with. Kiruna is known for her roles in Moulin Rouge! (2001), The Best Deal (2013) and EastEnders (1985).
King Francis played by Colm Meaney
Colm Meaney plays King Francis, who had a big ego, big appetite and a long history as a fine soldier. He was mean and aggressive and had no trouble staying in power.
In Hell on Wheels the actor played Thomas Durant. He has also guest-starred on other TV shows such as Law & Order and The Simpsons (2011–2016).