The BBC has finally released the trailer of its highly anticipated mini-series based on John Preston’s novel, Anatomy of a Scandal, which is also based on the 2007 British political scandal that rocked Tony Blair’s government and tarnished his legacy forever. The show will star an array of A-list British talent, including Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe, Ben Chaplin as Norman Scott, Alex Jennings as Lord Arran and Michelle Dockery as Kate Woodcroft, QC, prosecutor of the case against James. Anatomy of a Scandal: Michelle Dockery as Kate Woodcroft, QC, prosecutor of James
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Michelle Dockery was one of Downton Abbey’s most popular characters—the first time she ever appeared on screen. But that’s not to say Michelle Dockery was not interested in playing hardball when necessary. In fact, her character, Lady Mary Crawley, once even threatened to commit murder if need be. The same can be said for her new role in Netflix’s original series The Crown. In it, she plays Kate Woodcroft QC and prosecution counsel tasked with prosecuting Lord Snowdon (played by Josh O’Connor) for his crimes during World War II. While there is no murder involved here (yet), we do see Ms.
The first episode opens with James, attempting to hire someone to kill his wife and make it look like an accident. His family finds out and summons their best friend Mr. Brimble (Andrew Scott) who happens to be a solicitor. At court in London we meet Jessica Chastain playing Mrs. Morton who wants justice for her husband’s murder and is quick to accuse James of doing it.
It is hard to think of an actor who could better fit its lead role than Hayley Atwell as Gina Sainsbury Wright. The show’s viewers will already be familiar with her work in The ABC Murders, but she might be best known for her portrayals of Agent Peggy Carter in Captain America and Agent Carter. For Black Mirror fans, Gina is a familiar character.
This case first came to public attention on January 4, 2013 when it was revealed that James (not his real name) was being prosecuted for possessing and sharing an indecent photograph. He had been arrested by police officers executing a search warrant at his home in 2012 following allegations that he had sexually assaulted two underage girls. This claim was not proven; in fact it was dropped at an early stage of proceedings and no further action was taken against him.
This is a fictional case. It never happened. The names are changed to protect those involved. Some details were invented for dramatic effect. All characters and events depicted in this show—even those based on real people—are entirely fictional. No similarity to actual persons (living or dead) is intended or should be inferred.
One evening in London, James and his fiancée Anna have dinner with her boss Stephen and his wife Fiona at their home in Islington.
The Right Character
Before she landed the role, actress Michelle Dockery admits she wasn’t sure how much she was going to like her character—the British barrister Kate Woodcroft, Queen’s Counsel (QC), prosecution counsel tasked with defending Simon James (Ben Whishaw) on trial for murder. I knew nothing about barristers and very little about crime fiction or court cases—I didn’t know where I stood on them.
The Right Role
Dockery has been nominated for an Emmy twice previously—for playing Lady Mary in Downton Abbey and for playing Princess Georgiana in The Pillars of the Earth—but she never expected to win. I just kept thinking I’m too old for it now, she said backstage. And I didn’t think they’d want me to do it because I’m British and they probably want an American.
The Winning Performance
A confident performance is essential to win over jurors. In preparation for his role as counsel in James’s case, Daniel Mays spoke with QCs who had been part of high-profile trials such as Baby P and Gary Dobson. To really understand how it feels to be involved in such a trial, he also attended court sessions on unrelated cases at Old Bailey and watched prosecutors handle their evidence during cross-examination.
It’s no secret that The Crown has been widely acclaimed for its casting and performances. While Claire Foy has gotten much of the attention for her role as Queen Elizabeth II, there are other prominent actors onscreen who deserve recognition. Most notably, a highly regarded performance is delivered by Michelle Dockery in her role as barrister Kate Woodcroft. As seen above in our character profile shot with Sheridan Smith, Helen McCrory plays John Standing.
Hair and Makeup
Is there any job more glamorous than Hollywood hair and makeup artist? These pros have made some of our favorite female faces look absolutely stunning. For instance, Amy Williams is responsible for turning Michelle Dockery into Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey. The transformation is so dramatic that it’s hard to believe they’re even related! But then again, Williams has worked on everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Angelina Jolie—she knows what she’s doing!
You could sense that somebody had just come in and said ‘This is how it’s going to be,’ designer Eve Stewart says. In other words, you can’t stage an authentic scandal. For me it wasn’t about trying to make everyone look guilty or everyone look innocent, she explains.