Anna Paquin to Star in Margaret Atwood Adaptation
True Blood and Roots star New Zealander Anna Paquin has been tapped to topline an adaptation of Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s novel Alias Grace, the Hollywood Reporter reports.
Published in 1996, Alias Grace follows Grace Marks (played by Sarah Gadon), a poor, young Irish immigrant and domestic servant in upper Canada who, along with stable hand James McDermott, was convicted of the brutal murders of their employer, Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery, in 1843. McDermott was hanged, while Marks was sentenced to life imprisonment. She became one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of 1840s Canada for her supposed role in the sensational double murder and was eventually exonerated after 30 years in jail. Her conviction was controversial and sparked much debate over whether she actually was involved in the killings or merely an unwitting accessory.
Paquin will play Nancy Montgomery, Kinnear’s housekeeper and lover. While she initially befriends Grace, she begins to resent her and becomes increasingly jealous of Kinnear’s affection for her. Nancy eventually fires Grace in a fit of rage and is later found brutally murdered. Zachary Levi co-stars.
“Anna is an incredibly versatile performer who always makes complex, unpredictable and fascinating choices in her work,” producer Sarah Polley said. “It’s always a marvel to watch her and we’re thrilled to have her join the cast.”
The role marks Paquin’s latest television foray following the Roots re-do.
Original article by Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, August 16, 2016.