Netflix’s “Sex Education” actress Gillian Anderson joins the cast of the streaming giant’s feature project, titled “Scoop,” — a movie about Prince Andrew’s bombshell BBC interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein over four years ago.
The 54-year-old American actress will play Emily Maitlis, the then-BBC “Newsnight” anchor who conducted the controversial sit-down, Deadline reported.
During the interview in November 2019, the journalist questioned the now-62-year-old Duke of York about his alleged friendship with the disgraced billionaire, Epstein, who had died earlier that year.
Prince Andrew was also accused of sexual assault at the time. But he denied the allegations during the broadcast.
“I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever,” the third child of the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip said, addressing Virginia Giuffre’s (née Roberts) claims that she was forced to have sexual intercourse with him three times between 1999 to 2002, according to Us Weekly.
“It just never happened,” Prince Andrew added.
Following his controversial appearance, the younger brother of King Charles III announced that he was relinquishing his duties as a royal after his relationship with Epstein continued to cause a stir in the media.
“It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstance relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has [become] a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organizations and charities that I am proud to support,” he said in a statement, according to the outlet.
He continued, “Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.”
“Scoop” was inspired by Sam McAlister’s tell-all memoir, “Scoops: Behind The Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews,” where she wrote about the experience of organizing the bombshell interview. The book was released in September 2022.
In addition to Anderson, Rufus Sewell will star as the disgraced royal, Keeley Hawes will portray Prince Andrew’s former private secretary, Amanda Thirsk, and Billie Piper as the “Newsnight” producer, McAlister.
It will also follow the inside track of the women that invaded Buckingham Palace to secure the “scoop of the decade,” which prompted the downfall of Queen Elizabeth’s “favorite son,” according to Deadline.
“The Crown” helmer Philip Martin is directing the film, while Hilary Salmon and Radford Neville for The Lighthouse Film & Television and Sanjay Singhal for Voltage TV will be producing.
The production for “Scoop” began last summer.
McAlister expressed her excitement about working on the project, saying, “It is beyond my wildest dreams, especially as a first-time writer, to end up working with this extraordinary cast, Netflix, and the amazing teams at The Lighthouse and Voltage. Watching Billie Piper, one of my favorite actresses, play ‘me’ will be a pinch myself a moment, and I’m truly thrilled to be involved in this film,” according to Deadline.
Meanwhile, the 70-year-old British television director commented, “I’m thrilled to be directing this film for Netflix and – together with an extraordinary cast – to be bringing Sam McAlister’s revelatory insider’s account to the screen. Uptempo, immersive and cinematic,”
Martin added that the film will highlight the “breathtaking sequence of events that led to the interview with Prince Andrew” and focus on the “power, privilege and differing perspectives and how – whether in glittering palaces or hi-tech newsrooms – we judge what’s true.”
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