Become Elizabeth is the new historical drama on Starz, which fans of Jthe crown, the spanish princess and Versailles won’t want to miss it.
The eight-part series airs every Sunday on Starz and explores the formative years of Queen Elizabeth I (played by Alicia von Rittberg) and her two half-siblings, the future King and Queen of England and Britain. Ireland, Edward VI (Oliver Zetterström) and Mary I (Romola Garai) respectively.
Effectively orphaned after the death of their father, Henry VIII, and the accession to the throne of nine-year-old King Edward VI, the siblings found themselves embroiled not only in court politics, but also in religion. and romance.
So is Become Elizabeth based on historical fact?
Newsweek spoke with the cast and creator Anya Reiss to learn more.
East Become Elizabeth Based on historical fact?
Become Elizabeth is based on historical facts, however, there are inevitably elements of fiction for dramatic purposes.
Sure, a lot of the dialogue is imagined and some events are exaggerated or omitted from the story but overall it’s fair to say Become Elizabeth is based on historical fact.
Talk to Newsweek, Becoming Elizabeth creator Anya Reiss, shared that she poured in numerous letters, speeches and historical documents to create the show and worked with a historical advisor in the writer’s room to create Become Elizabeth.
Reiss shared that she was inspired to tell the story of a young Elizabeth I after hearing it for the first time and realizing she knew nothing of Elizabeth’s younger years.
She said Newsweek: “I was so amazed that I didn’t know it. I felt it was a really exciting thing to tell the story slightly backwards, where you know what’s going on the line and you can exploring the motivations and the elements of it all and what makes the person.”
More importantly, the people at the center of the story are real historical figures.
Elizabeth I, King Edward VI and Queen Mary I were all children of King Henry VIII and they would all eventually ascend the English throne.
King Edward VI, son of Henry VIII and his third wife Jayne Seymour succeeded his 9-year-old father on January 28, 1547. However, his reign was short-lived as he died aged 15 on July 6, 1553.
Mary I, only daughter of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon, then reigned from July 1553 until her death in 1558.
Elizabeth I, the daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn succeeded Mary I, ruling England and Ireland from November 1558 until her death in March 1603.
Alice von Rittberg, who plays Queen Elizabeth I, shared what Elizabeth’s relationship with her two half-siblings could have been, as the history books will tell they weren’t always d ‘OK.
King Edward VI was a staunch Protestant and the first British monarch to be born under Protestant rule. Her father, Henry VIII, was responsible for the Protestant Reformation which saw the Church of England break away from the Roman Catholic Church.
On the other hand, Mary I was a devout Catholic and her half-brother, King Edward VI, ensured that she was removed from the line of succession. When she died in 1553, Lady Jane Gray (Bella Ramsey) reigned as Queen of England for nine days, before Mary successfully removed her.
Queen Elizabeth I was also a Protestant and the last member of the Tudors to rule England and Ireland. She ensured that the Protestant Reformation was restored.
In Become Elizabeth on Starz, viewers will get a glimpse of what their relationship may have looked like behind closed doors.
She said: “We really appreciated that you never forget that they actually more or less grew up together, and no matter how hard it was and then again, later on, they did. so much in common because they grew up together, they So there’s always love and you take that as a basis, no matter how hard it’s going to be, how much love-hate maybe there will be later, how much betrayal and deceit.
“There’s always this phase of family, and I think allowing that rather than going with ‘she’s the hero and she’s the villain, and he was hard’, going with all the beauty of family is something. something that I think is really, really special about this project.”
To prepare for the role of Elizabeth I, Rittberg worked on her accent with a dialect trainer, dyed her real hair, learned calligraphy, and danced Voltaire, Elizabeth I’s favorite dance.
Romola Garai, who played Queen Mary I, read biographies and “devoured” scripts to learn all about Mary I.
She added: “I mean, I think like a lot of people, I was like [the show is about] ‘The Tudors?’ We know a lot about the Tudors but I was amazed. I mean, I would read anything Anya [Reiss, creator] wrote, she is such a unique talent and such an incredibly interesting writer.
“To have a historical piece written like this by such an incredible young woman who is so much closer in age to Elizabeth herself and therefore so much closer to her predicament, it’s not hard to imagine what it was for a 15-year-old woman to go through these things. It immediately changed the whole dynamic of the shows and the way she understands relationships is completely new and unique and that was very apparent in the writing.
“When I started reading the scripts, I realized that [it was] Mary in particular, of whom I knew nothing at all, [an] incredibly interesting woman and it was an absolute pleasure to play and literally, you know, I was kind of going through the scripts.”
Garai also revealed that she knew very little about Mary I before reading the scripts, and she wasn’t surprised there was a whole backstory that people might not know, especially her relationship. with his father.
Garai said: “I didn’t know much about her. I think that’s probably the case for quite a few people. Even though we know the Tudors very well, I think she’s generally left out of interpretations. dramatic, but that’s because it’s been largely ignored by the history books.
“And that’s no accident, because the grand scheme of her reign, which was to restore Catholicism, meant that, obviously, Protestant historians kind of saw her as a very weak queen or a queen. very violent. She was never really nice or thought of much, but she was an incredibly interesting woman and her story is really rich.”
In Become Elizabeth, it is also implied that Elizabeth and Thomas Seymour (Tom Cullen) embarked on a romantic relationship, but this has never been proven.
Episodes of Become Elizabeth airs every Sunday on Starz, so the good news is there’s plenty of story for fans to sink their teeth into.
Become Elizabeth airs Sundays on Starz at 9 p.m. ET.