Do you know what Helen Mirren holds in her hand in the new trailer for Catherine the Great? Absolute power.
In the forthcoming HBO/Sky period-drama miniseries, Mirren stars as Catherine herself, an 18th-century Russian empress molding her country into an empire and great world power alongside her lover, the military leader Grigory Potemkin, played by a grisly, scarred Jason Clarke.
Haughty and wielding a heavy iron fist, Mirren is the image of royalty, poise and power, especially after her character, Catherine the Great, kicked off her remarkable reign in a blaze of glory as she overthrew her own husband to snag the throne.
“When I was young, I dreamed of freedom,” she says in the trailer as horses gallop across fields and soldiers line up in front of her. “I dreamed of breaking chains.”
We see Mirren, draped in fine jewelry, sighing as she stares at us through the screen.
“But as you grow older, your choices narrow, so instead, I gave us an empire,” she tells us. “But I knew exactly what I was doing.”
The trailer promises a drama full of stormy romance and opulent gowns, paired with bloodshed and beheadings.
And of course, we get the hellishly powerful, fiercely independent and really very violent Catherine the Great.
“I will not share my throne with anyone,” she assures us as the trailer ends.
The four-part limited series, shot in Russia, Latvia and Lithuania, comes to us from director Philip Martin, who isn’t new to the period-drama scene. Also known for helping bring Queen Elizabeth II’s story to life on Netflix’s The Crown, Martin directed the award-winning 2004 TV drama Hawking, as well as the final installment of 2006’s Prime Suspect.
Nigel Williams, who is also working on an epic period drama centered around King Richard I, penned the script, with Mirren and Martin executive producing alongside David M. Thompson of Origin Pictures, and Charlie Pattinson and Christine Healy of New Pictures.
It is far from Mirren’s first time playing a badass monarch. The revered actress also played Queen Charlotte in The Madness of King George, Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen and Queen Elizabeth I in, well, Queen Elizabeth I. It’s no wonder, then, that she’s considered acting royalty, as well.
If you, like us, can’t wait to see Mirren as Catherine the Great, try pregaming with some of her fresh offerings prepping to hit the screen this year, including next month’s Fast and Furious installment Hobbs & Shaw and Bill Condon’s The Good Liar.
You can see the new trailer for yourself below.