Starz has cast Ray Panthaki in its upcoming Catherine De Medici drama series The Serpent Queen. He will act alongside Samantha Morton, who stars as the monarch.
Based on the book Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France by Leonie Frieda, the eight-episode series hails from writer and executive producer Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road).
Considered an immigrant, common and plain, Morton’s Catherine de Medici is married into the 16th century French court as an orphaned teenager expected to bring a fortune in dowry and produce many heirs, only to discover that her husband is in love with an older woman, her dowry is unpaid and she’s unable to conceive. Yet, only with her intelligence and determination, she manages to keep her marriage alive and masters the bloodsport that is the monarchy better than anyone else, ruling France for 50 years.
Stacie Passon will direct multiple episodes, including the premiere episode. Executive producers are also Francis Lawrence and Erwin Stoff. The Serpent Queen is produced for Starz by Lionsgate Television and 3 Arts Entertainment.
Panthaki will play Charles Guise, the sinister Catholic Cardinal who loves taking things from the Protestants under the guise of raising funds for war and to fund their families louche lifestyles. Charles is intelligent, politically deft, athletically gifted and devastatingly handsome.
The Serpent Queen also features Amrita Acharia, Enzo Cilenti, Barry Atsma, Nicholas Burns and Danny Kirrane. Also cast in the series are Charles Dance, Ludivine Sagnier, Liv Hill, Kiruna Stamell and Colm Meaney.
Panthaki, who won the BAFTA Breakthrough Brit honor in 2014, recently appeared in Netflix’ Away as Ram Arya, opposite Hilary Swank. His television credits also include Marcella, Gangs of London, Blessed and EastEnders.
The British actor has appeared in a number of films including Official Secrets, Colette, One Crazy Thing and Clash of the Dead.
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