EXCLUSIVE: Drama from the HBO period of Julian Fellowes Golden age significantly expands its cast for Season 2, growing from 12 to 24 series regulars and deepening the show’s Upstairs, Downstairs feel. This includes promoting 13 actors who returned in Season 1 to series regulars: Kelli O’Hara like the socialite Aurora Fane, Donna Murphy as the leader of New York society Mrs. Astor, Debra Monk as Van Rhijn Armstrong’s maid, Kristine Nielsen as Van Rhijn’s cook, Mrs. Bauer, Taylor Richardson like Bridget, Van Rhijn’s maid, Ben Ahlers as Van Rhijn’s footman, Jack Trotter, Kelley Curran as Bertha Russell Turner’s former maid, Douglas thresholds as Russells boss, Baudin aka Borden, Celia Keenan Bolger as Russells housekeeper, Mrs Bruce, Michel Cerveris as George Russell’s valet Watson, Erin Wilhelmi as cleaning lady Adelheid Weber, Patrick Page as secretary to George Russell Richard Claym and SullivanJones as editor T. Thomas Fortune.
They join 11 series regulars: Christine Baranski as Agnes Van Rhijn, Cynthia Nixon as Ada Brook, Louisa Jacobson as Marian Brook, Blake Ritson as Oscar Van Rhijn, Carrie Coon as Bertha Russell, Morgan Spector as George Russell, Taissa Farmiga as Gladys Russell, Harry Richardson as Larry Russell, Denée Benton as Peggy Scott, Simon Jones as Van Rhijns Bannister’s Butler, and Jack Gilpin as Russels Church’s Butler.
As announced in the season finale (read our post-mortem and Q&A here), Season 1 series regular Thomas Cocquerel, who played Tom Raikes, the opportunistic young lawyer and love interest of Marian last season, will not return.
Returning in their recurring roles for season 2, Audra McDonald as Peggy’s mother, Dorothy Scott, Nathan Lane as social powerhouse Ward McAllister, John Douglas Thompson as Peggy’s father Arthur Scott, Ashlie Atkinson as socialite Mamie Fish, Claybourne Elder as Oscar John Adams’ secret lover, and Ward Horton as Aurora’s husband Charles Fane.
With promotions, Golden age looks more like Fellowes mega hit Downton Abbey, have a more even split between wealthy characters and main cast minions. Only two of the 12 season 1 series regulars have played minions; in Season 2, the ratio is 11 to 24. This was a natural progression as the stories and characters on the ground floor grew and developed as Season 1 progressed .
The promos also hint at some potential Season 2 storylines. she seeks revenge.
There have been sparks between editor T. Thomas Fortune and Peggy that could turn into a relationship. A possibility is also a friendship between former adversaries Bertha and Mrs. Astor as predicted by Bertha at the end of the season finale. And Watson’s secret could finally be revealed.
Recurring cast members from Season 1 who are not listed as recurring for Season 2 include familiar characters: Jeanne Tripplehorn as Sylvia Chamberlain, Katie Finneran as Anne Morris, Amy Forsyth as Carrie Astor, John Sanders as Architect Stanford White, and Linda Emond like Clara Barton.
Golden agea co-production between HBO and Universal Television, is an epic drama that follows the millionaire titans of New York City in the 1880s.
Here’s the official description for Season 2: The Golden Age was a time of immense economic change, huge fortunes made and lost, and fierce rivalry between old and new. Nowhere is this rivalry more apparent than on East 61st Street, where Marian Brook and her well-aged aunts, Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook, live across from the impossibly wealthy George and Bertha Russell. The Russells are both fiercely ambitious, he financially, she socially, and they are determined to reach the highest echelons in New York. Meanwhile in Brooklyn, Marian’s friend and confidante Peggy Scott is forging her own path in the black elite world. In this shimmering world on the brink of the modern era, will the established rules of society prevail, or will the game change entirely?
Golden age is created, written and produced by Fellowes with Gareth Neame and David Crockett also executive producing. Michael Engler directs and produces with Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Bob Greenblatt. Sonja Warfield is writer and co-executive producer and Erica Dunbar is historical consultant and co-executive producer.