ITV and Amazon Studios today announce that Oldham-born actress and rising Hollywood star Olivia Cooke has begun filming as Becky Sharp for the ITV adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair. The all star supporting cast will include musician and actor Johnny Flynn (Genius) as Dobbin, Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) as Sir Pitt Crawley, Frances de La Tour (The History Boys) as Miss Matilda Crawley, Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster) as Miss Pinkerton and Michael Palin as Thackeray himself.
Also joining the ensemble cast are Claudia Jessie (Line of Duty) who plays Becky’s confidante Amelia Sedley, with theatrical titan Simon Russell Beale and Claire Skinner (Outnumbered) as her parents, and David Flynn (School of Rock) as her brother Joss.
Filming started in Budapest, with the shoot then continuing in locations in and around London.
Gwyneth Hughes’ adaptation of Thackeray’s literary classic is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and follows modern heroine Becky Sharp as she attempts to claw her way out of poverty and scale the heights of English Society. Her story of “villainy, crime, merriment, lovemaking, jilting, laughing, cheating, fighting and dancing”, takes her all the way to the court of King George IV, via the Battle of Waterloo, breaking hearts and losing fortunes as she goes.
Vanity Fair is commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama Polly Hill and the series will premiere on the channel internationally before premiering as an Amazon Prime Exclusive in the US.
Commented Polly Hill: “Vanity Fair feels like the perfect classic to adapt for ITV, and Gwyneth Hughes’ stunning scripts bring the novel to life in a way that will really connect with a modern audience. The question was always who would be our perfect Becky Sharp and that is undoubtedly Olivia Cooke! So we are thrilled she has agreed to play Becky, in what promises to be a very exciting new drama for ITV next year.”