ARCHIE: FIRST LOOK AT JASON ISAACS AS CARY GRANT IN NEW ITV DRAMA
ITVX releases an enchanting first look of Jason Isaacs as Cary Grant in Archie, the four-part drama about the life of Hollywood’s leading man, launching on the streaming platform in November.
Written by award-winning screenwriter, Jeff Pope, and produced by Etta Pictures, Pope’s ITV Studios label, BritBox International is the co-production partner.
The striking images reveal Jason Isaacs for the first-time channelling Cary Grant, looking suave, debonair and exuding all the elegance and style associated with one of the greatest Hollywood icons.
Born in Bristol, England in 1904, to parents Elsie and Elias, Archie narrates the story of a young Archibald Alexander Leach’s troubled childhood and how extreme poverty, his father’s adultery and the loss of his older brother, John, tore the family apart and sent his loving mother into a downward spiral of grief and depression.
Jeff Pope’s scripts reveal how deceit, cruelty and one, overpowering lie shaped Archie’s life. At 14 he auditioned for the music hall act, the Bob Pender Troupe, a band of acrobats, stilt walkers, clowns and comedians after seeing them perform at the Bristol Hippodrome.
Lean and athletic, he learned the art of stilt walking, and when the troupe went on tour to the US, teenage Archie was intoxicated by the land of opportunity. Believing he was not wanted by his family in the UK, he decided to stay in the US to try to make his way in showbusiness.
With no thoughts of acting, a chance meeting with the comedian George Burns helped him find his first footing on the acting ladder and a contract with a movie studio who felt he needed to change his name, and Cary Grant was born. The drama intercuts with scenes from 1961 when at the height of his fame, living in Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles, the legendary actor was breaking all box office records, but desperately unhappy in his private life.
With two failed marriages behind him, he began to woo an actress he’d seen on a TV show, Dyan Cannon. Thirty-three years his junior, Dyan, didn’t initially fall for his charms turning down his attempts to meet, because she didn’t feel they could ever be a match.
Dashingly handsome, suave and sophisticated, Cary continued to pursue her, with introductions to his famous friends, until they eventually wed in Las Vegas in 1965.
The series also stars Laura Aikman (Not Going Out, Gavin and Stacey) as Cary’s formidable ex-wife, actress and filmmaker Dyan Cannon, with Harriet Walter (Succession, Ted Lasso, Killing Eve) as Elsie Leach, Cary’s mother.
Dainton Anderson (Patrick Melrose), Calam Lynch (Bridgerton) and Oaklee Pendergast (Home) play young versions of Archie Leach, and Kara Tointon (Mr Selfridge, The Halcyon, Sound of Music Live) plays young Elsie.
Archie is a 4 x 60 mins drama commissioned by ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill for ITVX.