Premiere, a student at Oxford University in the 1920s is wrongly dismissed, on May 15th, 2017, streaming
By Gabrielle Pantera
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Stars) 2017/5/15 – “Growing up in America I wasn’t familiar with the novels,” says Decline and Fall star Eva Longoria. “But me and Jack have the same agent, and so that’s kind of how we were made aware of the project. I’ve always been dying to do a period piece, I’ve always wanted to do something with the BBC and I’ve always wanted to do something in the UK. So when this came up it felt like it was written for me, I was like ‘who else would play this part?”
“You know, from the first moment I stepped on set I knew I was surrounded by geniuses,” says Longoria. “Between Jack and David Suchet and Vincent and Douglas – they’re just amazing, amazing actors and great comedians. If you’re not paying attention you’ll miss the joke. It’s so clever and it’s so well written by James Wood that it’s just on the page.”
“I had a lot of scenes with David Suchet,”says Longoria. “I remember walking on set and Jack’s like, ‘David’s a really big deal.’ He’s such a great well respected actor that I said “Oh my gosh, I’m so terrified to have a scene with him because I think he’s going to eat me up!” But he was lovely, his character is so inferior to mine that he immediately put me at ease. And then Jack and I have so many scenes together. He ends up falling in love with me – not so much me with him! The other thing I was really looking forward to was shooting in Wales. I’d never been to Wales and because this is in the 1930s and it takes place in a school there were some gorgeous locations we shot at. Castle after castle, and manor after manor.”
“What I loved about Margot in the scripts was that she’s a feminist, she’s a successful wealthy woman in a time in which women didn’t have a lot of power and rights,” says Longoria. “In the novel she is way more malicious but in our adaptation you root for her, you understand her. She’s not really malicious, she’s just really true to herself.”
“I think she loves herself more,” says Longoria. “I think Margot only loves herself and she gets bored really quickly so she may love him in a moment, but then she just moves on. She collects people and then discards them and just wants to move on to something more exciting.”
“What’s so great about this adaptation is even though it’s a period piece it’s totally contemporary in its themes,” says Longoria. “There’s love, there’s friendship, there’s loyalty, there’s disappointment, there’s happiness and I think when you deal with universal themes in life the time period doesn’t really matter because that’s the human spirit, we’re all going to experience these things for centuries to come.”
“Oh my gosh, Margot is the color in this series,” Longoria. “The skies are grey, the men wear grey. And then here comes Margot with her fabulousness and her hats and her color and her dresses and her jewels. I spoke to Guillem the director and he said I just want her to be a pop of color.”
“I think he would love the adaptation,” says Longoria. I think that we’ve really honored it in a way that only television can. I think television does such a great job of creating a world that you can immediately be invested in and you immediately fall in love with all of these characters. Plus, I think the time period in which we’re talking about – the post-war societal differences, the haves and the have-nots – it’s so reflective of what we’re going through today in many countries.”
In Decline and Fall, Jack Whitehall is Paul Pennyfeather, a student at Oxford University in the 1920s. Wrongly expelled for indecent exposure, he was a victim of a prank by The Bollinger Club. The expulsion kicks off a chain of events.
David Suchet is Dr. Fagan, the headmaster of Llanabba, a public school in Wales. Paul first finds employment there.
Douglas Hodge is Grimes, a fellow teacher that works with David.
Eva Longoria is Mrs. Margot Beste-Chetwynde, a South American woman. The mother of one of the pupils, Margot and Pault meet at the school. For Paul it is love at first sight. He agrees to tutor her son over the summer holidays.
The three-part comedy is based on the novel by Evelyn Waugh.
Decline and Fall cast:
- Jack Whitehall as is Paul Pennyfeather
- David Suchet as Dr. Fagan
- Eva Longoria as Mrs. Margot Beste-Chetwynde
- Douglas Hodge as Grimes
- Gemma Whelan as Diane Fagan
- Stephen Graham as Philbrick
- Tim Pigott-Smith as Sniggs
- Vincent Franklin as Prendergast
A Cave Bear Productions, Tiger Aspect Productions and Multitude Media production.. Produced by Matthew Bird. Executive produced by Shane Allen, Ben Cavey, Will Gould, Chris Sussman. Directed by Guillem Morales. Adaptation written by James Wood.
Acorn TV is an American subscription streaming service offering television programming from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.