Anne Boleyn star Mark Stanley champions casting co-star Jodie Turner-Smith

·2-min read
Photo credit: Channel 5
Photo credit: Channel 5

Anne Boleyn star Mark Stanley has championed the Channel 5 drama's casting of lead star Jodie Turner-Smith.

Turner-Smith plays Boleyn in the three-part series, which tells the story of the former wife of Henry VIII through a modern lens.

"Before – you might have made this drama 30 years ago – it would have been an all-white cast, it would have been about Henry, and the draw for me was I want to wave the flag," Stanley told Digital Spy exclusively.

Photo credit: Channel 5
Photo credit: Channel 5

"I want to be part of the change that's inevitable and the change that, in my opinion, is long overdue.

"You look at people from that period, and of course the world was shaped in a certain way back then. But it's not shaped like that now. And we've got to be able to make sure that people are represented."

Shutting down any criticism of Turner-Smith's casting as Boleyn, Stanley praised how she filled the role with her energy.

Photo credit: Channel 5
Photo credit: Channel 5

Related: Mark Stanley on playing Henry VIII and how the important new Anne Boleyn drama moves away from "nonsense" storytelling

"But saying that… it was more to do with turning up and finding out what that person's energy was about. And how they could represent the energy of that person of the time," Stanley said of Turner-Smith's casting.

"For someone to diminish, take [Jodie's] energy away, simply because of literally a skin-deep aesthetic – what a waste that would be. And it's the way to think now, I think, the way to move forward. Long may it continue."

Anne Boleyn airs on Channel 5.

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