Channel 5 releases first picture of Jodie Turner-Smith as first Black actor to play Anne Boleyn in series filmed in Yorkshire

The first picture of Jodie Turner-Smith as Anne Boleyn in an upcoming miniseries filmed in Yorkshire has been unveiled.

Jodie Turner-Smith as the eponymous role in upcoming Channel 5 production, Anne Boleyn. Photo Credit: Parisa Taghizadeh/Channel 5

Turner-Smith is the first Black actor to play the ill-fated monarch and second wife to Henry VIII in the Channel 5 three-part series Anne Boleyn, which is to be released later this year.

The actor has previously starred alongside Daniel Kaluuya in 2019 crime drama Queen & Slim, and American series True Blood and Mad Dogs.

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Directed by the maker of Deadwater Fell, Lynsey Miller, the upcoming miniseries was filmed at settings in North and West Yorkshire, with Bolton Castle in Leyburn, Richmondshire, the primary location.

The drama was filmed at Bolton Castle in North Yorkshire, as well as several other undisclosed locations in West and North Yorkshire

Co-starring alongside Ms Turner-Smith will be Paapa Essiedu, who has previously played Hamlet and appeared alongside Michaela Coel in BBC Three's I May Destroy You, as Anne's brother George Boleyn as well as White House Farm's Mark Stanley as King Henry.

Filmed in Novermber and December, the production involved the use of a crew service set up by the region's main film office - Screen Yorkshire - providing work for locally-based freelancers such as make up artists and camera technicians.

Production company Fable Pictures hired 12 members of Screen Yorkshire's crew service across departments including camera, sound, hair and makeup, and Covid health and safety assessors.

The drama, which has been described as a psychological thriller, will cover the final months of the Tudor queen's life before she was executed for not being able to produce a male heir, including her struggle to secure a future for her daughter - the future Queen Elizabeth I - and the growing relationship between Henry and Anne's love rival, Jane Seymour.

The drama was filmed at Bolton Castle in North Yorkshire, as well as several other undisclosed locations in West and North Yorkshire

Olivia Thomas, Film Office Coordinator at Screen Yorkshire says: ‘’The impact of our crew service has been remarkable and demonstrates the resilience of Yorkshire’s film and TV industry in the face of Covid.

"After such a tough year, supporting our freelance community has become more important than ever. And because of a halt in filming during the first lockdown, we are seeing a real upturn in demand for filming services and crew in the region.’’

Screen Yorkshire's crew service has also provided local freelancers for upcoming productions of Netflix's The Witcher filmed at Fountains Abbey, a second series of Gentleman Jack, All Creatures Great & Small and The Syndicate.

Channel 5's Anne Boleyn also features Barry Ward from White Lines and Des as Henry VIII's closest and most powerful advisor Thomas Cromwell and Lola Petticrew as Jane Seymour.

A release date for Anne Boleyn is yet to be announced.

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