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Casting Couch: FOX Snags Brits for "Oaks" Cast

In an interesting twist, FOX has decided to cast relatively unknowns in its new drama series, The Oaks, the first project from newly installed network president Kevin Reilly. (For my review of the pilot script, click here.)

The Oaks, written by Tell Me You Love Me's David Schulner and directed by Dexter's Michael Cuesta, has secured the talents of two British actresses for its diverse cast of characters. The project revolves around three couples--in 1968, 1988, and 2008--who all live in the same house and are connected through the decades by a restless spirit and a mystery which haunts their home.

Gina McKee, best known for her feature roles in MirrorMask, Notting Hill, and Croupier, will play Molly, a frazzled mother of two children in 1988 whose marriage to gruff Frank has fallen into a passionless state. She will next be seen in Atonement, opposite Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Brenda Blethyn, and Vanessa Redgrave.

Sienna Guillory (Eragon) will play Jessica, the neighbor of 2008's Dan and Hollis, who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome and shares an enigmatic secret with Dan. She'll next be seen in the feature adaptation of Inkheart.

The announcement of McKee and Guillory appearing in The Oaks comes on the heels of cast additions Bahar Soomekh, Matt Lanter, and Shannon Lucio in three starring roles.


Although they are both relatively unknown in the US both actress have a lot of TV experience in the UK, so it's a safer bet than getting a pair similarly unknown US actresses. I'd guess that they may well be cheaper than US actresses of a similar caliber as well. McKee, in particular, is excellent. If you ever get a chance to see the BBC Serial "Our Friends in the North", starring McKee with Daniel Craig and Christopher Eccleston, then do - it's one of the very best dramas I've seen. It's only available in region 2 (here's the Amazon listing). It's the kind of thing I wish BBC America would show.
Anonymous said…
Gina McKee is great!

And in regards to Matthew's comment "Our Friends in the North" looks fantastic. What a fantastic cast! I will definitely have to check that out. Thanks for the recommendation!
Anonymous said…
I love Gina McKee and can't wait to see this show. Is it definitely ordered for next season already? Matthew, would love to see "Our Friends in the North." Does anyone know if there will be a region 1 release eventually?
According to an article about the 2001 debut on BBC America of another series ("Clocking Off", also featuring Christopher Eccleston, also very good), "Our Friends in the North" was shown on BBC America. The IMDB entry has a US release date of September 30 1999, so I'm guessing this is when they showed it. Given this, I'd think there would probably have been a region 1 release by now, if there was going to be one.

It could be worth writing to BBC America and suggesting that they show the series again - especially considering the higher profile that Daniel Craig, Christopher Eccleston and Gina McKee have now. In fact I think it would be worth their while doing a whole strand of high-quality British dramas from the past - regardless of whether they've already shown them or not. After all, BBC America's availability was much less in 1999 than it is now, and I'm sure a lot of new viewers would welcome the chance to see some older dramas.

If that doesn't happen though, your only options are a multiregion player and getting the DVD from the UK, or the murky world of bit-torrent. Given how hard it is to get hold of the series legally in the US, I wouldn't feel too bad about going down this route.

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