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Casting Watch: Maggie Gyllenhaal Set to Star in BBC Miniseries Thriller 'The Honourable Woman'

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! June 28, 2013 at 1:41PM

Maggie Gyllenhaal is set to take the lead in the BBC Two political thriller miniseries "The Honourable Woman," which will make its U.S. television debut on the Sundance Channel next year.
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Maggie Gyllenhaal
Maggie Gyllenhaal

Maggie Gyllenhaal is set to take the leading role in the BBC Two political thriller miniseries "The Honourable Woman," which will make its U.S. television debut on the Sundance Channel next year.

An original drama in eight parts, "The Honourable Woman" stars Gyllenhaal as Nessa Stein, the daughter of a Zionist who, years after his assassination, finds herself embroiled in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She must grapple with the political fallout of her father's murder and temper the storm created by her rise to power in British parliament.

Gyllenhaal, an Oscar nominee for 2010's "Crazy Heart," joins a recent crop of quality film actors emigrating their careers to the small screen and abroad. It was announced earlier this week that American actor Paul Giamatti will head to the U.K. for a role in BBC's "Downton Abbey," joining returning guest star Shirley MacLaine. This year, television audiences have also seen actor Gillian Anderson in the gripping British nail-biter "The Fall," and Emmy hopeful Elisabeth Moss in the rapturously praised, brilliant BBC co-production "Top of the Lake." Jane Campion's seven-part murder mystery also debuted in the U.S. on Sundance Channel following a screening at the festival in January. 

As more and more prominent big screen actors shift their careers to television, it has become harder to dispute recent claims made by directors such as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and David Lynch that TV is indeed outweighing film in terms of quality and output. Even filmmakers are making a splash on the small screen, as we've seen with Steven Soderbergh and his HBO film "Behind the Candelabra," as well as his upcoming Cinemax series "The Knick."

This article is related to: Maggie Gyllenhaal, BBC, The Honourable Woman


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.