3:51pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Mad Men' and 'True Blood' Stars Among 'Saints & Strangers' Cast
National Geographic Channel's upcoming Mayflower movie Saints & Strangers has filled out its cast. The cable network announced 11 actors who've boarded the four-hour telepic, with Mad Men star Vincent Kartheiser among them.
Directed by Paul Edwards and written by Eric Overmyer and Seth Fisher, the project is being produced by Sony Pictures Television with Little Engine Productions. It marks the network's first foray into scripted programming after its successful three-picture Killing film series from Bill O'Reilly.
Kartheiser and True Blood actress Anna Camp star as William and Dorothy Bradford, two of the titular "saints" — the religious separatists making the journey to North America for more religious freedoms. Joining them are Ron Livingston (Band of Brothers), Barry Sloane (The Whispers), Natascha McElhone (Californication) and several others.
Photography begins in South Africa later in July. Read on for the full breakdown.
The “saints” aboard the Mayflower were religious separatists who abandoned their prior lives for religious freedom and an opportunity to create a new social order built on their values.
- Vincent Kartheiser (“Mad Men”) plays William Bradford, the colony’s moral compass who would eventually serve as long-time governor of Plymouth Colony.
- Anna Camp (“Pitch Perfect,” “True Blood”) is Dorothy Bradford, his wife, still haunted by their decision to leave their three-year-old son behind for the journey to the New World.
- Ron Livingston (“Band of Brothers”) stars as John Carver, the initial leader of the Pilgrims and the first governor of the Plymouth Colony.
- Barry Sloane (“Revenge”) plays Plymouth leader Edward Winslow who would serve as a diplomat to the nearby Pokanoket tribe and their leader Massasoit.
- Michael Jibson (“Hatfields & McCoys”) is Myles Standish who, though not a separatist himself, was hired as the colony’s military adviser.
The “strangers” were those Mayflower passengers who were seeking adventure and financial opportunity, not religious freedom.
- Ray Stevenson (“Divergent”) stars as Stephen Hopkins, a leader of the strangers — albeit one with a checkered past — and the only Mayflower passenger who had previously been to the New World.
- Natascha McElhone (“Californication”) is his wife, Elizabeth Hopkins, who gives birth to their second child aboard the Mayflower and is one of only four women to survive to the first Thanksgiving.
- Brían F. O’Byrne (“Aquarius”) is John Billington, an antagonistic patriarch of a family known for troublemaking.
The Native Americans
The Mayflower passengers were far from the first settlers on New England, preceded by a number of Native American tribes confronted with their own political turmoil long before the arrival of the Europeans.
- Raoul Trujillo (“Apocalypto”) plays Massasoit, the sachem — or leader — of the Pokanoket tribe. Plague has decimated the Pokanoket population, leaving Massasoit uncertain of how to deal with the arrival of the new settlers.
- Tatanka Means (“Banshee”) plays Hobbamock, one of Massasoit’s men and a Pniese — an elite warrior thought to be unkillable in battle.
- Kalani Queypo (“The New World”) is Squanto, a former captive and slave of English explorers, who has crossed the Atlantic four times and acts as a translator and negotiator between Massasoit and the governors of the Plymouth Colony.