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HBO’s limited series The Plot Against America has found its collaborators.
Winona Ryder, Zoe Kazan, Morgan Spector and John Turturro will star in the six-episode drama, an adaptation of Philip Roth’s 2004 alternate-history novel from David Simon and Ed Burns (The Deuce, The Wire). The cast also includes Anthony Boyle, Azhy Robertson and Caleb Malis. Production began April 10.
The Plot Against America is set in an alternate American history and centers on a Jewish family in New Jersey who watch the political rise of Charles Lindbergh, an aviator hero and xenophobic populist who becomes president, defeating Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940, and turns the country toward fascism.
Ryder (Stranger Things, Simon’s Show Me a Hero) will play Evelyn Finkel, an unmarried woman whose plans were arrested by 10 years of caring for her infirm mother. She’s exhilarated by the sudden attention of a key Lindbergh supporter, Rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf (Turturro). The rabbi becomes a key figure in Lindbergh’s administration despite growing opposition from the larger Jewish community.
Kazan (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs) plays Elizabeth “Bess” Levin, Evelyn’s younger sister. An insightful mother and homemaker, Bess fears for the future and tries to protect her family from the escalating political climate and plan a possible escape.
Spector (Homeland, Boardwalk Empire) plays Bess’ husband, Herman, an insurance agent who tries to maintain some normalcy even as the country seems to be slipping into fascism, anti-Semitism and xenophobic isolationism.
Boyle (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) plays Alvin, Herman’s orphaned nephew who allows political division in his family, personal grudges and an abhorrence of hypocrisy to drive him from street crime to the battlefields of Europe and back.
Robertson (After the Wedding) plays Philip, the youngest Levin child who copes with his own innocent curiosity and growing anxiety that the world is collapsing around him.
Newcomer Malis is Sandy, Bess and Herman’s artistic teenage son who rebels against his family — and his father in particular — as his adolescence becomes entangled with his growing admiration for Lindbergh, which Evelyn encourages.
Simon and Burns are co-writing The Plot Against America and executive produce alongside Joe Roth, Simon’s Blown Deadline Productions partner Nina Noble, Megan Ellison, Annapurna TV’s Sue Naegle and Susan Goldberg and Jeff Kirschenbaum. Dennis Stratton and Philip Roth are co-exec producers.
Ryder is repped by Gersh, Anonymous Content and Howard Fishman; Kazan by UTA, Washington Square Films, Relevan and Jackoway Tyerman; Spector by Innovative Artists and Untitled Entertainment; Boyle by Hamilton Hodell and UTA; Robertson by CESD, Nani/Saperstein Management and Nelson Davis LLP; Malis by Clear Talent Group, The Kohl Group and Myman Abell; and Turturro by ICM Partners and George Sheanshang.
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