NewsWorldLouisa Jacobson, the youngest daughter of Meryl Streep, is...

Louisa Jacobson, the youngest daughter of Meryl Streep, is the revelation of The Gilded Age on OCS – Le Figaro


INTERVIEW – The youngest of the American actress found in the new series of Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, his first role in front of the camera. Meeting with the one who guides the spectator in the New York of the 1880s, in full economic and cultural boom.

The cheekbones leave little doubt. Louisa Jacobson is the daughter of Meryl Streep. The last-born of the siblings of four children that the legend of American cinema had with her husband Don Gummer, she is also the last member of her family to step into the limelight. At 30, this ex-model, Yale graduate, caught the eye of Julian Fellowes. The creator of Downton Abbey gave her the role of Marian Brook, a penniless orphan who comes to live with her wealthy aunts in a New York in turmoil. The young nonconformist woman is our guide in this Big Apple of the 1880s. She finds herself, despite herself, at the center of the quarrel of the ancients against the moderns. An irrelevant bone of contention for Marian who intends to embrace the best of both worlds and chart her course. TV Magazine spoke with the actress at the launch this week of The Gilded Age, on HBO and SCO.

” READ ALSO – The first pictures of The Gilded Age, the new American series from the creator of Downton Abbey

TV MAGAZINE. – What drew you to The Gilded Age?

Louisa JACOBSON. – The idea of ​​revisiting a period that we don’t see much on screen except when it comes to adapting Edith Wharton’s novels, like The time of innocence. I knew almost nothing about this “golden period”. I had mainly studied at university the immediate post-Civil War period, a period that is nicknamed the “reconstruction”. I hadn’t realized until now how transformed New York had emerged from those decades. We owe them so many legendary monuments like the Carnegie Opera, the Metropolitan… The Gilded Age explores how unimaginable and unquantifiable wealth transforms people and their family, friendship, professional and sentimental relationships. The debate between the old guard and the younger generation, more progressive, makes it possible to flesh out what is at stake: the values ​​on which we want to build this new world. I’m really curious which side the viewer will support: that of temple guardians Ava Brook and Agnes Van Rijn or that of the ambitious Russell?

Marian and Peggy (Louisa Jacobson and Denée Benton) HBO

As soon as she leaves Pennsylvania, Marian befriends Peggy, a young African-American woman who dreams of seeing her short stories published. This complicity is not always well seen in New York, especially since Peggy, to remain independent of her wealthy parents, agrees to be the private secretary of Marian’s aunts.

I reread Edith Wharton and Henry James a lot to prepare for the role of Marian, to understand her state of mind. Julian Fellowes and the producers also sent us a lot of documentation. The most interesting concerned the birth of a black upper middle class, from which Peggy came, born of the first generation of adults who experienced the abolition of slavery. Peggy was able to claim an education. It was crucial that The Gilded Age talks about it and brings out this page in the history of oblivion, avoiding the clichés of the “white savior” or “the magic nigger”. Marian is a young woman of her time and harbors certain prejudices. She does not imagine for a moment that Peggy could have grown up in a wealthy environment. His first meeting with Peggy’s parents will not be to his credit. To be authentic, it needed friction. Marian and Peggy also have a lot in common: they are trying to find their way to independence.

“In the Newport mansions where we were filming, you could smell all the ghosts, all that opulence, all that corruption, all the Marians of old”

Louisa Jacobson

Is it easy to appropriate the chiseled dialogues of Julian Fellowes and this so particular phrasing of the elite of this end of the XIXth century?

We had our wonderful accent and dialect teacher, Howard Samuelson. We had to work a lot on our vowels. Having played Shakespeare during my drama classes, I was not totally out of place. Julian Fellowes was often present on the sets. It really has a lynx eye on the label. We shot a lot of tea party scenes. Each time, he reminded us that it was unthinkable not to have a spoon on his tea saucer. He also noticed when a handkerchief was too long or too short. Filming in the historic Newport mansions was also a way to fully immerse yourself. We shot a ballroom scene at Rosecliff, the residence of the Oelrichs who had made their fortunes in the silver mines. You could smell all the ghosts, all this opulence, all this corruption, all the Marians of yore that had sprung up on this floor!

” READ ALSO – TF1, France Télévisions, Canal+, Arte, OCS… The series not to be missed at the start of the year

How does this “golden period” echo our current world?

When we speak of “gilded age”, we tend to see mountains of gold whereas stricto sensu, it is gilding. What was underneath could be rotten. The connotations were much more negative in the past. The Gilded Age depicts as today a world of excess and privilege. The Russells of the 21st century are Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg. Their playing field is no longer the railroad or the stock market, but the internet and space.

SEE ALSO – THE trailer for The Gilded Age

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