Gilded Age: Trailer for new period drama from HBO
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The Gilded Age is brought to fans by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and is fighting for its spot to be the next big period drama. With her TV series debut, the youngest daughter of Meryl Streep and Don Gummer, Louisa, is relatively new to the acting world. Portraying the role of Marian Brook in the HBO show marks the star’s TV debut, and she has recently divulged the authentic costumes took a while to get used to.
The show depicts the struggle between new and old money and how rapid economic and industrial growth strived alongside political corruptness in the late 1800s.
Marian Brook (played by Louisa Jacobson) is forced to move from rural Pennsylvania to New York City after the death of her father and has to live with her old-money aunts, Agnes van Rhijn (played by Christine Baranski) and Ada Brook (Cynthia Nixon).
On dressing the part, the star revealed her unrealistic beauty standards placed on her by Disney Princesses.
She said: “All the main princess characters have these tiny little waists and you grow up seeing that. I walked on set and in my [costume] fittings too, I was like, ‘just tighten it – I wanna look snatched’.
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“But you know I really suffered from that decision because they measured and sewed all my costumes based on how tight my corset was in the fitting when I had been really ambitious about making it very tight.”
Speaking candidly on the Reign with Josh Smith podcast, she added: “I realised how I’ve internalised beauty standards so intensely. You’ve seen Cinderella, you’ve seen any Disney movie, have you seen Frozen? Their waists are like the size of my finger. “
The actress is seen in a tightly fitted gown and with her hair up in a vintage style during the entire season.
After battling with her perception of beauty, the actress had to speak to the costume department about altering her dress so she could feel more comfortable on set.
The 30-year-old described: “I would say three or four months into shooting, I actually had to ask them to take out my dresses from the waist because it was just too much.”
The costumes and set look glamorous on screen, but her need to have her corset so tight started to impact her physical health.
She continued: “It was taxing physically and mentally, I couldn’t sleep on my side for a long time because my ribs were so sore.
“That’s when I realised I really need to loosen this up and after every take or between setups, I would ask my dresser to untie the corset so that I could get a break.
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“They would have corset breaks because we were there for 15 hours and to have that on for that long is bananas. The women back then actually in the Guilded Age, they would change their clothes three or four times a day to take a break.”
The actress also described how it took a while to build up her resilience to wearing corsets after living in loungewear during the pandemic.
She commented: “It took a long time to get used to that corset, after wearing sweatpants for so long.
“Every day when I took it off, I was so grateful and I will never take for granted being a female identifying person in 2022, who does have the freedom to put on a pair of pants that are kind of loose and call it a day.
“The things women had to do, it was crazy.”
With the season one finale days away from airing, fans can rejoice that HBO has renewed the period drama for a second season.
The nine-episode drama ends with Let the Tournament Begin, which suggests a lot of drama will occur.
The Gilded Age is available to watch on HBO in America and on Sky Atlantic and NOW streaming service in the UK.
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