Amazon Prime Video’s new project, The Romanoffs, from Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, is unconventional to say the least.
The limited series includes eight episodes with eight completely different stories. But each episode includes at least one character who believes him or herself is a descendant of the Russian royal family.
Eckhart shows up in the first episode, “The Violet Hour,” in which audiences are transported to modern day Paris, where a wealthy older (and quite racist) woman, Anushka (Marthe Keller), lives in an enormous, magnificent apartment. The Dark Knight actor plays Anushka’s American nephew Greg, who both loves her and wants to inherit her fortune.
TV Insider spoke with Eckhart ahead of the premiere about what attracted him to the role and what is was like working with a TV powerhouse like Weiner.
How would you describe this series? It’s not exactly what’s advertised.
Aaron Eckhart: It’s different from what I expected in that it’s unconventional and all these stories that are interconnected but [at the same time] not connected at all. They’re all shot around the world with different people on different timelines, and [the Romanoff family], really isn’t even mentioned.
Matthew obviously has these beautiful stories in his head. I read the script on the side of a road near a lake in Montana in the rain — out in the middle of nature. I thought it was bold and interesting and I said, ‘Wow, I want to be a part of that.’
Aaron Eckhart has worked with a number of standout writer-directors — Steven Soderbergh, Jason Reitman and Christopher Nolan, to name a few — over his 25-year film career. So when the opportunity to work with Matthew Weiner on his new star-studded Amazon anthology series, The Romanoffs, came up, Eckhart jumped at the opportunity.
Appearing in the premiere episode, “The Violet Hour,” which is now streaming, Eckhart plays Greg, the lone nephew and caretaker to a bigoted, wealthy aunt played by Marthe Keller. Over the course of the episode, which is set in Paris and is acted mostly in French, the family’s connection to the Romanovs is revealed as an unexpected person changes the course of Greg’s future.
“It was beautifully written,” Eckhart tells ET of the script. “I thought that Matthew was putting relationships together that were unconventional.”
Set your diary for October 12 because Amazon Prime have their first original drama and it’s going to be huge.
1. It’s created by Mad Men showrunner Matthew Weiner who brought the 1950s back into Vogue with his all-smoking, ad agency hit that reestablished the face of barbershops and men’s haircuts ever since. Said to have cost around $50million, and with Weiner bringing some of his behind-the-scenes writers and creatives to the show, The Romanoffs is a hit waiting to be watched.
2. The cast! Hello John Slattery and Christina Hendricks of Mad Men fame, Clea Duvall, Corey Stoll, Radha Mitchell, Katherine Hahn, Diane Lane, Aaron Eckhart, Amanda Peet – some of TVs best and brightest are claiming to be Russian royalty so that’s a big tick on the acting front.
“The Romanoffs” is a contemporary anthology series set around the globe featuring eight separate stories about people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family. The shot is from the premiere episode, “The Violet Hour,” starring Aaron Eckhart, Marthe Keller, Inès Melab and Louise Bourgoin. Here’s Amazon’s description and air date:
“The Violet Hour” — Premieres on Friday, October 12
Set in Paris, an ancestral home holds the key to a family’s future.
Introducing “The Romanoffs,” the highly anticipated follow-up to “Mad Men” from creator Matthew Weiner.
Weiner created, wrote, directed and executive produced the anthology series, which will debut October 12 on Amazon Prime Video. While the new trailer doesn’t include any footage, it features the names of the dozens of stars who will appear in the series.
The sprawling cast includes “Mad Men” alums Christina Hendricks and John Slattery, Aaron Eckhart, Diane Lane, Paul Reiser, Isabelle Huppert, Corey Stoll, Andrew Rannells, Jack Huston and Amanda Peet.
“The Romanoffs,” which is set around the globe, features eight separate stories about people in contemporary times who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family that ruled Russia from 1613 until the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917.