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Joe Alwyn, the rising British actor who made his screen debut last year headlining Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, will join the ensemble cast of The Favourite. Director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) will helm the period drama that has already amassed the impressive talents of Rachel Weisz, Olivia Coleman, newly announced Nicholas Hoult and recent Oscar winner Emma Stone; notably, both Weisz and Coleman gave memorable performance in last summer’s indie crossover hit The Lobster. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to report on Alwyn’s involvement in the film.
The Favourite, written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, centers around the political machinations that enveloped Queen Anne (to be played by Coleman), the final monarch of the House of Stuarts. The film looks to further explore the power shifts and romantic entanglements of Queen Anne’s court, including a servant character to be portrayed by Stone. Alwyn, reportedly, will portray Masham, a love interest of sorts for Stone’s character
The film looks to be a particular change of pace (or perhaps not) for Lanthimos, the Greek filmmaker behind the Oscar-nominated cult hit Dogtooth (2010) and this past summer’s The Lobster, a film in which he (and writing partner Efthymis Filippou) earned an Oscar nomination for their highly original screenplay. The Favourite is moving along swiftly as Lanthimos finishes post-production on The Killing of a Sacred Deer, an upcoming drama reuniting the filmmaker with The Lobster star Colin Farrell and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman – A24 Films picked up that film before completion, which may be ready sometime later this year.
Ahead of Billy Lynn, Alwyn – a graduate of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama – had never appeared before on camera. While that film failed to connect with audiences and critics, the young actor is quickly attracting attention in Hollywood and will next appear in The Sense of an Ending, a drama starring Jim Broadbent (Iris) and Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) that will open in theaters on March 10th.