Claire Danes seen for first time in The Essex Serpent after replacing Keira Knightley – Daily Mail

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The Essex Serpent FIRST LOOK: Claire Danes sports Victorian costume for TV adaptation of historical novel – after replacing Keira Knightley

  • The actress, 41, stars as Cora Seaborne in the upcoming Apple TV+ show based on the bestselling novel by Sarah Perry
  • The six-part series is set in the Victorian era and follows Cora as she enjoys her newfound freedom following the death of her abusive husband  
  • Claire takes on the lead role after Keira Knightley dropped out due to personal reasons amid the Covid-19 pandemic
  • It is her first acting job since wrapping up filming as CIA case officer, Carrie Mathison, in Homeland last year

Claire Danes has been pictured for the first time as Cora Seaborne in the new Apple TV+ series, The Essex Serpent. 

A new photo released on Saturday showed the actress, 41, sporting an elaborate Victorian dress as she plays a widower who is relishing in her newfound freedom following the end of her abusive marriage.

The period drama, based on the bestselling novel by Sarah Perry, marks Claire’s first role since wrapping up filming as CIA case officer, Carrie Mathison, in Homeland last year.

On set: Claire Danes sports an elaborate Victorian dress as she plays Cora Seaborne in the new Apple TV+ series, The Essex Serpent, marking her first acting role since Homeland last year

On set: Claire Danes sports an elaborate Victorian dress as she plays Cora Seaborne in the new Apple TV+ series, The Essex Serpent, marking her first acting role since Homeland last year

On set: Claire Danes sports an elaborate Victorian dress as she plays Cora Seaborne in the new Apple TV+ series, The Essex Serpent, marking her first acting role since Homeland last year

Claire – who replaced Keira Knightley in the show when she dropped out for personal reasons – is seen sporting a strawberry-blonde wig and is clad in a maroon velvet dress. 

Set in the 1890s, the drama follows Cora as she moves away from the hustle and bustle of London and finds a home in the small Essex village of Aldwinter.

Not long after arriving, she becomes intrigued by a local superstition, a mythical sea serpent known as The Essex Serpent that has returned to the area.

The See-Saw production is being directed by Clio Barnard, who’s best known for her work on film The Selfish Giant in 2013. The show is produced by Andrea Cornwell.

Original leading lady: Claire takes over for Keira Knightley, who was originally cast as Cora, but had to drop out of the project for personal reasons related to the Covid-19 pandemic

Original leading lady: Claire takes over for Keira Knightley, who was originally cast as Cora, but had to drop out of the project for personal reasons related to the Covid-19 pandemic

Original leading lady: Claire takes over for Keira Knightley, who was originally cast as Cora, but had to drop out of the project for personal reasons related to the Covid-19 pandemic 

Anna Symon will serve as the lead writer, her resume includes penning the British historical drama series, Mrs. Wilson in 2018 and the 2019 mini-series Deep Water. 

Curious: Set in the 1890s, Cora moves away from London to the Essex village of Aldwinter and becomes intrigued by local superstition of a mythical sea creature that haunts the area

Curious: Set in the 1890s, Cora moves away from London to the Essex village of Aldwinter and becomes intrigued by local superstition of a mythical sea creature that haunts the area

Curious: Set in the 1890s, Cora moves away from London to the Essex village of Aldwinter and becomes intrigued by local superstition of a mythical sea creature that haunts the area

Both Clio and Anna will serve as executive producers alongside Jamie Laurenson, Patrick Walters, Hakan Kousetta, Emile Sherman, and Iain Canning, according to Deadline 

Apple gave the green light last year and ordered The Essex Serpent to be made into a six-part limited series. 

The original publication was named Book Of The Year at the British Book Awards in 2017 in addition to the Waterstones Book of the Year award.

Claire takes over from Keira Knightley, who was originally cast as Cora, but had to drop out of the project for personal reasons related to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Keira, 35, who has been labelled the Queen Of Period Pieces after starring in films as Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, confirmed she was pulling out in October due to childcare concerns. 

A representative told People magazine that month:  ‘As the COVID cases increase in the U.K. and additional lockdown and restriction rules are potentially being imposed, with so many unknowns, there wasn’t a comfortable scenario for Keira that could be put in place for an extended period of child care required for the 4.5-month production.’ 

Meanwhile, Claire is still riding high off of the success of political thriller, Homeland, which featured eight seasons from 2011 to 2020.

She first made waves on television starring opposite Jared Leto in the acclaimed coming-of-age teen series My So-Called Life, between 1994 to 1995. 

The following year, the New York City native was paired with Leonardo DiCaprio in the romantic crime tragedy film Romeo + Juliet. 

Among her most celebrated roles is the HBO film, Temple Grandin for which she played a young woman with autism. It was released in theatres in 2010. 

Last role: Claire is still riding high off of the success of political thriller, Homeland, which featured eight seasons from 2011 to 2020 (pictured on the Showtime programme)

Last role: Claire is still riding high off of the success of political thriller, Homeland, which featured eight seasons from 2011 to 2020 (pictured on the Showtime programme)

Last role: Claire is still riding high off of the success of political thriller, Homeland, which featured eight seasons from 2011 to 2020 (pictured on the Showtime programme) 

 

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