Gillian Anderson Joins ‘The Great’ Season 2 as Elle Fanning’s Mom

The Great Gillian Anderson
Gillian Anderson joins ‘The Great’ season 2 (Photo credit: Richard Phibbs)

Gillian Anderson (The Crown, The X-Files) is officially part of Hulu’s The Great season two. The streaming service announced Anderson has committed to playing the mother of Catherine (Elle Fanning) in a two-episode arc.

Hulu released the following description of Anderson’s character, Joanna: “Joanna is a glamorous socialite from Germany, sometimes also known as the ‘maestro of marriage’ for her abilities to arrange high profile partnerships for her daughters. She has heard rumors of her daughter’s coup and come to Russia to see it for herself. Though the apple of Catherine’s eye and a doting mother, it soon becomes clear Johanna has more sinister intentions to save her family’s reputation.”

In addition to Elle Fanning and Gillian Anderson, the season two cast includes Nicholas Hoult, Phoebe Fox, Adam Godley, and Gwilym Lee. Charity Wakefield, Douglas Hodge, Sacha Dhawan, Bayo Gbadamosi, and Belinda Bromilow also star in season two.

Oscar nominee Tony McNamara (The Favourite) created the series and serves as writer and executive producer. Additional executive producers include Marian Macgowan, Thruline’s Josh Kesselman and Ron West, Echo Lake’s Brittany Kahan Ward, Doug Mankoff, and Andrew Spaulding, Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult, Mark Winemaker, and Matt Shakman.

The Great Synopsis, Courtesy of Hulu:

The Great is a satirical, comedic drama about the rise of Catherine the Great from outsider to the longest-reigning female ruler in Russia’s history. Season one is a fictionalized, fun and anachronistic story of an idealistic, romantic young girl, who arrives in Russia for an arranged marriage to the mercurial Emperor Peter. Hoping for love and sunshine, she finds instead a dangerous, depraved, backward world that she resolves to change. All she has to do is kill her husband, beat the church, baffle the military and get the court onside. A very modern story about the past which encompasses the many roles she played over her lifetime as lover, teacher, ruler, friend, and fighter.

In season two, Catherine becomes both a mother to Russia and a child.”