Real issues, fictional ‘Regime’: Winslet, Grant star in new political drama

Flip through the pages of your local newspaper or turn the television to your preferred news network and you’ll see it: a plethora of stories chronicling the ins and outs of national politics. Often times, the politics are related to your own nation, but in order to understand one’s own country’s goals, desires and needs, the news must also look abroad. While these news updates and articles center exclusively on real-world issues in a 24-hour news cycle context, one HBO series is going above and beyond to bring real concerns into a scripted environment.

“The Regime,” a new limited miniseries from creator Will Tracy (“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”), takes an in-depth look at the intricacies and concerns that come hand in hand with an authoritarian government. Set in Europe and created as a peek behind the curtain of fascism in the making, “The Regime” premieres Sunday, March 3, on HBO and Max.

Previously operating under the working title “The Palace,” “The Regime” stars “Titanic” (1997) and “Mare of Easttown” actress Kate Winslet in the role of Chancellor. Although the term has often been associated with Germany, Winslet’s chancellor is the sinister and darkly comedic leader of a fictional European country. As the HBO teaser trailer illustrates, the titular regime is determined to see “a new Europe without limits [and] without cruelty,” but what that means for the regime is wildly different from what that means for its country’s people.

According to HBO, the miniseries “tells the story of a year within the palace of a modern European authoritarian regime as it unravels,” and who better to tell that story than the people behind some of the most successful business and political dramas of recent years: “Succession” and “The Crown.”

Brought to life by directors Stephen Frears (“The Queen,” 2006) and Jessica Hobbs (“The Crown”), series creator Tracy made sure to bring many talented satirists into the writers’ room with him. Helping him realize his vision for a dark and satirical political dramedy are Gary Shteyngart (“Succession”), Juli Weiner (“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”), Jen Spyra (“Our Cartoon President”), Sarah DeLappe (“Bodies Bodies Bodies,” 2022) and Tracy’s “The Menu” (2022) co-writer, Seth Reiss.

In front of the camera, big-name stars Hugh Grant (“Love Actually,” 2003), Andrea Riseborough (“To Leslie,” 2022) and Martha Plimpton (“Generation”) join Winslet. Additionally, Matthias Schoenaerts (“Red Sparrow,” 2018) and Guillaume Gallienne (“Marie Antoinette,” 2006) star in recurring roles alongside Patrick Fusco (“Quiz”), Vinodini Patel (“Wicked Little Letters,” 2023), Alasdair Hankinson (“The Lost King,” 2022), Donald Sage Mackay (“The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies”) and Louie Mynett (“The Man Who Fell to Earth”).

While “The Regime” takes place in a fabricated Middle European nation, several locations in the series may look familiar to Austrian viewers, or those who have previously visited the country’s capital city of Vienna. The city, which was used as the series’ primary filming location, is filled with Baroque architecture and an old-world European vibe that provides “The Regime” with a perfect setting, complete with grandiose palaces and gardens. Chief among these edifices is Liechtenstein Garden Palace, which is reportedly the location of much of the series photography, per the German-language online newspaper, Kurier.


Recent Blogs