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Paul Dano, Lily James among cast of epic BBC1 drama

Paul Dano to star as Pierre Bezukhov


BBC One has announced the cast for Andrew Davies‘ adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel, War And Peace.

The six-part drama will star Paul Dano (12 Years A Slave) as Pierre Bezukhov, Lily James (Downton Abbey) as Natasha Rostova and James Norton (Grantchester) as Prince Andrei Bolkonsky in the classic story widely regarded as one of the greatest novels of all time.

Also heading up the cast are Stephen Rea (An Honourable Woman) as Prince Vassily Kuragin, Ade Edmondson (Prey) and Greta Scacchi (The Falling) as Count and Countess Rostov; as well as Jack Lowden (The Passing Bells) as Nikolai Rostov, Tom Burke (The Musketeers) as Dolokhov and Aisling Loftus (Mr Selfridge) as Sonya.

James Norton says: “I’m thrilled to be entrusted with Andrei in this exciting adaptation. It’s a privilege to bring to life one of Tolstoy’s wonderfully rich and conflicted characters. And to get to work alongside talents such as Tom Harper, Andrew Davies, Lily James and Paul Dano is very exciting – I can’t wait to get started.”

Lily James says: “I am very excited and privileged to be playing Natasha, in this co-production between BBC and The Weinstein Company, of Tolstoy’s classic War And Peace. It is amazing to be part of such a prestigious cast and to appear in such a beautiful and rich adaptation by Andrew Davies.”

Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman and Executive Producer for The Weinstein Company says: “I fell in love with Tolstoy’s War and Peace as a teenager when I read it for the first time. Putting an epic, iconic story like War and Peace on screen with a cast of this calibre is an incredible thrill. Lily, Paul, and James are all amazingly talented actors and it takes their level of talent to capture the scale of Tolstoy’s words. We are excited to get underway with Andrew Davies and the phenomenal team at BBC.”

Andrew Davies says: “When I came to War and Peace for the first time, rather late in life, I was struck by how fresh and modern the characters and relationships felt. It’s a story of the hopes and dreams of youth, set against the titanic background of the Napoleonic wars. Three characters at the centre: Pierre, the bumbling, chaotic idealist; Prince Andrei, whose cool Darcy-like exterior conceals huge emotional conflict; and Natasha Rostova, possibly the most appealing heroine in literature. These three are surrounded by a gallery of unforgettable characters – we get love, friendship, huge swings of fortune, betrayals, tragedy, and a surprising amount of comedy too. ”

War and Peace is made by BBC Cymru Wales Drama, in partnership with The Weinstein Company and BBC Worldwide/Lookout Point. Tom Harper (The Scouting Book For Boys, Peaky Blinders) will direct.

Filming of War And Peace will begin in January 2015 in Russia, Lithuania and Latvia.