‘Downton’ and ‘Mr Selfridge’ stars join ITV’s new Cary Grant drama

More cast members have been announced for ITV’s upcoming series about the life of Cary Grant.

First announced last month, BritBox and ITV’s four-part drama is created by Jeff Pope, the screenwriter behind Mrs BiggsPhilomena, and Stan & Ollie.

Archie will tell the story of Hollywood’s greatest leading man, Cary Grant, star of such classic movies as NotoriousNorth By Northwest, and To Catch a Thief.

English actor Jason Isaacs – best known as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies – will lead the cast as Cary Grant.

The 59-year-old star has also appeared in Operation Mincemeat, Case Histories, Black Hawk DownPeter Pan, and this autumn’s hit 1950s drama Mrs Harris Goes to Paris.

Archie will reveal how “deceit, cruelty and one, overpowering lie” shaped Cary Grant’s life.

Joining Jason Isaacs in the cast will be Laura Aikman (Bluestone 42, Gavin and Stacey) as Cary’s ex-wife Dyan Cannon, with Harriet Walter (Downton Abbey, Killing Eve) playing Elsie Leach, Cary’s mother.

Mr Selfridge star Kara Tointon will play young Elsie, while Dainton Anderson (Patrick Melrose), Calam Lynch (Bridgerton) and Oaklee Pendergast (Home) are playing young versions of Archie Leach at various ages.

The cast also includes Jason Watkins (The Crown), Niamh Cusack (The Virtues), Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Ragdoll), Ian Puleston-Davies (DI Ray), Ian McNeice (Doc Martin), and Lisa Faulkner (EastEnders).

The official synopsis for Archie reads: “Born in Bristol, England in 1904, to parents Elsie and Elias, Archie narrates the story of a young Archibald Alexander Leach’s troubled childhood and how extreme poverty, his father’s adultery and the loss of his older brother, John, tore the family apart and sent his loving mother into a downward spiral of grief and depression.

“At 14 he auditioned for the music hall act, the Bob Pender Troupe, a band of acrobats, stilt walkers, clown and comedians after seeing them perform at the Bristol Hippodrome.

“Lean and athletic, he learned the art of stilt walking, and when the troupe went on tour to the US, teenage Archie was intoxicated by the land of opportunity. Believing he had no family to return to in the UK, he decided to stay in the US to try to make his way in showbusiness.”

The synopsis continues: “With no thoughts of acting, a chance meeting with the comedian George Burns helped him find his first footing on the acting ladder and a contract with a movie studio who felt he needed to change his name, and Cary Grant was born.

“The drama intercuts with scenes from 1961 when at the height of his fame, living in Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles, the legendary actor was breaking all box office records, but desperately unhappy in his private life.

“With two failed marriages behind him, he began to woo a young actress he’d seen on a TV show, Dyan Cannon. Thirty three years his junior, Dyan, didn’t initially fall for his charms turning down his attempts to meet, because she didn’t feel they could ever be a match.

“Dashingly handsome, suave and sophisticated, Cary continued to pursue her, with introductions to his famous friends, Alfred Hitchcock and Doris Day until they eventually wed in Las Vegas in 1965.”

Operation Mincemeat is streaming on Netflix now – watch the trailer here:

Archie will premiere in 2023 on new streaming service ITVX in the UK, and on BritBox in the US.

It’s then expected to air on ITV’s main channel later in the year.

Cary Grant: The Collection is available on DVD on Amazon.