Carrie Coon on Crafting Her ‘Gilded Age’ Accent and What Bertha Russell Has in Common With Walter White
21.11.2023 - 21:55
Brent Lang Executive Editor Fans of “The Gilded Age” know that Carrie Coon provides the social-climbing spark to a costume drama where most of the characters are seething or scheming underneath their polite veneers. As Bertha Russell, Coon is always one step ahead of the old money elites attempting to thwart the rise of her and her railroad baron husband, George, and their family. But the impeccably tailored outfits that Bertha wears like armor to do battle with the gatekeepers of late 19th-century New York society can
“There’s an episode where I’m at a tennis club for a party, and I could barely walk in that dress,” Coon says. “They had to come in and do an intervention and cut fabric out and change the under-bustle, because I was falling over. And then they put you in three-inch heels and a pearl choker, which when you take that off at the end of the night, it looks like you’ve been strangled.
It’s exhausting.” The HBO series is now in its second season, and Coon likes to watch along on Sunday nights to see how Bertha is trying to get the upper hand. “It’s fun to keep up with the zeitgeist and relish the best Twitter barbs,” Coon says before catching herself. “I mean X barbs, or whatever we’re calling it these days.” George and Bertha have a true partnership. Rather than being threatened by Bertha’s drive, George is attracted to it. Ambition is their love language.
They’re running this train on parallel tracks. He takes care of the business and the money, and she’s taking care of their social standing. I think he recognizes that were she a man, she’d be operating in a very different capacity.
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