Allison Tolman (“Fargo,” “Why Women Kill”), Chris Bauer (“The Wire,” “True Blood”), J.C. MacKenzie (“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “October Faction”), Hamish Linklater (“Legion,” “The Big Short”), and Chris Messina (“The Mindy Project,” “Argo”) have all joined the series. They join a cast that will be led by Julia Roberts, Sean Penn, and Dan Stevens.
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The story will center on Martha Mitchell (Roberts). A big personality with an even bigger mouth, Martha is a celebrity Arkansan socialite and wife to President Nixon’s loyal Attorney General, John Mitchell (Penn). Despite her party affiliation, she’s the first person to publicly sound the alarm on Nixon’s involvement in Watergate, causing both the Presidency and her personal life to unravel.
Tolman will play Winnie McLendon, the DC journalist who would ultimately become Martha Mitchell’s biographer. An intrepid young journalist trapped in the “pink ghetto” of society stories, Winnie first sees Martha Mitchell as just another puff piece in Ladies Home Journal but ends up embroiled in the heart of the Watergate scandal.
MacKenzie will play Howard Hunt, a former CIA agent who once collaborated with G. Gordon Liddy in Nixon’s “Plumbers” unit and helps him execute the bungled Watergate break-in.
Bauer will play James McCord, a former CIA operative who serves as the head of the security team for John and Martha Mitchell. On orders from his boss, McCord becomes one of the Watergate burglars and forms an unlikely connection with Martha Mitchell, who recognizes him after he’s arrested.
Linklater will play Jeb Magruder, a high-level bureaucrat behind Watergate and John Mitchell’s right-hand man. Jeb ultimately goes to jail for his involvement in the bungled burglary, but not before his testimony makes headlines.
Messina will play Agent Angelo Lano, an FBI Agent tasked with the Watergate break-in who, with his partner Paul Magallanes, finds himself stymied at every turn by leaks in his own agency.
“Gaslit” is based on the award-winning Slate podcast “Slow Burn.” It will be produced by UCP. Robbie Pickering serves as creator and showrunner. Matt Ross will serve as director and executive producer. “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail, via his overall deal with UCP, and Chad Hamilton serve as executive producers under their production banner Esmail Corp. Roberts will executive produce under her banner Red Om Films along with co-executive producers Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill. The series is written by Pickering, Amelia Gray, Alberto Roldán, Anayat Fakhraie, Uzoamaka Maduka and Sofya Levitsky-Weitz. Anonymous Content and Slate’s Gabriel Roth and Josh Levin will also executive produce. Leon Neyfakh, who created the podcast, will consult on the project Karen Bailey, executive vice president of original programming at Starz, will oversee “Gaslit” for the Lionsgate-owned network.
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