After making a name for herself in high-profile TV shows like The Tudors, Game of Thrones and Elementary, English actress Natalie Dormer has landed a role in the final two Hunger Games movies. She is joining Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 as director Cressida who guides heroine Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) through a series of rebel propaganda films. Dormer’s star has been steadily rising since she first appeared in Casanova in 2005. Her role in that film was originally tiny but director Lasse Hallström was so impressed with her comic timing he expanded her part. She also has roles in Ron Howard’s forthcoming Niki Lauda biopic Rush and Ridley Scott’s thriller The Counsellor.
• Former James Bond Timothy Dalton is heading to TV. He’s joined the cast of Showtime’s new psychosexual horror drama Penny Dreadful, opposite Eva Green and Josh Hartnett. Created by Skyfall writer John Logan and executive-produced by that film’s director, Sam Mendes, the eight-part series is set in Victorian London and features some of gothic literature’s most iconic figures, including Dr Frankenstein, Dracula and Dorian Gray. Dalton will play a hardened African explorer on a personal quest, Green takes on the beautiful heroine and Hartnett will be a fake American cowboy. Sounds like fun – in an American Horror Story kind of way. Production gets under way in October in London and Ireland.
• Two other British actors are also heading to Showtime, the American cable network that gave the world such hit shows as Homeland, Dexter and Weeds. Ruth Wilson (The Lone Ranger) will star opposite Dominic West (The Wire) in The Affair, described as an intense and intimate exploration of two marriages and the liaison that disrupts them. It centres on Noah, a devoted father of four and New York City high school teacher, whose comfortable world implodes after a chance meeting at the beach with a married woman he thinks is his soulmate – Allison, a mother mourning the loss of her child.
• In strange casting news, True Blood star Stephen Moyer, who started his career on stage in Britain, will play Captain von Trapp opposite American Idol winner Carrie Underwood’s Maria in a live NBC production of The Sound of Music. The three-hour show, which will screen in December, is based on the original Tony-award-winning 1959 Broadway production of the musical. Bizarre or what? In other True Blood news, fans will be pleased to know the dreary werewolf pack stories are being phased out next season, although top dog Joe Manganiello will still be around.