Robert Wisdom And Q’orianka Kilcher Join The Cast

TNT announced on Wednesday that Robert Wisdom (The Wire) and Q’orianka Kilcher (The New World) will join the cast of The Alienist as Cyrus Montrose and Mary Palmer, respectively.

Robert Wisdom has appeared in a number of TV series over the years, including Prison Break (2007-2008), The Wire (2003-2008), Supernatural (2008-2009), and Nashville (2012-2013). In addition, he has also appeared in Live Cargo (2016), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Face Off (1997), and Ray (2004). TNT’s press release has not provided much detail about how Cyrus will be portrayed in the upcoming adaptation, but their brief description of Cyrus as “a man with a dark past who Kreizler has helped reform” is certainly loyal to the source material.

Although Q’orianka Kilcher (The New World) could be considered a surprising choice as Mary Palmer on the surface, her performance opposite Colin Farrell and Christian Bale in The New World (2006) earned her a National Board of Review’s Breakthrough Performance by an Actress Award and an ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. Q’orianka has also starred in other period pieces such as Princess Kaiulani (2009) and Te Ata (2016). In addition to her acting, Q’orianka is noted for her activism and has spoken for organisations such as Amnesty International. It will take a remarkable actress to sensitively portray Mary who, though frustrated by disability, is a strong and complex character; however, the casting of Q’orianka has given me some hope that this may be accomplished.

At this stage, we lack casting information for Theodore Roosevelt, the Isaacson brothers, Stevie Taggert, and John Beecham. Given some of the choices made so far, it will certainly be interesting to see how the remainder of the cast will come together. Production is scheduled to begin in early 2017 in Budapest.

8 comments on “Robert Wisdom And Q’orianka Kilcher Join The Cast

  1. I was encouraged to read in the press release from TNT that Mary would be a mute maid who would share a connection with Kreizler. Granted, Mary’s technically not mute, but I am assuming here they’re just not going to get into heavy explanations at this point to her specific condition and decided it’s just easier to use the term “mute” in the press release, for the time being. I certainly hope she’s not outright mute. But I have faith for now.

    If the episodes to the show follow the books’ narrative, then I doubt the show runners are going to cast anyone well known for the role of John Beecham. In relation to how much we see of Beecham in the book, he’d really only appear in the last episode, or maybe the end of the second-to-last episode.

    • That’s a fair point regarding Beecham’s presence in the book/adaptation; I hadn’t considered that.

      Given the choices they have made with casting so far, do you have any thoughts on the direction they might take with Roosevelt, the Isaacsons, and Stevie?

      • That’s a good question regarding who to cast for the Isaacsons, Stevie and Roosevelt. I know for sure the Isaacsons need to look different from each other. I don’t know why, but I had always pictured Marcus to look a bit like Brendan Fraser when he was a little bit younger than he is now He has the tall, slightly broad look that I always pictured for Marcus. (I know he’s primarily known for bad comedies, but he’s actually got fairly decent acting chops in dramas. There’s a dark drama he starred in long ago called ‘The Ties that Bind’ and he was quite good in that). But Brendan Fraser is probably too old now. As for Lucius, someone shorter, a bit rounder and, of course, thinning hair.

        No suggestions for who to play Stevie, but whoever plays Roosevelt should look quite a bit like him. Makeup can help, of course, but heeds to be a bit barrel chested and he should have a tenor voice that’s resonant (Roosevelt didn’t have the deepest pitched voice, but it definitely carried when he spoke).

        Any ides who you might suggest for these roles?

  2. FYI –

    Lucius Isaacson = Matthew Shear
    Marcus Isaacson = Douglas Smith
    Stevie Taggert = Matthew Lintz
    Patrick Connor = David Wilmot
    Roosevelt = TBD

    Shooting begins 13 March

    • Great choices! Are these casting announcements recently confirmed today (aside from Matt Lintz)? Or are these suggestions you have for casting? If they are casting announcements, it makes me excited to know we’re only a few weeks away from filming! We then would only need to know who’s playing Roosevelt.

    • Looks like your announcements for the remaining cast members are coming out now. I saw they just announced Matthew Shear for Lucius. Now we just need to hear the announcements for Douglas Smith and David Wilmot. I’m dying to hear who will play Roosevelt. I hope we get to see some set photos a few weeks after they begin shooting on March 13th!

  3. Ever since I began following this web site I have been amazed at how many avid fans there are of these books. I have recommended the Alienist books to dozens of people, and none of them had ever heard of them or of Caleb Carr himself. I have no ideas as to who to cast for the remaining roles. Hopefully Mr. Carr himself is involved in the casting. He is the only one who truly has the picture in his mind of how these characters should look.

    • Yes, we are a small-yet-passionate community of fans who want to see a loving, faithful adaptation of what we feel is one of the best novels ever written. It’s great for us to have a site like this. I also hope Mr. Carr has some input to the show, even if it is a small amount. Here’s hoping the TV series lives up to novel’s reputation!

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