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The Romanoffs: From Mad Men to Russian royalty

Life after revolution: Noah Wyle and Kerry Bishé

HOW do you follow up Mad Men? If you’re Matthew Weiner, the man behind that show, you dream big. The Romanoffs is an eight-episode anthology starring the likes of Aaron Eckhart and Christina Hendricks as people who believe themselves descended from the last Russian royal family. For Weiner, who wrote, directed and produced, it was a labour of love.

‘I’m not saying Mad Men wasn’t a dream come true,’ he says, ‘but there was a lot about The Romanoffs that wasn’t how I felt with Mad Men. Spending five months writing with some of the best people, it felt incredible.’

It wasn’t all plain sailing, though.

Tsar very much: Aaron Eckhart and Marthe Keller

‘The episode with Christina Hendricks and Isabelle Huppert, I didn’t know up to the day of shooting if either were going to be able to clear their schedule to do it,’ he says.

Filmed across seven countries and in eight languages, The Romanoffs is international in flavour but Weiner steers clear of making political points.

‘The show should be an escape from politics,’ he says. ‘Some of the Romanoffs are nasty, some beautiful and sweet, but there’s the central concern of “Who am I? What’s mine? What’s yours?” You’ll see a character emerge that is the Romanoffs. They’ve been around longer than America!’

The Romanoffs opens with a double bill on Amazon Prime on Friday. New episodes weekly