‘Monarch’ star Anna Friel on country music drama: ‘So much emotion’


British actress Anna Friel is entering the quintessentially American country music world on her new Fox show “The Monarch.”

“I think it helps to have a background in Irish folk music,” Freer, 46, told the Post. “I come from a musical family. The bigger challenge was learning how to turn a sound from Ireland into a country sound. Learning an accent goes a long way to sounding authentic.”

Premiering on Sunday, September 11 (8pm), “The Monarch” is a pulp drama about a country music dynasty family. The story begins with matriarch and country music queen Dottie Roman (Susan Sarandon) stepping back from the spotlight amid rumors that she’s ill. Her husband, Albee (Trace Adkins), is also a beloved country musician, as is their eldest daughter, Nicolet “Nicky” Roman, whom Dotty has groomed to step up to take her place. But things get complicated when the industry doesn’t seem to want Nicky in the spotlight, and Nicky’s sister Gigi (Beth Dito) expresses interest and talent. Their brother Luke (Joshua Sass) runs the veritable Monarch brand on the business side of the family empire — and also has an affair with Gigi’s wife, Kyra (Meghan Holder).

Brothers Luke (Joshua Sass) and Nicky (Anna Friel) in “The Monarch.”
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Freer, also known for “Pushing Daisy,” “Lost Land,” “Infinite,” and “The Girlfriend Experience,” says there are a few things in Nicky’s life that she finds relevant.

“I think as a woman in her 40s, it’s all about being the best wife, being a good mother, living up to your parents’ expectations, and trying to look good and keep your head in such a competitive situation. She is a Fighter. Every time she gets knocked down, she gets back up.”

Anna Friel stood, looking thoughtfully holding a drink.   ‘Monarch’ star Anna Friel on country music drama: ‘So much emotion’ anna friel monarch 7
Anna Friel as Nicolette “Nicky” Roman in The Monarch.

However, she said the rivalry part between siblings is harder to grasp.

“I only have one brother in real life and I don’t have a sister. I like to think that women are united and helping each other. Some of the storylines are tricky and I don’t quite know what attitude I will take on some of those decisions. Big with sisters Arguing is fun because it’s not what happens in real life. So, you find yourself saying ‘I’m sorry, I was so mean to you!’”

Beth Ditto and Anna Friel sing together on stage.   ‘Monarch’ star Anna Friel on country music drama: ‘So much emotion’ anna friel monarch 6
Sisters Gigi (Beth Ditto), left, and Nicky (Anna Friel, right) are rivals in “The Monarch.”
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Sister Gigi (Beth Ditto) and Nicky (Anna Friel), yes, sing on stage together.   ‘Monarch’ star Anna Friel on country music drama: ‘So much emotion’ anna friel monarch 5
Sisters Gigi (Beth Ditto) and Nicky (Anna Friel), yes, in “The Monarch.”
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Even growing up in England, Freer said country music has always been a part of her life.

“I think it’s getting more and more popular in the UK. My dad always played Willie Nelson when we were growing up. I listened to Dolly a lot [Parton] and Reba. Country music is a genre that can make you cry, make you dance, and make you smile. It embodies too many emotions. I’m still rocking country music at home. This is great driving music. I wear it every time I drive. “

Freer’s singing voice on the show was really her voice, and she said she turned to her TV dad for advice.

“Susan [Sarandon] It was amazing and it has always been a dream of mine to work with her.and tracking [Adkins] is a great actor. The best way to learn is to ask questions. From Little Big Town to Martina McBride, we’ve had a lot of people on set, every day with the wonderful Trace Adkins, and I found myself asking questions like, ‘Are you always confident on stage? Have you ever been nervous, depending on how big your audience is? Does it make you uncomfortable if the audience is smaller?

Anna Friel is standing in a room wearing pink.   ‘Monarch’ star Anna Friel on country music drama: ‘So much emotion’ anna friel monarch 4
Anna Friel plays country singer Nicky Roman in “Monarch.”
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It also helps maintain her southern accent, she said.

“For the first three to four months on set, I even kept my accent on the makeup chair. The only time I used a British accent was when I got home,” she says. “I’m honored to have such a truly American role, and I want justice.”

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