Pearl Mackie, Jess Chanliau Join Keri Russell in Netflix Political Thriller ‘The Diplomat’ (Exclusive)

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The ensemble cast for The Diplomat, Netflix’s upcoming political thriller now shooting in the U.K. and starring Keri Russell in her first leading TV role since The Americans, has expanded even further.

Pearl Mackie, who rose to fame playing Bill Potts in Doctor Who and has since been seen in Greed and The Long Call, and Jess Chanliau, who appeared in the 2020 zombie thriller Inmate Zero and Peacock’s Brave New World TV adaptation, have both been added to the eight-part series in recurring roles, The Hollywood Reporter can reveal.

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The two join a cast that already includes Rufus Sewell, Ali Ahn, David Gyasi, Ato Essandoh, Rory Kinnear, Miguel Sandoval, Nana Mensah, Michael McKean, Celia Imrie and Penny Downie.

Created by Debora Cahn (Homeland, Grey’s Anatomy), the series is set in the midst of an international crisis, with Russell playing Kate Wyler, a career diplomat who lands a high-profile job she’s unsuited for, resulting in tectonic implications for her marriage and her political future. THR understands that Mackie and Chanliau will play characters called Alysse and Ronnie, respectively.

Cahn also serves as showrunner on The Diplomat, exec producing alongside Janice Williams (Pieces of Her, The Magicians) and Russell. Simon Cellan Jones (Arthur the King, Years and Years) is directing episodes 1 and 2.

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