TV INSIDER – Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans may focus on the falling out between Truman Capote (Tom Hollander) and the women of New York City’s high society, but the FX anthology series is also the late Treat Williams‘ final onscreen role.
The actor, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in June 2023, takes on the part of Bill Paley, husband to Naomi Watts‘ Babe, who was a close confidante of Capote’s until a fateful turn of events puts them on opposing sides in Ryan Murphy‘s series.
Bill Paley is best known for his contributions to media, particularly as the former executive responsible for building CBS from a small radio network into one of the leading radio and television networks in the United States. But he was also known for his extramarital dalliances, an aspect of his life that is incorporated into the show.
When TV Insider caught up with series star Russell Tovey who plays banker John O’Shea, at the red carpet premiere, the actor couldn’t help but commend Williams’ final performance, lauding the performer’s portrayal of Paley.
“Treat Williams, it’s so horrific that he’s not here,” Tovey lamented. “It’s such an absolute tragedy. And what he does with the character is so beautiful.”
Naomi Watts Says Smoking in ‘Feud: Capote vs. The Swans’ Was ‘Horrible With a Capital H’
Regarding Bill as a person, Tovey admitted, “I think in real life, Bill Paley wasn’t that nice of a guy from what I’ve read.” But despite the pitfalls of the real-life inspiration behind the character, Tovey says of Williams, “I think he plays him so he’s not a bad person… You have empathy for him.”
See Williams’ final performance and Tovey’s compelling portrayal when Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans arrives on FX this winter, and stay tuned for more on the series leading up to its premiere.
The out actor uses his art expertise to resurrect the work of lost creators.
HIV Plus Mag: TV viewers may know Russell Tovey as the handsome star of shows like Looking, Years and Years, and American Horror Story: NYC. What many don’t know about the British actor is that for the past two decades he’s been an avid art collector and advocate, with a passion for modern works. As the host of the podcast Talk Art, Tovey and his friend, gallerist Robert Diament, examine the creations of modern legends like Ryan Gander and Zawe Ashton. Tovey’s personal collection of modern art and his deep knowledge of the field has enabled him to curate galleries, festivals, and recently placed him on the jury of Britain’s acclaimed Turner Prize.
So, it’s fitting that file transfer company WeTransfer recently tapped Tovey as their guest curator for their arts endeavor, WePresent, handing Tovey the reins to three projects it bankrolled, all of which touch upon LGBTQ+ subjects and the effect that HIV and AIDS had on them.
The documentary, Life is Excellent, centers on the life and art of David Robilliard, a gay artist and poet who Tovey has long admired and someone who, at the age of 36, died from AIDS complications in 1988. In the film, Tovey calls Robilliard one of the “greatest artists you’ve probably never heard of” and his “hero.” Tovey makes it clear in the film that his goal is to ensure Robilliard’s contributions to the world are not erased by AIDS.
Life is Excellent is streamable on werepresent.wetransfer.com and was shown at a recent free art exhibit that Tovey also helped bring to life. “We Move In Circles” allowed the public to not only learn about Robilliard’s work, but also explored the role of protest T-shirts in the heady days of AIDS. Featuring shirts with designs from another artist lost to AIDS, Keith Haring, and tees emblazoned with messages from ACT UP, as well as British HIV groups like Never Going Underground, the exhibit demonstrates how T-shirts served as a “universal canvas for protest, and reminds visitors that narratives from the AIDS crisis are as present as ever as AIDS continues to affect so many around the world,” WePresent announced in a statement. Iconic pieces of gay literature were also present at “We Move in Circles,” which took place in the Shoreditch neighborhood of London. Earlier in 2023, Tovey and WePresent staged four live performances of Blue Now, a modern, live take on Derek Jarman’s 1993 film Blue. The film’s title derived from the gay filmmaker’s struggle with HIV-induced onset blindness, which only allowed him to see in shades of blue; Jarman died a year after the film was released.
Tovey expresses deep gratitude for WePresent’s contributions to reviving some of the greatest works from HIV-positive artists.
“This collaboration with WePresent underscores our shared commitment to amplify the voices of underrepresented communities,” Tovey said in a statement. “Through our year-long exploration, we’ve commemorated artists like Derek Jarman and David Robilliard, with the goal to ensure their significant contributions to culture can resonate with a new generation. I am thrilled that, together, we’re able to honor incredible queer art history and help bring it to new audiences around the world.”
Russell Tovey on ‘The Sister’, the Impact of ‘Years and Years’, and If He’d Like to Return to the Arrowverse
From writer Neil Cross (Luther) and director Niall MacCormick, the dramatic thriller The Sister follows Nathan (Russell Tovey), as he comes face to face with a man (Bertie Carvel) from his past who reminds him of a secret that he’s tried to keep deeply buried. Unable to forget that he attended a party that lead to the shocking death of a young woman, what Nathan has kept from the woman he loves could ultimately tear them apart.
During the virtual junket for the series that’s available to stream at Hulu, actor Russell Tovey spoke to Collider for this 1-on-1 interview about the appeal of working on a project written by Neil Cross, what made Nathan an attractive character to play, exploring the relationship dynamics, and what he thought of the shocking ending. He also talked about the impact of Years and Years, whether he’d like to return to the Arrowverse, the legacy of Looking, and whether he’d ever consider doing a remake of one of his favorite movies.
Collider: This is one of those stories that you want to keep watching to figure out where it’s all leading. How much were you told about this ahead of time? Did you get to read all of the scripts at once, or just the first one?
RUSSELL TOVEY: Oh, I can’t remember. I definitely got to read the pilot script. When it first came to me, I don’t think all four had been written, but obviously I had the outline of what was happening. I agree that it’s definitely one of those shows you can binge, all at once. The way we showed it in the UK was four nights in a row.
On filming ‘Text For You’ during COVID with Priyanka Chopra, Sam Heughan & Celine Dion
On his gray hair: ‘I’ll get ‘YES, DADDY!’ on my Instagram and I’m all for it.’
On gay actors playing gay roles & Jonathan Groff being the ‘most perfect person’
Watch a few interviews Russell did to promote ‘The Sister’ on HULU.
Click on More to see to watch the others…
The actor, 39, on being pushed to the limit, admiring artists, coming out and texting God
THE GUARDIAN – I texted God when I was 18. It cost 30p to message him with your question. I asked if I’d make it as an actor. Yes, came the reply, but you’re more Littlewoods than Hollywood. I have to say that I wasn’t impressed.
I was an eccentric child, obsessed with history. For my eighth birthday I demanded to be taken to a rock and mineral convention. I’m lucky my parents always encouraged my geekiness, but at secondary school I made myself seem stupid to fit in. It took a long time for me to stop apologising for my enthusiasms. I’ve been much happier ever since I did.