Olivia Cooke to Star Alongside Helen Mirren in ‘Switzerland’

Olivia Cooke is set to disappear from Westeros for a while for adventures in the Playground of Europe! The Cinemaholic can reveal that the ‘House of the Dragon’ star has joined the cast of Anton Corbijn’s period drama film ‘Switzerland,’ headlined by Helen Mirren. The project’s filming will start in Zurich and Ticino, Switzerland, and Victoria, Australia, in the fall. Joanna Murray-Smith penned the movie, which will also star Alden Ehrenreich.

The plot follows Edward Ridgeway (Ehrenreich), a mysterious young man from a New York publishing house sent to Switzerland to meet the renowned writer Patricia Highsmith (Mirren). The purpose of this meet-up is rooted in the latter’s popular ‘Ripley’ novels, as Ridgeway and his firm urge the author to write one final installment to conclude the book series. Highsmith uses her famously macabre imagination to scare Edward away, but before they know it, a collaboration ensues, leaving the world they have constructed indistinguishable from their own.

Cooke is known for her performance as Queen Alicent Hightower in HBO’s fantasy drama series ‘House of the Dragon,’ a prequel to the globally renowned ‘Game of Thrones.’ She had her breakthrough with ‘Bates Motel,’ where she appeared as Norman Bates’ best friend, Emma Decody. The actress also received critical recognition for playing Becky Sharp in ‘Vanity Fair.’ Her credits also include highly acclaimed movies such as ‘Ready Player One’ and ‘Sound of Metal,’ in addition to last year’s ‘The Good Mother,’ which also starred Hilary Swank.

Mirren, a veteran actress appointed a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II and an Academy Award winner for her portrayal of the titular monarch in ‘The Queen,’ is particularly known for playing strong characters. Her career has shifted toward blockbuster franchises with roles such as Magdalene “Queenie” Shaw in the ‘Fast & Furious’ film series and Hespera in the DCEU movie ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods.’ She currently stars in the Western series ‘1923,’ which is set in the ‘Yellowstone’ universe, as Cara Dutton. Mirren also recently portrayed the Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in ‘Golda.’ The English actress will soon be seen in the upcoming mystery-comedy ‘The Thursday Murder Club.’

Ehrenreich started his career in his teens with episodic roles in ‘Supernatural’ and ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.’ He then earned the role of Han Solo in Ron Howard’s ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story.’ He recently appeared in Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ as a Senate aide to Lewis Strauss and is set to star in the upcoming horror thriller ‘Weapons.’

The Dutch filmmaker Anton Corbijn is known for his BAFTA-nominated biopic ‘Control,’ based on the life of musician Ian Curtis. He recently directed music videos for electronic rock band Depeche Mode’s latest album, ‘Memento Mori.’ His last feature film, ‘Life,’ starring Robert Pattinson, arrived nearly a decade ago. Since then, Corbijn has helmed several shorts, commercials, and documentary projects.

Zurich, the largest city in Switzerland, has previously hosted the filming of notable movies such as ‘Oppenheimer,’ ‘The Bourne Identity,’ and ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.’ Ticino, the southernmost canton in the country, is relatively unexplored by Hollywood and other foreign entertainment industries, though it did serve as a filming location for auteur Dario Argento’s ‘Opera.’

The Australian state of Victoria welcomes spring and summer later in the calendar as opposed to the cold climate of Europe, possibly creating a dramatic atmospheric shift in the narrative of ‘Switzerland.’ Productions recently shot in Victoria include the horror-thriller ‘Late Night with the Devil‘ and Eric Bana’s ‘Force of Nature: The Dry 2.’

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