The Regime: Is Judith Holt Based on a Real US Diplomat?

Image Credit: Miya Mizuno/HBO

HBO’s ‘The Regime’ follows the story of an autocrat who spins out of control and, somehow, becomes even more authoritarian than expected. All of this happens after the arrival of a man who started out in a meager job but soon won over the leader of the nation and became so influential that all of her decisions started to have his say in them, completely altering her approach to running the country. In between this, the audience also gets to meet other leaders, the most significant of whom is Judith Holt, who serves as the US Secretary of State and arrives in the unnamed country under the rule of Elena Vernham to finalize a very important deal. Considering how much the show seems to be influenced by reality, it’s natural to wonder if there is any truth to Judith’s character.

Judith Holt is Another Fictional Addition to The Regime

‘The Regime’ is an entirely fictional series created and co-written by Will Tracy, who wanted to explore the daily lives of autocrats while also diving deep into their psyches while they watched their nation crumble in front of them. While Tracy revealed that he and the writers’ team researched many real-life people, especially the ones in control of an authoritarian regime, they used their creative freedom to create distinct characters to serve the purpose of the show. Judith Holt is one of them.

Image Credit: Miya Mizuno/HBO

The country ruled by Elena Vernham is never named in the show, but it is revealed that it lies somewhere in Middle Europe. One of the crucial things about this nation is that it has cobalt mines, and that is something that everyone, especially businessmen, wants to tap into. An American businessman comes into the picture, which further leads to the country’s ties with the US. However, as Elena starts to unravel under the influence of Herbert Zubak, the relations between the two countries become volatile, which is where Judith Holt comes in.

Much like any other character in the show, there was no specific point of reference for Judith’s role. However, actress Martha Plimpton helped develop specific details about the character in order to flesh her out a bit more. For instance, Plimpton based the “determined, deliberate gait” of her character on Nancy Pelosi, stating that “there’s nothing casual about the way she walks.” One could also find some similarities between Judith Holt and Hillary Clinton.

The character of Judith Holt is important in ‘The Regime’ because it helps the show clearly depict Elena and her nation’s foreign policy, to show how it works for the audience and what impact it has on the daily lives of people. The standoff between Judith and Elena is also something that adds to the tension in the show, further pushing Elena to do things that no one would have expected of her. With all this in mind, it’s clear that Judith’s presence is pivotal in the series, and while she is fictional, actress Martha Plimpton makes her feel realistic to the audience.

Read More: HBO’s The Regime: Where is the Political Satire Filmed?