Winona Ryder and John Turturro and five others were cast in David Simon’s upcoming HBO miniseries, “The Plot Against America.”
The series imagines an alternate American history told through the eyes of a working-class Jewish family in New Jersey, as they watch the political rise of Charles Lindbergh, an aviator-hero and xenophobic populist, who becomes president and turns the nation toward fascism. In the novel, Lindbergh defeats Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential election, with the story based on his own isolationist ideas from Lindbergh’s days as a spokesman for the America First Committee.
Ryder will star as Evelyn Finkel, The older sister to Bess (Kazan), Evelyn is unmarried, her plans arrested by ten years of caring for her infirm mother, and is hungry to find her own place in life. The sudden attention of a key Lindbergh supporter — the politically ascendant clergyman, Rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf — are exhilarating and transformational for her.
Kazan’s Bess Levin is described as an insightful mother and homemaker, fears for the future as she tries to protect her family from the escalating political climate and plan a possible escape for the forces that seem to be threatening her world. Spector will play Herman Levin, the proud and opinionated father, who works as an insurance agent and tries to maintain normalcy in the life of his family and friends even as his country seems to be slipping into fascism, anti-Semitism and xenophobic isolationism.
Boyle, Robertson and Malis make up the rest of the Levin family. Boyle is Herman’s orphan’s nephew, while Roberton and Malis play his two sons, Philip and Sandy.
Turturro will play Rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf, a conservative rabbi and a transplant from Charleston, South Carolina, where he gained his first synagogue pulpit and became a widower with the death of his affluent wife, seizes the reins of history to become a key figure in the emergent Lindbergh administration — despite growing opposition within the Jewish community as a whole.
Simon and Burns will serve as writers and executive producers. Joe Roth, Nina Noble, Megan Ellison, Sue Naegle, Susan Goldberg, Jeff Kirschenbaum, with the late Roth credited as a co-executive producer, along with Dennis Stratton.