Everything you need to know about Trust on BBC Two
PUBLISHED: 16:37 12 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:43 12 September 2018
The first episode of new drama Trust about the infamous Getty family hits BBC TV screens tonight. Here’s all you need to know about the cast, when Trust starts, its plot and where the 10-part series was filmed.
• What channel is Trust on and what times does it start?
You can watch the star-studded new drama from executive producers Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy and Christian Colson on BBC Two.
The first episode, The House of Getty, starts at 9pm on Wednesday, September 12. It is a 10-part series with each episode an hour long.
• What is the series about?
Trust is based on the notorious kidnapping in the 1970s of the heir to billionaire oil tycoon John Paul Getty – one of the world’s wealthiest businessmen.
Inspired by actual events, Trust delves into the trials and triumphs of one of America’s wealthiest and unhappiest families, the Gettys.
Explaining the plot, executive producer Simon Beaufoy said: “It evolves around the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, which is the big one that everyone knows about.
“What they don’t know is that there were three generations of Gettys involved in this saga; the kidnapping is a way into the story of the richest people in the world.
“John Paul Getty was the world’s first billionaire and it’s a story about the lack of love that he had cascading down the generations from one generation of Gettys to the next, and how it all culminated in this terrible event when his grandson was kidnapped.”
• Who does Trust star?
Trust stars Donald Sutherland (The Hunger Games) as J. Paul Getty Senior, the head of the Getty family, alongside a stellar cast that includes Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby), Brendan Fraser (The Mummy), Harris Dickinson (Beach Rats), Anna Chancellor (Ordeal By Innocence), Charlotte Riley (Peaky Blinders), Amanda Drew (Broadchurch) and Sophie Winkleman (Peep Show).
Talking about the casting, executive producer Danny Boyle said: “It’s a mixture of stars such as Donald Sutherland, Hilary Swank and Brendan Fraser.
“We sent the scripts to them hoping that the idea of the project was good enough to attract them, and fortunately enough it was.
“It’s a gallery of characters because that’s another thing about the 10-hour series – you can develop characters across what truly is a Dickensian gallery of people.
“In this case it was finding Americans and British, as John Paul Getty was someone who never went back to America, he lived in Britain and the only time he left was to go to Europe.”
Co-creator Simon Beaufoy added: “John Paul Getty wouldn’t fly or take a ship anywhere…”
Playing the billionaire is Donald Sutherland.
Danny said: “We got word that Donald Sutherland was interested in the scripts, so off we went to seduce him to take the part, but actually he seduced us and we had a wonderful time with him.
“There were 70-odd parts that needed to be cast and then more casting later as other parts were developed.”
The programme opens in 1973 with the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, played by Harris Dickinson, heir to the Getty fortune, in Rome.
His captors bank on a multi-million dollar ransom. However, back in England, Paul’s wealthy grandfather (Sutherland) an enigmatic oil tycoon, surrounded by a harem of mistresses and a pet lion, refuses to pay up.
With Paul’s father (Michael Esper) lost in a drug-induced daze in London, refusing to answer the phone, it is left to Paul’s mother – the penniless Gail Getty (Swank) – to negotiate with both the increasingly desperate kidnappers and her stubborn former father-in-law to save her son.
Trust charts the teenage grandson’s nightmare ordeal at the hands of kidnappers who cannot understand why nobody seems to want their captive back.
“The most important piece of casting beyond these great tent poles of actors such as Donald and Hilary was the young man, played by Harris Dickinson,” said Boyle.
“It was a serious challenge because if you look at pictures of him from the time, he’s actually 16 years old, but he looked like a young rock star of 20, like a Jim Morrison or a Robert Plant.
“To find someone who had that facility and the physical attributes but retained a sense of youth for the sympathy because of all he goes through.
“We actually cast him first and he’s a real prospect – a great British actor who quite literally vanished into the part!”
• Where was Trust filmed?
Locations include Rome in Italy, Hertfordshire stately home Hatifeld House, which was also used for Ridley Scott’s All The Money in the World movie about J Paul Getty, and Audley End in Saffron Walden, Essex.
Executive producer Danny Boyle explained: “We filmed last summer in Rome, which was ridiculously hot, probably around 40 degrees.
“However you just have to work with the heat and the local crew know how to make sure you are okay as they are used to it.
“It’s a great privilege to work with an Italian crew as they have a different rhythm.”
Simon Beaufoy, executive producer, added: “Other filming locations included Hatfield House, with the gold ceiling, and also Audley End.
“We filmed the oil ring in Aberdeen and other scenes were done in London too.”