From Winter Palace Sauna to Hollywood: The Story of Catherine the Great’s Love Affairs Acquired by Jolie

A new drama is in the works about the love life of Catherine the Great, with Angelina Jolie set to star as the nymphomaniac empress. The film is based on a bestselling book by Simon Sebag Montefiore that covers Catherine’s scandalous and very public marriage to Grigory Potemkin. This role is perfect for Jolie, who has been open about her desire for strong female characters. She previously played Queen Olympias in Alexander The Great and Maleficent in the titular role, and has been searching for another regal character to portray.

Regal: Angelina Jolie, as Olympias in the 2004 film, is set to play the nymphomaniac Catherine the Great

Sebag Montefiore expressed his excitement that Angelina Jolie has acquired the rights to his book, which he wrote with great passion and dedication. The book, titled Catherine The Great And Potemkin: The Imperial Love Affair, was published in 2000 and features a collection of 5,000 romantic letters exchanged between the titular characters. Catherine, who became the ruler of Russia after a violent coup that led to the death of her husband, Tsar Peter III, was often accused of being involved in his murder by her political foes. However, Sebag Montefiore sees her as the ultimate feminist icon and trusts that Angelina will do justice to his work.

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Catherine the Great, who is widely known for her prosperous 27-year reign in Russian history, was also an individual who embraced her sexual freedom and engaged in numerous affairs with men. Unfortunately, her enemies used this against her and labeled her as a nymphomaniac. Despite this criticism, Catherine was particularly enamored by Potemkin and had clandestine meetups with him in the sauna located in St Petersburg’s Winter Palace.

Анджелина Джоли в роли злодеек: «Малефисента», «Александр», «Соблазн»,  «Беовульф» | Tatler | Tatler Россия

According to Sebag Montefiore, the alleged secret marriage between the couple led to them becoming co-rulers of the Russian Empire. The author also suggests that Catherine and Potemkin had an exceptional love affair, characterized by their brilliance, equality, and balance.

'Nymphomaniac': Catherine the Great is expected to be played by Angelina Jolie

The statement claims that Catherine the Great and her husband were one of the most prosperous political couples in history. Interestingly, her relationship with Potemkin is also highlighted, who ruled like a sultan and travelled with thousands of serfs to plant gardens every night. Angelina Jolie’s production company has acquired the rights for an undisclosed amount, believed to be a high five-figure sum. The actress was previously linked to a film about Catherine the Great ten years ago, but this project never materialized. It is unclear whether Jolie will take on the role or remain behind the scenes as a producer. Past actresses who have played the Empress include Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis, Tallulah Bankhead, Catherine Deneuve and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The publisher of Simon Sebag Montefiore’s book, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, is thrilled at the prospect of seeing his work brought to life on screen.

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