Susan Sarandon and Bob Balaban on the set of Bernard and Doris
If you are a Doris Duke enthusiast, then the upcoming HBO film, Bernard and Doris may be the cable movie for you. With an A-list cast (Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes) in the title roles as the tobacco heiress and the loyal, but creepy butler who gained control of her fortune, we know the acting will be good. That said, I am more excited about the directorial vision of Bob Balaban, who was also the major creative force behind one of my all-time favorite films, Gosford Park.
"Balaban is a subtle director, able to sketch a believably grand world on a miniscule budget and give dramatic shading to the privacy inside." -Joan Juliet Buck, Vogue.
Doris Duke's personal story is just as wild and fascinating as her global sense of style. While this particular film focuses on her later years, spent tending her gardens and changing her will, Balaban is the man to bring her world of beauty to life. With Long Island's Old Westbury Gardens standing in as Duke's estate, we know the setting will be spectacular as well.
The former Phipps estate was not one of Duke's real homes, but it plays one on TV.
Show times begin on HBO, February 9th. For more on Duke's legendary style be sure to visit Style Court's Doris Duke Archives.