Interview: Directors and Executive Producers Michael Engler and Salli Richardson-Whitfield on Exploring Historical America, Class, and Race in ‘The Gilded Age’

HBO’s new series The Gilded Age brings the scope of creator Julian FellowesDownton Abbey to 1882 New York City, following a young transplant, Marian (Louisa Jacobson), from rural Pennsylvania who moves in with her wealthy aunts. Marian arrives with a new friend in tow, Peggy (Denée Benton), whose journey reflects her identity as a Black woman in the era.

Awards Radar had the chance to speak with directors and executive producers Michael Engler and Salli Richardson-Whitfield on how this show compares to Downton Abbey and how it authentically looks at the society of the time.

Asked about the show premiering new episodes weekly rather than dropping an entire season at once, here’s what they had to say:

Richardson-Whitfield: “Call me old-fashioned, but I think there’s something kind of nice that you have to wait and anticipate it, or do what my kids do, which is wait three weeks and then at least be able to watch three in a row. There’s something about that anticipation that I think is so special.”

Engler: “I like it both ways. For instance, I love watching Succession, but my husband and I this year, we said, I don’t want to do it once a week because it’s too irritating sometimes. So we waited until the end and watched it all in three nights because that’s how we like it, and we could. And we kept telling people, don’t tell us, don’t tell us. It was fun to watch it like that. It’s like reading a book over a few days. What I do like about the other way, which I do follow for certain shows, for fellow fans of it, the next week, you can all talk about it, and you’re all at the same place.”

Watch the full conversation below:

New episodes of The Gilded Age premiere Mondays at 9pm on HBO.


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Written by Abe Friedtanzer

Box Office Report for the Week of February 20

Film Review: ‘Cyrano’ Bursts With Music, Passion, and Old School Charms