The midseason finale of “The Nevers” in 2021 had audiences salivating at the bombshell twist and had them realizing that the first six episodes of Season 1 only scratched the surface of the Victorian women and their superpowers. As Laura Donnelly, who plays lead character Amalia True, told BT, “You think you know what it is then very quickly it usually gets flipped and you suddenly realize that you’re in a different kind of world than any one that you’ve known before.”
The brainchild of Joss Whedon, the sci-fi period drama follows the antics of “The Touched” as they deal with their extraordinary abilities. The story goes that the group of people changed after an alien being, the Galanthi, dispersed blue spores that landed on them. They were left with the powers in a rapidly-changing London during the tumultuous 19th century, per HBO. As Donnelly put it, “It’s set in Victorian London but obviously with the sci-fi and fantasy elements to it this isn’t the Victorian London that we’re used to seeing and certainly not filmed with the usual characters that we’re used to seeing.”
One of the relationships in “The Nevers” that has tongues wagging is the friendship between the two leads, Donnelly and Ann Skelly. “The Penance and Amalia relationship was sold to me as a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid but with Victorian women,” Skelly revealed. But what are the real-life partners of “The Nevers” stars really like? Let’s take a closer look at their relationships.
Laura Donnelly and Jez Butterworth's marriage of true minds
Ann Skelly described Laura Donnelly and her partner best in an interview with the Evening Standard saying, “There are all these icons of theatre, Laura being the Olivier award-winner that she is… that’s the most blasphemous thing about me, I have no knowledge of any plays. I didn’t know who Jez Butterworth [playwright, and her co-star Donnelly’s partner] was.”
Tony-award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and film director Jez Butterworth has penned numerous plays, per The Guardian, including one about a tragic true-life secret in Donnelly’s family. “The Ferryman,” which scored him a slew of awards, centers around Donnelly’s uncle who disappeared in 1981 and whose body was found in a bog three years later.
According to PopSugar, Donnelly and Butterworth met at the premiere of one of his plays, “The River,” in 2012. They also have two young daughters together, Radha and Ailbhe. In 2019, they stepped away from the spotlight to focus on their family. At the time, Donnelly told Broadway, “We have two small children.” After winning a Tony for “The Ferryman,” the writer paid homage to the mother of his children (via Express), saying, “What I want to take the chance to do tonight… is to thank Laura Donnelly, who played Caitlin in ‘The Ferryman.’ She played the part [in the U.K.] for over 300 performances and I think for 250 of those, she was pregnant with our child.” Isn’t that the sweetest?
Rochelle Neil and Jesper Borulf have been together for nearly a decade
In “The Nevers,” Rochelle Neil plays the role of Annie “Bonfire” Carbey. She has fire at her fingertips, had a tough upbringing, and became a career criminal, per HBO. However, her personal life is far tamer than that of her alter ego. Neil has been dating Jesper Borulf for close to a decade. In fact, there’s even a story behind how they got together.
It seems as if Neil is not afraid to go after what she wants because she definitely put the moves on her Swedish man as she says in a 2017 Instagram post, “5 years ago today I frog marched this guy up the Kings Road and forced him to be my boyfriend #truestory Now we’re thousands of miles apart #livingthedream doing our thing and still so very much in love! Happy Anniversary to the most amazing man.” Sounds like they’ve figured everything out, no?
The “amazing man” works as a CFO for the bespoke men’s underwear fashion brand CLDP, per Glossy. It seems as if these two are in it for the long haul, too, as also noted by TVOvermind.
Tom Riley and Lizzy Caplan will crack you up
Tom Riley married actor Lizzy Caplan in 2017. Both performers are well-known for their work in various roles. Before Riley took on the part of sweet and awkward Augie Bidlow, he was best known for his dark roles such as Leonardo da Vinci in “Da Vinci’s Demons” and Will Wagstaffe on “Dark Heart,” per The British TV Place, whereas Caplan’s breakthrough role came from “Mean Girls.” When they got hitched, Riley posted a wedding photo on social media and quipped, “This one seems fertile. She shall make a satisfactory first wife.”
After her introduction as Riley’s “first wife,” it was only a matter of time before the “Masters of Sex” star got back at her beau. She appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and relayed a story that “would bring [her] endless joy forever.” It seems as if Riley went to the men’s bathroom during intermission at the theater. When he returned, a shell-shocked Riley told Caplan that he had spit his gum into the urinal, “but it got caught.” Caplan was almost gleeful as she finished the story, adding, “He said, ‘It got caught on my lip and then it tumbled down. And then, I followed it with my eyes, almost as if it were in slow motion, I saw it bounce off the man standing next to me’s penis.” Of course, Kimmel and the audience were in absolute hysterics — and we’re sure Riley was in horror having to re-live the event all over again.
Denis O'Hare and Hugo Redwood did not waste time
“Big Little Lies” star Denis O’Hare and his husband, Hugo Redwood, met online at the turn of the century. After more than a decade together, they didn’t hesitate at the chance to make things more permanent. Access reports that the star tweeted the news that he and Redwood got hitched on July 28, 2011. The couple was one of the first same-sex couples to wed in New York City very soon after it was legalized on June 24, 2011. They decided to seize the moment and commit to spending the rest of their lives together. It also seems like their bedroom chemistry is incredible. In a 2016 red carpet interview with Taylor Ferber, the then 54-year-old dished, “I’ve had great sex at my age, let’s put it that way.”
While O’Hare plays the role of the cold and heartless surgeon, Dr. Edmund Hague, on “The Nevers,” in real-life he and Redwood are the doting parents to their adopted son, Declan. According to Out, he explained, “I became a parent the minute Declan was put into my arms.” Meanwhile, Redwood has a creative side himself as an interior designer. For 19 years, he renovated their 2,015 square-foot condo before they sold it for a cool $1.7 million. The historic home, formerly called the Feuchtwanger Stable, was initially listed for $1,595,000, per 6sqft.
Ben Chaplin's faith was put to the test
Rocio Oliver was Ben Chaplin’s longtime partner, and the relationship seemed serious enough for people to think that they had secretly wed. Of course, this was strange since the actor, who plays Frank Mundi in “The Nevers,” had previously explicitly indicated that he may not be the marrying kind. As he told iNews, “Being an actor has an in-built flake effect…” adding, “I have to be non-committal, but it’s my job.” However, Chaplin only addressed the marriage rumors in 2018 and told the Evening Standard that they were untrue. In fact, at the time of the interview, he was single.
Chaplin told The Guardian in January 2021 about his current girlfriend. Although the actor doesn’t name the lady, he tells a lovely story about her. “My first Zoom thing was also my first ever Seder dinner. My girlfriend is Jewish, and I was feeling like this total charlatan, this goy, among all her elderly relatives,” he dished. It seems as if he’s about to experience many firsts with the new woman in his life. Here’s to hoping there are many more family dinners — via video call and in-person.
James Norton and Imogen Poots got cozy in lockdown
Even in the late 19th century, there were sex clubs. Just ask Hugo Swann, played by James Norton, who owns one on “The Nevers”. In real life, Norton has eyes for Imogen Poots. She is a star in her own right and appeared in films such as “The Father,” “Vivarium,” and “28 Weeks Later.” In 2020, Poots told the Evening Standard that she and her bae were used to their long-distance relationship because, “It’s all [she’s] ever known,” before continuing, “I’ve never known something to fall apart because of distance.”
However, lockdown changed everything. As he told Man About Town magazine (via Daily Mail), for the first time in “well, forever” the couple had to stay put in one place. The Daily Mail alleged that Poots had moved into Norton’s London’s home during the pandemic lockdown. A source claimed, “They have been dating now for two years but were getting tired of having a long-distance relationship.” Evening Standard divulged that Poots traveled between London and New York, while Norton owned and lived in his south London home in Peckham. The Daily Mail claimed that the source said, “They are much happier with their new set-up.” Of course, the next traditional step is wedding bells. Will we hear them in the not-too-distant future?
A whirlwind romance for Olivia Williams and Rhashan Stone
Olivia Williams probably has one of the sweetest romance stories ever. “The Nevers” star, who plays Lavinia Bidlow in the series, is also married to an actor, like many of her co-stars. According to the Evening Standard, Rhashan Stone was born in the U.S. but moved to the United Kingdom as a child with his jazz singer mother. Stone’s first job as an actor was with the Royal Shakespeare Company alongside Williams. However, it wasn’t until seven years later, when a mutual friend set them up, that sparks flared. Williams shares that she provided a boat trip and a picnic because she didn’t want things to be awkward, but the date proved to be life-changing. “He turned up and he was this delightful, funny, sweet man,” she gushed. Their whirlwind romance resulted in a wedding and a baby within 18 months of their date. They have two daughters together, Roxana and Esme.
The “Keeping Faith” actor also appeared in “Finding Alice,” a British television series. In an interview about the series, he talked about the show and how it impacted his life. “My wife and I, when I got the job and read the scripts, we went and had our wills redone,” he told Bradford Zone. What can be more romantic than taking care of your loved ones even after you die? Kudos to them!
Nick Frost blended his family
In “The Nevers,” Nick Frost nails the role of Declan Orrun. The “Beggar King” is a career criminal who has the ability to rile up a crowd and quickly gain support from his followers. Frost has played various roles, many with his bosom buddy Simon Pegg, and is a well-known actor.
On the personal front, he was married to Christina Frost, and they have a son together. They divorced in 2015, per The Guardian, but they are still close while they co-parent their child. “I think when Chris and I got divorced we knew people who didn’t [get along] and you see what it does to their kids. I get sometimes that there’s no other option, but once you’ve made the choice to get divorced for the benefit of the child, it seems churlish to then be sh*t to each other,” he said.
When Nick fathered a second child with his current girlfriend a few years later, they decided to take a different approach. The outlet reports that Nick, Christina, and the new lady in his life have prioritized the kids so that they will be happy. “It isn’t easy, but it works,” Nick revealed. And that’s #familygoals right there.
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