Learn about Bertha and George Russell from HBO’s Gilded Age
Darcy RafterJanuary 27, 2022
Photo by Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images
Julian Fellowes’ Gilded Age just landed on HBO as it dives into New York City’s elite boom 1882. We see new money clashing with old money, and the two characters trying to get directly involved are Bertha and George Russell.
The show follows Marianne, who is played by Louisa Jacobson, Meryl Streep’s real-life daughter. Marianne’s father died recently, so she moved to New York to live with her aunts Ada and Agnes. When they introduced Marianne to some famous people, their money was about the same.
Bertha and George are the powerhouses in the series, and fans want to know more about them. So, before you jump into Season 1, let’s meet The Russells.
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Photo by Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images
Get to know Bertha and George Russell
George (Morgan Spector) and Bertha Russell (Carrie Coon) are married, and fans find it fun to watch their relationship go on the show.
George Russell was one of the richest men in New York, amassing his fortune as the owner of a railroad company. He, his wife Bertha, and their children all moved to Fifth Avenue, hoping to be accepted into high society. However, the old-money neighbors were reluctant to let them in, and the neighbors obviously looked down on them. Let’s just say that Bertha may have a run-in with Mrs Astor at some point.
The difference between the two upper classes is evident in Bertha’s outfits, as they are so different from her old-money neighbors. Instead of the monochromatic and neutral colors worn by the old-fashioned elite, she wore bright colors and large headdresses.
However, the couple makes it work and seem to support each other when things go wrong. Thinking back to Bertha’s party, when no one showed up, she was comforted by her husband. When he became her main support system emotionally and financially.
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George and Bertha are not real people
Bertha and George are not historical figures and are largely fictional, but their stories are representative of many of the new wealthy families in New York during that period.
Almost all of the main characters in the show are fictional, which may have been a conscious choice by the writers as it gave them the freedom of the storyline. However, movie freak Connect George Russell with the real-life character William Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt also works with the railroad industry and it is said Manage the New York Central Railroad system.
This was supported by the show’s co-executive producer and historical consultant, Dr Erica Armstrong Dunbar, who explained that Entertainment Weekly “It’s important to tell stories based on authenticity”. Dunbar continued: “We want viewers to feel and see a landscape from the past that is believable and accurate.”
Fans React to Bertha in HBO’s Gilded Age
@Alyssa__Maxwell I’m pretty sure Bertha Russell in The Gilded Age was modeled after Alma Vanderbilt!
— PRE-ORDER Ellen Byron’s BAYOU BOOK THIEF! (@ellenbyronla) January 26, 2022
In The Gilded Age, Carrie Coon plays the sexiest, most sophisticated woman ever named BERTHA!
— Shaunna (Tim the Tool Man Taylor’s version) (@dietcoke4brkfst) January 26, 2022
I watched the Gilded Age yesterday and I too wanted to cry in bed like Bertha at her party with no one
– Sydney (@sydneyjupiter) January 25, 2022
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Darcy is a seasoned journalist with a passion for celebrity culture and entertainment. After graduating with a degree in Media and Communication from Goldsmiths, she also became a social media expert, always keeping up with the latest trends. With nearly five years of media experience, her specialty is analyzing platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. When she’s not keeping track of the latest hits, she watches movies and eats a lot of chocolate.
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