'The Last Czars' explores the complex relationship between the infamous Rasputin and Empress Alexandra
Netflix has added a brand new docu-series to its library and it is going to be one that the conspiracy theorist in you is going to love. Narrating the story of the richest family in the world, 'The Last Czars' premieres on July 3, and will explore the events that led to the downfall of the mighty Romanov family and quite a bit of that had to do with their association with the infamous Grigori Rasputin.
A mystic and a monk or "strannik", he gained royal grace by becoming a healer for the Tsar and Tsarina's only son Alexei, who suffered from hemophilia, around 1906. The people in the royal family believed that he was able to relieve his pain and held him in high regard, but he used his influence to insert himself into royal and political matters.
The people of Russia had polarizing opinions on him, with many believing that the Royals were stooping low by associating with him, considering his reputation as a sexual maniac. In fact, the relationship between Rasputin and Empress Alexandra was under severe public scrutiny, with many questioning its nature, especially after Czar Nickolas II went away for a long period during the World War.
'The Last Czar' will explore this relationship as well, the show’s EP Ben Goold (Nutopia) tells MEA WorldWide (MEAWW). "It is very much at the heart of the story and it is fully explored. The idea that Rasputin was the empress's lover — whether he was or not is explored — but that is not really the nature of their relationship. It was much more complicated and fascinating."
He elaborates, "At that time Rasputin was a charismatic and slightly scandalous figure as far as the public saw and that attracted a lot of fascinated gossip and also influenced the fate of the Royal Family."
The fact of the matter is that the Empress was very much in love with her husband, as was he with her. "They were one of the few — possibly the only — royal family at that time who shared a bed and shared a bedroom," he says, adding that it was important to him that the actors who portray these characters on the show must have the chemistry to make it seem like they are a loving, happy couple of the time.
"I think we wanted to cast actors who had chemistry, who could get at the heart of the fact that it was a loving relationship," he says, adding, "It was clearly a love match and they met while they were young. In Robert Jack and Susannah Herber, actors of huge talent, we found actors who could both capture the vulnerability of their characters, but also their imperiousness."
To learn more about the regality, romance and the extravagance of the Romanovs, tune in to 'The Last Czars' on Netflix.