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As Bertha Russell, the ambitious and social-climbing wife of a self-made railroad tycoon, Carrie Coon kick-starts a war between old money and new money in Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes’ latest, must-see costume drama, The Gilded Age, when she moves in across the street from aging, wealthy aunts, Agnes van Rhijn (Christine Baranski) and Ada Brook (Cynthia Nixon). 

While her character is a controlling mother of two older children played by Taissa Farmiga and Harry Richardson, Coon had to hide her real-life pregnancy from the screen. “I got pregnant really early,” she tells ET’s Rachel Smith about her second child with husband Tracy Letts, a daughter she gave birth to during the summer of 2021.  

Luckily for Coon, she didn’t have to rely on old TV tropes when actresses were often forced to hide their growing baby bumps behind strategically placed objects or by holding oversized purses, laundry baskets or other items in front of them. Other times, they’re dressed in oversized or baggy clothes to disguise any physical changes. 

But that wasn’t the case here, which saw Coon donning intricately corseted costumes as the showy Bertha, who flaunts her wealth with her lavish taste in dresses. “There were a few months where I got to wear the costumes as they existed. But when we came back, I had to put strings on the back of all of them,” she recalls, revealing that no one on production made an issue of her pregnancy. “What’s extraordinary about this story is that no one batted an eye. They all just got on board.”

The Gilded Age
HBO

She adds that the costume department did “such an amazing job of hiding it that a lot of people working in post-production didn’t know I was pregnant.” Of course, she “had a lot of very fancy capes towards the end” and they “would celebrate a very well-timed carriage going by,” but everything looked seamless from beginning to end. “There were a lot of moving buttons,” says the actress, who was nearly eight months pregnant by the end of filming. “It’s really magical.”

Coon even jokes that her daughter thinks her onset dresser, Brian, is her father. “Because she heard his voice most of all, down there tugging everything and putting me back together,” she says, adding, “I like my daughter. She’s good.”     

When it comes to those costumes, any effort to make them work was well worth it. “The wardrobe is gorgeous… It does most of the work,” Coon says of them helping her and the cast bring their characters to life onscreen, especially Bertha, who the actress describes as a modern woman. “Bertha’s clothes are intentionally just slightly outside of the period, which is a really smart symbol for the audience.” 

The Gilded Age
HBO

Not only is Bertha a modern, ambitious woman, Coon notes that she has a husband, George Russell, played here by Morgan Spector, who respects her. “Which is not always the case,” she says. “The marriage really struck me on the page as feeling really real and very modern in its expression. So, that was an exciting thing to take on.” 

Spector agrees, adding that as a couple, “the advantage they have is they can really operate in the social and domestic spheres, where George is happy to follow Bertha’s lead.” Whereas “George is willing to do [what it takes] in the office,” Coon adds. Because of that, “they can attack the enemy from both sides and that gives them a lot of power,” Spector concludes. 

And those enemies just so happen to be Baranski and Nixon as judgmental sisters who look down on Bertha’s showy lifestyle. For Coon, she couldn’t have picked two better performers to face off with. “They’re the best. They’re women I look up to as artists, I look up to the careers they’ve had and the people they are beyond that,” she gushes. “So, it’s fun to be their enemy. But I much more appreciate being their friend.”   


The Gilded Age premieres Monday, Jan. 24 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and HBO Max.

 

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Spoilers ahead! If you have not finished this week's episode of And Just Like That, bookmark this for later or proceed with caution.

It's been building all season and finally Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) is confronting the issues surrounding her marriage to Steve Brady (David Eigenberg) in this week's episode of And Just Like That

Last week, we saw Miranda romantically reunite with Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez) after months apart. But in this week's episode, Che isn't too pleased to discover that Miranda is not, in fact, in an open marriage, but rather cheating on her husband with Che. 

"I mean, you get out of my bed and go home to a husband, that's an open marriage," Che says, looking shocked. "Jesus Christ, Miranda, why did you even put yourself out there if you're not available? It's not fair to not bring this up until now." 

Che is understandably upset by this revelation, adding, "I don't sneak around. I don't cheat and I don't lie. I'm a lot of things, but I'm not a homewrecker."

They tell Miranda that this is the end of their romance "until you figure out your life." 

Che and Miranda
Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max

Miranda takes this as her cue to finally ask Steve for a divorce (that sound you hear is every AJLT viewer letting out an exasperated sigh over the fact that it's taken her this long). Of course, she doesn't do this until she confirms that Che is in love with her, which kind of seems to contradict her claim to Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) that she would have ended things with Steve even without Che.

Steve is on the couch searching for his missing hearing aid when Miranda holds his hands and dumps him. 

"I want more, more everything, more connection, more energy, more sex, more me, more, Steve, more!" she declares, as a dumbfounded Steve hears her out.

Steve replies, "You and me, we've been together for a long time and it's always like this. You don't think that I'm enough, that I'm kind of enough, and then I'm not enough again. And I'm always there, hanging in there for us. Then finally in the last couple of years we come to a place where it's not so god damn, f**king up and down every day where it's kind of the same... that's married life, Miranda, that's life." 

But Miranda isn't satisfied with this take on life. 

"I'm too old to rally for us again. I don't want to," Steve says. 

"And I don't want you to," Miranda tells him, adding that she's met someone. 

Miranda later calls Carrie from a cab, insisting that she "didn't make him feel bad," adding, "He's pretty shocked, but I guess the headline is he said he wants me to be happy."  

She then happily declares she's going to surprise Che at their show in Cleveland, Ohio, and tell them that they can be together.

"I'm in a rom-com, Carrie!" she squeals.

Is anyone else seeing some major warning signals here? Che did say they couldn't give Miranda anything traditional, after all. And rom-coms tend to be the definition of traditional in this sense. 

Carrie
Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max

Meanwhile, Carrie is reorganizing her impressive clothing collection, bringing out some of the iconic pieces we've come to know and love -- her gray Versace dress from Paris gets to have another moment. But while she's reliving her youth, her youthful downstairs neighbor is keeping her up at all hours of the night, partying with pals and romancing her muscular boyfriend. When Carrie finally can't take it anymore, she screams out the window at them, "Come on!" and a man replies, "Sorry, ma'am!"  

Carrie spends the rest of the episode trying to appear "cool" to her downstairs neighbor and fails miserably. But finally Carrie witnesses the neighbor in the middle of a messy breakup with her boyfriend, and the neighbor tells her, "I am so embarrassed. I am mortified you had to see me like this."

Carrie tells her not to sweat it, saying, "That's New York dating," a topic Carrie is certainly an expert in. The neighbor deems her "cool" and she ends the episode eating popcorn in the stunning Versace number while sitting on the window sill of her apartment, which to be fair, is pretty freaking cool. 

As for Charlotte, she's having trouble with her kids, this time, with her daughter, Lily.

Lily walked in on her parents when her mother was... let's just say, on her knees. Charlotte slammed the door in her face, knocking Lily in the eye. True to form, Charlotte is worried that she's made her home less sex positive by lying to Lily and telling her she was checking Harry for cancer. But she is shocked to discover that Lily is posing suggestively on Instagram in workout outfits and confronts her about it, causing even more of a rift between the mother-daughter duo.

Charlotte apologizes to Lily, explaining, "When I was your age, we didn't feel comfortable expressing ourselves so freely, so I just can't help feeling protective." 

She tries to broach the subject of her sexual habits with Lily and asks if her daughter has any questions. 

When Lily asks, "Did you find any cancer?" Charlotte smiles and tells her that her father is fine. 

New episodes of And Just Like That stream Thursdays on HBO Max. 

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Julie Bowen has a crush on a former boy band member. The 51-year-old actress appears on Friday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and tells guest host Adam Devine that Harry Styles is one of the only people who could get her to put her happily single life behind her.

"I'm very single. That dog, that was my retirement gift to me. I was like, 'I'm done [dating],'" Bowen says of her new pup. "... I did go on some dates, and this guy was always like, 'You have to come to my house 'cause I had a dog.' And I was like, 'I'm getting a dog. That's the trick, man.' Now, it's on my terms. I'm like, 'You can come. I have a dog. You gotta leave.' The dog is my gatekeeper."

When Devine mentions Bowen's "little crush" on Styles, which was only furthered when she saw him in concert last year, she says, "You're asking [if I] would come out of retirement for Harry Styles? Oh, hell yeah."

As photos of Styles are shown, Bowen excitedly exclaims, "Look at him!"

As for what it is about Styles, Bowen explains that the former One Direction singer has the "same energy" as tWitch, Ellen's co-executive producer.

"They're so gorgeous and sexy, but there's so much joy that you don't feel dirty about what's happening in your pants," Bowen says, before referencing one of Styles' songs. "They're just bringing the joy, and the light, and the 'Watermelon Sugar,' that you just feel good about the whole experience."

Bowen may not be leaving dating retirement anytime soon, as Styles is currently datingOlivia Wilde

The couple was first romantically linked in January 2020, when Wilde was directing Styles in the upcoming psychological thriller Don't Worry Darling. Last summer, they were spotted packing on the PDA in Italy while on a yacht.

In June, a source told ET that Wilde and Styles are "pretty low-key and have enjoyed being somewhat out of the public eye."

Watch the video below for more on the couple.

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Danielle Brooks is officially married!

The Orange Is the New Black alum is reveling in her new status as a Mrs, and she's celebrating by giving fans a look at the day she and her new husband, Dennis Gelin, tied the knot. In an interview with Vogue, Brooks revealed that she and Gelin met during a game night that became a night "I will remember forever."

"A brother with a clean slate, has his own, and is thoughtful. Jackpot. I quickly slid him my phone to exchange numbers," she recalled of their first meeting. "...In that moment, I knew this was a man who was going to always love and appreciate me. I had found someone who wasn’t going to take me for granted, someone who knew my worth."

The couple got engaged two and a half years after they began dating, a little over a month after Brooks announced the birth of their daughter, Freeya, in November 2019. 

Although the surge of Omicron resulted in extra precautions -- Brooks shared that their wedding planner, D’Concierge, added "required PCR tests and rapid tests" for the day of -- the Miami wedding went on without a hitch. 

Brooks wore a ceremony gown from luxury British bespoke brand Alonuko, designed by London-based designer, Gbemi Okunlola. Her second gown was custom-designed by close friend Christian Siriano. 

"It was very important to me to find a black wedding dress designer. When I tell you I hit jackpot finding @alonuko_bespoke, I hit jackpot," Brooks wrote in an Instagram post highlighting her gown. "She was incredible to work with and even flew all the way from London two days before my wedding to make sure the dress arrived in time. Thank you for your talent and professionalism! Brides, hire her!!! Thank you for adding to my special day!"

And when it came to the reveal and reception, Siriano was the obvious choice as the two have been friends "since my career first began." 

"Words can’t express how grateful I am to have a friend like you. You’ve held me down from one of my first carpets to the most important day of my life! I love you and appreciate your friendship! Thank you for my 3 in 1 dress! Love you @csiriano," Brooks captioned a photo alongside the designer

Dennis and his groomsmen wore custom suits by Garcon Couture.

Brooks also shared behind-the-scenes photos and videos from her special day to her Instagram Stories, including highlights that featured daughter Freeya's adorable flower girl look.

Danielle Brooks Wedding Day Instagram Stories
Danielle Brooks Instagram
Danielle Brooks Wedding Day Instagram Stories
Danielle Brooks Instagram
Danielle Brooks Wedding Day Instagram Stories
Danielle Brooks Instagram

Congratulations to the happy couple!

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