The Plot Against America will involve Winona Ryder, John Turturro and Zoe Kazan, among others.
Based on the 2004 novel by Philip Roth and written/exec-produced by The Wire‘s David Simon and Ed Burns, HBO’s six-part mini imagines an alternate American history told through the eyes of a working-class Jewish family in New Jersey, as they watch the political rise of Charles Lindbergh, an aviator-hero and xenophobic populist, who becomes president and turns the nation toward fascism.
Kazan (from Simon’s The Deuce) has been cast as Elizabeth “Bess” Levin, an insightful mother and homemaker whose fears about the escalating political climate prompt her to plan a possible escape from the forces that seem to be threatening her world. Ryder (Stranger Things) will play Evelyn Finkel, Bess’ older sister whose life plans have been arrested by 10 years of caring for an infirm mother. The sudden attentions of a key Lindbergh supporter — the politically ascendant Rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf (played by The Night Of‘s Turturro) — prove exhilarating and transformational for her.
A conservative rabbi, Bengelsdorf is additionally described as a transplant from Charleston, S.C., where he gained his first synagogue pulpit and became a widower with the death of his affluent wife. He becomes a key figure in the emergent Lindbergh administration, despite growing opposition within the Jewish community as a whole.
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Other casting for The Plot Against America includes Morgan Spector (Homeland) as Herman Levin, a proud and opinionated father/insurance agent who tries to maintain normalcy in the life of his family and friends as his country seems to be slipping into fascism, anti-Semitism and xenophobic isolationism; Anthony Boyle (Patrick Melrose) as Alvin Levin, Herman’s orphaned nephew; Azhy Robertson (The Americans) as Philip, the youngest of the Levin family; and Caleb Malis as Sandy, the Levins’ teenage son whose adolescent rebellion becomes entangled with his growing admiration for Lindbergh.