Hollywood’s golden era comes to life when cinema’s golden boy Monroe Stahr (Matt Bomer) fights for power against his boss, mentor and father figure Pat Brady (Kelsey Grammer), while a plucky young woman (Lily Collins) tries to appease both men and forge her own way in the industry.
Academy Award nominee Billy Ray (Captain Phillips, The Hunger Games) writes, directs and executive produces the Amazon series The Last Tycoon, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s unfinished novel. “I think if we were dealing with a book that had been completed, the pressure would be a lot greater,” Ray says of the freedom that comes with adding his own perspective to the famed author’s Depression-era take on the American dream. “That said, he’s still Fitzgerald — he’s still such a great author that you can name him by only his last name and everybody knows who you were talking about. So there is of course a bedrock of respect for the material that you begin with.”
Helping Ray achieve his vision are a cast and crew who should garner significant attention come awards season. Bomer sizzles as Monroe Stahr, a charismatic and creative genius whose story echoes real-life Hollywood boy wonder Irving Thalberg. And Grammer’s performance as a studio boss is a tour de force on its own, but when he and Bomer share the screen, the result is simply electric. Ray says, “You can see in an instant why they need each other, what they get from one another, the way they resent each other, and the way they respect each other.”
The Last Tycoon, Streaming on Amazon beginning Friday, July 28