The Empress is an intriguing show that delves into the love story between Empress Elisabeth and Franz Joseph I of Austria. It promises a compelling narrative and stellar cast, allowing English-speaking audiences to discover new talent. With the talented international production and stars of this drama series, it bridges cultures and showcases the versatility of actors who may not yet be household names in the English-speaking world.
The Empress is all set to rival The Crown‘s reign as Netflix’s prominent period piece. From the lead actors to the supporting cast, each member contributes to an unforgettable viewing experience. Here’s everything to know about The Empress’s cast.
Devrim Lingnau as Empress Elisabeth von Wittelsbac
Elisabeth takes center stage in The Empress. She is the woman who captures the heart of Franz, defying social expectations. Devoted to the emperor, Elisabeth finds herself torn between her love for him and the suffocating weight of her position.
Devrim Lingnau made her screen debut in 2017 with a captivating performance in the German crime series Under Suspicion. Lingnau also ventured into cinema, delivering a role in Carmilla. Lingnau also showcased her versatility in an episode of Allmen.
Philip Froissant as Emperor Franz Joseph
Philip Froissant, much loved by period drama fanatics, takes on the challenging role of Franz, a reluctant ruler caught in conflict. As the pressures of war loom, Joseph finds himself torn between his distinct vision for the empire and his love for Elisabeth. Their bond faces trials amidst the tumultuous landscape that surrounds them.
Froissant, primarily recognized for his theater performances, now graces TV screens as Franz. While his focus has predominantly been on theatrical endeavors, Froissant has previously left quite an impression in the film world with his role in Black Island. The movie revolves around a talented young orphan entangled in the manipulative clutches of a newly-arrived teacher.
Hanna Hilsdorf as Amalia
Hanna Hisldorf, who was cast as Amalia in The Empress, is one of the courtiers orbiting around Sisi and yearns for a position of prominence within the court’s hierarchy. As a staunch enforcer of protocol, she finds her identity intertwined with a lifelong dedication to the royal family, particularly to the Empress herself. Hisldorf embarked on her journey fairly recently. In 2017, she made a notable appearance in the crime thriller In The Fade.
Hisldorf recently graced the biopic drama series We Children from Bahnhof Zoo, further showcasing her versatility. As Amalia in The Empress, a Netflix original show, Hisldorf brings her unique flair to a character fueled by ambition to the royal family. Her on-screen presence promises to be a highlight.
Svenja Jung as Louise
Louise is a former courtier and a passionate love interest of Franz. She becomes a captivating figure whose presence poses a potential threat to his romance with Elisabeth. As their attachment intertwines, the dynamic between them grows increasingly complex.
Svenja Jung, a German actor, made her breakthrough her role in the soap opera Unter Uns. This marked a significant milestone in her career, propelling her into the spotlight. Devoted Netflix binge-watchers may also recognize her from her notable contribution to the acclaimed German supernatural TV show Dark.
Wiebke Puls as Sofia Esterházy-Liechtenstein
Wiebke Puls was cast as the Countess in The Empress, Bridgerton‘s new rival. The Countess, played by Puls, is the trusted confidante of Princess Sophia. She wields her influence over the royal court with unwavering authority. With an iron fist, she endeavors to mold Elisabeth into a compliant figure, adhering strictly to the rigid demands of etiquette.
A versatile talent, Puls has left her mark on the German TV and film industry. Notably, she appeared as a psychologist in a single episode of the captivating series Under Suspicion. Her talent further shines through in diverse projects such as the gripping business-based drama Open Season and the lighthearted countryside comedy My Life in Orange.
Elisa Schlott as Helene
Helena, played by Elisa Schlott, the elder sister of Elisabeth, once held the position of the woman Franz Joseph intended to marry. Now, she finds herself in a peculiar predicament, having been wronged by Elisabeth. However, she still wields potential influence as the sister of the Empress.
Schlott embarked on her acting journey with the TV show Das Geheimnis von St Ambrose in 2006. Since then, she has graced film and television screens with her talent, taking on diverse roles ranging from the dramatic Losing Balance to the intriguing Gaming Instinct. Schlott has captivated audiences in the ongoing mini-series Our Wonderful Years.
Melika Foroutan as Princess Sophia
Princess Sophia holds a significant position in the Hapsburg court as the mother of Franz. Despite her son’s marriage, she continues to wield power, including control over the nation’s security forces, which ruthlessly quell any signs of rebellion. Her role, played by Melika Foroutan, an esteemed and accomplished actor, debuted in the German court show Streit um Drei in 2000. She made an appearance in the series Under Suspicion in 2011. Furthermore, Foroutan recently delivered a compelling lead performance in the gripping Netflix thriller Old People, showcasing her ability to captivate viewers with her commanding presence.
Johannes Nussbaum as Archduke Maximilian
Archduke Maximilian, the playboy of the royal family, leaves a trail of chaos and broken hearts wherever he goes. In The Empress, he is reluctantly summoned to court as one of Franz’s counselors. With his devious nature, Maximilian poses a significant threat. The character is played by Johannes Nussbaum. The actor is known for his remarkable performance in the critically acclaimed film Import Export. Since then, he has fearlessly taken on a diverse range of roles.
Alexander Finkenwirth as Alexander von Bach
In Bridgeton‘s contender, The Empress, Alexander, a trusted confidant of Franz, held a unique perspective on governance. However, he rarely focused on legal matters. Instead, he was driven by a desire to promote industrialization across the empire. The role played by Alexander Finkenwirth has made a mark in the industry. From the actor’s appearance in the family crime show The Peppercorns to the TV adaptation of Das Boot, Finkenwirth has showcased his versatility. Finkerwith has been additionally casted in various short films such as Cigarbox Blues and Herzberg.