Catherine Zeta Jones to play Olivia de Havilland on Ryan Murphy’s ‘Feud’

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The eternally busy Ryan Murphy is adding to his already large inventory of TV series – including Scream Queens, American Horror Story and American Crime Story – with his latest project for FX, Feud. The first season of the series focuses on the infamous rivalry between actresses Bette Davis and Joan Crawford while they filmed the 1962 horror classic Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Joining Murphy muse Jessica Lange, who plays Bette, and Susan Sarandon, who plays Joan, is Catherine Zeta Jones, taking on the role of Olivia de Havilland. Ryan announced the casting on Twitter on Tuesday.

I can’t believe such a creative talent has the generic egg as his Twitter icon but I digress. The marks the 46-year-old actress’ first TV role in 20 years. She last appeared on the miniseries Titanic back in 1996. I think Catherine will make quite a good Olivia. She was giving us some “classic Hollywood realness” in a recent post on Instagram.

In addition to Jessica, Susan and Catherine, the cast also includes Alfred Molina, playing Baby Jane‘s director, Robert Aldrich, and Stanley Tucci, playing studio head Jack Warner. Judy Davis, who played the best Judy Garland EVER, will no doubt also give the best performance as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. (Although Helen Mirren killed it in Trumbo.)

Can I even tell you how excited I am for this show? I adore Bette Davis and have read volumes on the Davis/Crawford feud, and the on-set fights and sabotages during the making of Baby Jane are the stuff of legend. In fact, Joan quit during production of the pair’s follow-up, Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte in 1964 and was replaced by Olivia. Besides a great story, Feud has a great cast. It’s going to be a long wait for me until the show debuts in 2017. I also think the show’s premise is sure to bring us even more incredible stories from Hollywood’s Golden Age. It’s been hinted that the second season of Feud may revolve around Catherine’s Olivia de Havilland and her feud with her famous sister, actress Joan Fontaine. Oh, please make this happen. I am giddy with excitement.

Catherine Zeta Jones And Michael Douglas Vacation In Saint-Tropez

Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta-Jones Go Yahcting In The French Riviera

Jazz at Lincoln Center

Photo credit: Getty Images, Fame Flynet,

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34 Responses to “Catherine Zeta Jones to play Olivia de Havilland on Ryan Murphy’s ‘Feud’”

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  1. Luca76 says:

    I’m listening to a great podcast that’s doing a series on Joan Crawford right now.’ You Must Remember This’. I can’t wait until they get to the rivalry with Davis. Looks wise it’s good casting.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Just to point out Whatever Happened to Baby Jane was released in 1962, both actresses were in their 50’s.

    Davis’ character is creepy as hell in that film. She once said about Crawford “she’s slept with every male star at MGM except Lassie”.

    • Megan says:

      Fued sounds awesome. Love the three originals and the three playing them. I will definitely be watching.

    • holly hobby says:

      Oh yeah Bette Davis was scary in that movie. I think I saw it one sunday afternoon on tv. Creepy as hell.

  3. BengalCat2000 says:

    I’m SO down with this, LoveLoveLove Old Hollywood. However, CZJ doesn’t look anything like ODH, so at the moment I’m trying to figure that out. But she’s a great actress imo, so I’m sure she’ll pull it off.

    • Jen43 says:

      I love old Hollywood as well. Catherine gives me an old Hollywood vibe, so I think she’ll pull it off

      • Hazel says:

        She does, doesn’t she? I think being married to Michael Douglas had something to do with that, or maybe Old Hollywood was just her style. I’m looking forward to Feud!

    • PaschaP says:

      IA, Catherine has the acting chops to absolutely pull it off.

      I’m still trying to wrap my head around how Lindsay Lohan was cast to play Elizabeth Taylor a few years ago… that casting choice was just one massive all-round nope.

  4. Marie says:

    Her eyewear game is as the kids would say nowadays, “on fleek”. I dont know much about this story but can I just say I’m excited to see two of my favorite actors, Molina and Tucci, in one show. Mr. Murphy is building for himself quite the tv empire here.

    • LAK says:

      The real-life rivalry between Bette and Joan is the stuff of legends. They didn’t keep it behind closed doors. They feuded behind and infront of doors, gave snarky, cutting quotes to the papers about each other…..the studios had a very hard time arranging schedules to minimise their contact.

      This film was supposed to be a wink at the public in tacit acknowledgement of the decades long rivalry and feuding, but filming it was still a nightmare.

      Simultaneously, Olivia de Havilland and her sister Joan Fontaine had an equally poisonous rivalry. To extent that when Joan died recently, rumours spread that Olivia had celebrating out-living her sister!!!

      Theses rivalries make our recent (anything post 80s) feuds extremely tame and extremely lame by comparison.

      • Marie says:

        Thanks LAK. This sounds more interesting than the usual HS Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat feud we keep getting from celebrities these days. I’d say own it. No deleting your posts, no remorse.

  5. Tara says:

    I wish anyone but Sarandon was in this. I loathe her. I’ll probably still watch it because, wow, but Sarandon’s presence is going to take some joy out of it.

    • Little Darling says:

      Yep the whole Bernie debacle really solidified my lack of enthusiasm for her as an actress.

      However, Ryan REALLY knows how to put together stellar casts, elevating tv acting. That’s exciting!!

      • Tara says:

        Me too. I guess I will just be thankful they didn’t cast Jane Sanders to play opposite her as Bette Davis. hahaha. I’ll be grateful for small favors.

    • It'sJustBlanche says:

      The Bernie Sanders thing ruined her for me too, but then I remember she hates Woody Allen. So that helps.

    • Hazel says:

      Maybe Teri Hatcher as Joan. Sarandon is too old to play someone in her 50s & looks nothing like Joan.

  6. Danielle says:

    I think this sounds Great! Glad to see zeta jones getting a meaty role, I think shes a fantastic actress.

  7. PunkyMomma says:

    This should be so delicious – Hollywood in its best years!

  8. Neelyo says:

    I love Old Hollywood but I won’t watch this. Murphy is a hack and Zeta-Jones is miscast. deHavilland is hard because she didn’t have the big mannerisms or large personality like Crawford and Davis. I don’t care that she doesn’t look like her as much as the voice and manner is all wrong. Oh well I’m not watching anyway.

  9. Kiki says:

    I am loving this…… Old Hollywood juice and with a stellar cast is ridiculous ;). Also, Catherine Zeta Jones on her instagram picture is FABULOUS. Glamour darling. This is Kick Ass. Thanks Ryan Murphy. TV IS BACK AND BETTER THAN EVAHHH.

  10. Anastasiia says:

    It’s gonna be awesome!!! I’ve been waiting for so long for her to come back and now she is! And what a project! CZJ is talented, beautiful and classy – just perfect for Ryan Murphy

  11. amunet ma'at says:

    Loving it! I love old Hollywood gossip. I used to watch TMC with my mom when I was little, back when they played black and white movies and had “Popcorn & Movie” on Friday nights.

  12. Lyka says:

    @Corey – I think the roles are mixed up in your first paragraph. Lange will be playing Joan Crawford with Sarandon as Bette Davis.

    So excited for this show!

  13. lisa says:

    i am here for this in the front row with snacks

  14. Anahit says:

    I love CZJ. I always thought she was so gorgeous (and still is) and everyone who has mentioned that she a certain Old Hollywood glamour about her is correct. She just has that kind of vibe,

  15. Bex says:

    This is an amazing idea for a TV show. Old Hollywood feuds are such evil gossipy fun!

  16. QQ says:

    Why Am I ABSOLUTELY positively DELIGHTED at This

  17. Cinderella says:

    Catherine is lovely, but I thought she was at least 50 by now.

  18. what's inside says:

    I really enjoy Catherine, but am on the fence about her casting as Olivia.