‘The Gilded Age’ Cast Prepares Us for the Twists and Turns Ahead (VIDEO)

The battle between old and new money in late 19th century New York City comes to a head as two formidable women face off in The Gilded Age, the delicious new drama from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.

Tension rises when nouveau riche social-climber Bertha Russell (Carrie Coon) and her railroad tycoon husband George (Morgan Spector) move into their new palatial home on 5th Avenue, across the street from an established elite matron, the snooty Agnes van Rhijn and her sister Ada Brook (Christine Baranski and Cynthia Nixon, find an interview with the pair here).

The sisters have just taken in their orphaned niece, Marian Brook (Louisa Jacobson) daughter of their irresponsible late brother, and Agnes grows resentful when the young woman takes a liking to the Russells. And so, the fight for Marian’s heart, soul — and reputation — begins.

Though new to the city and a bit naive, Marian has an independent streak. She shares a sometimes complicated friendship with a Black aspiring writer and journalist, Peggy Scott, (Denée Benton), who takes a job as Agnes’ secretary. Marian is also sympathetic to the Russells’ sheltered daughter, Gladys (Taissa Farmiga) who is being courted by Agnes’ son Oscar van Rhijn (Blake Ritson).

Hear from the cast about their characters and the twists and turns ahead in this engaging saga that takes a fresh look at an era of American excess and change.

The Gilded Age, Mondays, HBO