Recover password

Production begins as Sela Ward joins TV series ‘Graves’

Nick Nolte sits on a bench in front of the Plaza Cafe during the filming of the TV series "Graves" in Santa Fe on Wednesday. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Nick Nolte sits on a bench in front of the Plaza Cafe during the filming of the TV series “Graves” in Santa Fe on Wednesday. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE – Filming on the Santa Fe Plaza was in full swing this week as many saw Nick Nolte around.

Nolte is part of the cast for the Epix TV series, “Graves,” which has begun filming this week after weeks of pre-production.

According to the New Mexico Film Office, the series will film in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Bernalillo and Santa Fe through January.

“Santa Fe and New Mexico continue to lead the way in film and television production, and as the momentum around film keeps building we’re proud to welcome another show,” said Santa Fe Mayor Javier M. Gonzales. “I’m especially excited for ‘Graves’ because it’s set in Santa Fe as well, and the beautiful scenery we are known for is about to get an even larger audience.”

“Graves” is the story of its titular character, President Richard Graves, played by Nolte, and his journey to reclaim his sense of authenticity 25 years after leaving the White House.

When the show begins, we meet former President Graves in retirement on his Santa Fe Ranch, where he’s in the midst of a spiritual and political awakening that compels him to confront his past decisions and embark on a Don Quixote-like quest to address his mistakes and challenge his long-held beliefs.

With topics ranging from immigration to gay rights to foreign policy to public funding for arts and sciences, Graves holds nothing sacred as he proves himself willing to unspool some of his administration’s proudest victories.

Alongside Nolte is Sela Ward, who recently replaced Susan Sarandon after she left “due to artistic differences.”

“Sela Ward is a gifted talent who has the presence and attitude to bring the character of Margaret and her story to life,” said Epix President and CEO Mark S. Greenberg in a press release.

“Graves” marks Ward’s return to New Mexico just months after she wrapped up “Independence Day: Resurgence.”

Emmy Award-winning actress Sela Ward joins the cast of "Graves."

Emmy Award-winning actress Sela Ward joins the cast of “Graves.”

Rounding out the cast are Skylar Astin, Heléne Yorke, Chris Lowell, Ernie Hudson, Roger Bart and Angélica María.

The series is a single-camera, half-hour political satire produced by Lionsgate.

According to the New Mexico Film Office, the production will employ at least 200 New Mexico crew members and about 2,500 local background talent.

New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis has made an effort to bring more TV productions since he arrived at the film office.

“With the addition of ‘Graves,’ New Mexico is featured prominently in the current TV renaissance of television and streaming services.” said Maniatis. “With five series, audiences can happily binge watch New Mexico. These ongoing series provide long-term jobs and economic impact for New Mexicans.”

The series is created by Joshua Michael Stern, who wrote and directed the 2008 film, “Swing Vote,” which was also filmed in New Mexico.

The premiere is slated for fall 2016.

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