You can take the woman out of Hollywood, but you can’t take the Hollywood out of the woman—or, at least that seems to be the case with Los Angeles-born actress-turned-duchess-turned-prodigal daughter Meghan Markle, who returned to her home state with her royal husband and son earlier this year. Newly settled into what Variety reports is a $14.7 million, 18,671 square feet, 9-bedroom, 16-bathroom, 7.4-acre compound in Montecito, California, (for which they took out a mortgage—just like us!) and securing representation from at least one high-end agency, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are now apparently ready to go full Hollywood.
Variety reports the royal couple “has been quietly shopping an idea for a project around town,” taking meetings with several networks this past June. That’s about all the outlet seems to know, since the concept, format (TV or film), and whether it’s to be scripted or unscripted are under wraps; but “whatever it is, the couple would like to serve as joint producers on the project, according to a source with knowledge of the top-secret idea.”
More details from Variety:
Insiders indicate their pitch has been shopped to numerous media companies. One venue that has heard the pitch is NBCUniversal where a meeting was set with top executives at the company, including Bonnie Hammer, the chairman of NBCUniversal Content Studios, who knew Markle from her years as an actor on “Suits.”
NBCUniversal declined to comment, when contacted by Variety.
Reps for the couple also declined Variety’s request for comment—as did Disney, for which Markle narrated April’s Elephant docuseries. But if you’re missing the pencil-skirted days of Rachel Zane (Markle’s character on Suits), alas, you shouldn’t expect the duchess to be taking on any new roles. “A source close to Markle tells Variety that the former royal has absolutely no plans to act, and therefore, she will not be acting in the project that was pitched,” writes the magazine.
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Also unknown—and we’re slightly tongue-in-cheek in our inquiry—is whether Harry or Meghan would be seeking to be part of the writers room on any potential project. After all, as recently confirmed by the new Sussex tell-all, Finding Freedom, Meghan, who once founded and hosted the now-defunct lifestyle blog The Tig, also penned many of the captions on the Sussex Royal Instagram account.
“Launching the account was a somewhat liberating experience for Meghan,” an unnamed aide shared with the authors (h/t Town & Country). “Not having a platform of her own to talk directly to the public was one of the toughest changes for her, especially after building so much of her own brand on Instagram and her blog. @SussexRoyal meant that she finally had a place to curate.”
With independence from the British royal family now well underway, it’s also clear the duchess is relishing regaining her voice, particularly at such a pivotal moment in racial and social justice.
“I think to see the changes that are being made right now is...something I look forward to being a part of,” said Meghan during an interview during the female-focused online summit The 19th Represents: (so named for the amendment, which celebrated its centennial on Monday). “And being part of using my voice in a way that I haven’t been able to of late. So, yeah, it’s good to be home.”