Joely Richardson signed up for The Gentlemen believing it was a drama not comedy

Joely Richardson said she thought The Gentlemen was a Netflix drama series before arriving on set where creator-turned-director Guy Ritchie told her he wanted to make a comedy.

The British actress plays the matriarch of the Horniman family, the Dowager Duchess of Halstead, who appears to be an upstanding member of British aristocracy and is mother to Eddie Horniman – played by White Lotus star Theo James.

“It was fun,” the 59-year-old told the PA news agency of her experience at the London premiere.

The Gentlemen premiere
Joely Richardson was among those at the premiere of the Netflix series The Gentlemen at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London (Victoria Jones/PA)

“Guy wanted them sort of preposterous, he wanted us to take it really far and see the humour and how everyone to a certain degree is crazy, so there was a bit of artistic licence.

“Whatever preparation I did do was all axed the minute I walked on set and Guy presented me with whole different scenes.

“When I first signed onto the job I thought it was a drama, and then I arrived on set and Guy was like, ‘comedy’, so that’s what I loved about this experience, you just never knew what it was going to be on a daily basis.”

Ritchie serves as creator, co-writer, co-director and co-executive producer of the eight-part series, set to launch on Netflix on March 7.