'Feud' Season 2: A Guide to the 'Extraordinary' Lineup in 'Truman Capote's Women'

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Naomi Watts, Chloë Sevigny and Calista Flockhart will portray various socialites and friends of the writer in the anthology series.

Feud, Ryan Murphy’s historical anthology series, is finally back with season 2. After a five-year gap, the FX drama returns with an all-new, star-studded installment called Capote’s Women, with the focus on the falling out between notorious writer Truman Capote and several of his female friends, including Ann Woodward, Babe Paley, CZ Guest, Gloria Guinness, Joanne Carson and Slim Keith. 

“It’s such a great lineup of extraordinary women [and] great roles,” Naomi Watts tells ET about the series, in which she’ll portray Paley. Rounding out the female cast is Calista Flockhart, Chloë Sevigny, Demi Moore, Diane Lane and Molly Ringwald while Tom Hollander is tasked with embodying Truman Capote. 

Additionally, Chris Chalk, Joe Mantello, Bill Paley and Warren Beatty's daughter, Ella, have been added to the cast in key roles. 

The eight-part season will be adapted from Laurence Leamer’s Capote’s Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era by showrunner Joan Robin Baitz and directed by Gus Van Sant with Murphy returning as executive producer. 

“Ryan’s there all the time,” Watts says while gushing over the creative team. 

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Leamer’s book, meanwhile, details the complex relationships and scandals that surrounded Capote’s then unfinished final novel, Answered Prayers, which was based on and would supposedly betray the socialites he affectionately referred to as “swans.” It was purported to be Capote’s “magnum opus” before an excerpt from the book, “La Côte Basque 1965,” was published in a 1975 issue of Esquire, derailing his relationship with the women and the future of the book.

Given the success of season 1, Feud: Bette and Joan, which starred Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford and recounted the notorious filming of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Capote’s Women surely will have everyone talking. 

Naomi Watts as Babe Paley

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“I’m thrilled,” Watts says of the series. She will portray Barbara Paley, who was largely known as “Babe.” A former Vogue editor, she left her job after marrying CBS founder William S. Paley.

On Nov. 15, 2022, Watts was seen in costume as Paley on the set of Feud: Capote's Women while filming along the Upper East Side in New York City.

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For Watts, this series marks her latest reunion with Murphy after starring in the Netflix hit, The Watcher, which was renewed for a second season. She also portrayed journalist Gretchen Carlson in the limited series, The Loudest Voice

Watts' onscreen husband, meanwhile, will be played by Treat Williams, who first broke out with 1979's Hair and most popular for starring on Everwood and Blue Bloods

Chloë Sevigny as CZ Guest

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Once featured on the cover of Time magazine, CZ Guest was regarded as a member of America’s high society. She was also known for her work as a stage actress, author and columnist, and garnered some fame as a fashion icon.

A Murphy fixture, Sevigny has previously appeared in two installments of American Horror Story. Since then, she's appeared on Russian Doll and starred in the two true-crime limited series, The Act and The Girl From Plainville.

Calista Flockhart as Lee Radziwill

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Lee Radziwill was a socialite and public-relations executive, who was also the younger sister of First Lady Jackie Kennedy. After marrying Prince Stanisław Albrecht Radziwiłł, she became a princess and had a son named Anthony, who eventually married journalist and future Real Housewives of New York star Carole Radziwill.

The role, meanwhile, marks Flockhart's first major series since appearing as Cat Grant on Supergirl and starring in Brothers & Sisters on ABC.

Diane Lane as Slim Keith

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Nancy “Slim” Keith was a socialite known for her Hollywood connections, including discovering Lauren Bacall by showing her picture to producer and husband Howard Hanks. She unfriended Capote after he used her likeness for the unflattering character in Answered Prayers

Prior to teaming up with Murphy, Lane recently has made a splash on TV with roles in House of Cards, Y: The Last Man and Extrapolations.

Demi Moore as Ann Woodward

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Ann Woodward was a prominent figure in New York high society thanks to her marriage to banking heir William Woodward Jr., and was later suspected of murder after she mistakenly shot and killed him in 1955. The incident was fictionalized in Capote’s novel, with him accusing her of intentionally murdering Woodward. Prior to the Esquire article being published, she committed suicide.  

Feud will mark Moore's rare turn on TV, following roles on Empire and the adaptation of Brave New World.

Molly Ringwald as Joanne Carson

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Joanne Carson was the second wife of Johnny Carson, and became friends with Capote after he started writing a book about the late-night TV host. The two become such good friends that he reportedly died in her arms before half of his ashes would come into her possession. 

Since starring on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Ringwald has become a welcome fixture on TV, with additional roles on RiverdaleTales of the City and Murphy's true-crime saga, Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

Tom Hollander as Truman Capote

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Truman Capote was an esteemed novelist and writer, who gained notoriety for his work on Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood. As his popularity grew, so did his celebrity status, which was cemented by his high society and Hollywood friends, many of which included the women he would later draw inspiration from for his anticipated follow-up to In Cold Blood.

The book, which was published posthumously in 1986, was described as a “sordid tale” that chronicled the exploits of that era’s many prominent socialites who would rather have their unflattering stories remain secret. 

Hollander's turn as the author follows his biggest hit to date, season 2 of The White Lotus, which saw him teaming up with creator Mike White. The longtime English film actor is also known for appearing opposite Tom Hiddleston on The Night Manager

Capote's partner, John Dunphy, will be played by actor-director and recent Murphy fixture, Joe Mantello, marking the third significant onscreen portrayal of the playwright following Bruce Greenwood in Capote and John Benjamin Hickey in Infamous.

Chris Chalk as James Baldwin

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James Baldwin is a celebrated novelist, poet and activist, coming into his own during the civil rights and gay liberation movements. During his writing career, he had encounters with Capote, who often recounted their run-ins as one-off anecdotes at parties. The extent of their relationship, however, is not fully known.  

Currently playing Paul Drake on HBO's remake of Perry Mason, Chalk is also famous for roles in When They See Us, Underground and The Newsroom.

While speaking with Deadline about his portrayal of Baldwin, Chalk said he's "always wanted to play him," adding that being on set has been “such a supportive environment, like mind-blowingly supportive." That said, he's already filmed a lot of material. "We shot 20 pages in two days,"  the actor revealed. "I got the script and was like, 'That’s a lot of words.' I had a little mini panic attack… but it was amazing. Then there was a five-page monologue."