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The Nevers’ Ann Skelly clears the air: ‘I’m not dating Brad Pitt’


Laura Donnelly (left) and Ann Skelly star in the HBO Max series The Nevers.


Keith Bernstein/HBO

This story is part of I’m So Obsessed (subscribe here), our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creative types about their work, career and current obsessions.

The Nevers on HBO Max is part X-Men, part League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and part sci-fi thriller. Driving the show are complex female characters, two of whom are portrayed by Laura Donnelly and Ann Skelly. Donnelly plays Amalia True, a mysterious, quick-fisted widow, and Skelly is Penance, a brilliant young inventor. Both were “touched” during a mysterious event in Victorian England that left them, and others, with abilities.

Donnelly and Skelly were both guests on CNET’s I’m So Obsessed podcast. They discussed how the large scale of the world within The Nevers allows the show to deal with both “Victorian things” and issues that we experience in 2021.

“This story very much resonates with society as we know it today,” said Donnelly. “Many of the issues we’re grappling with at the moment have to do with equality and power. What happens to people who don’t have power and suddenly get it? How does the established power of society deal with that?”

The Nevers was conceived, written and filmed in part by Joss Whedon who is best known for the shows Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly. Some actors and co-workers who worked with Whedon over the past two decades have alleged on-set abuse. In 2020, after filming wrapped, Whedon left The Nevers and was replaced by Philippa Goslett. Many cast and crew members on the show said that they had a positive experience working with Whedon before he left.

“My experience with Joss was great,” said Donnelly. “He was a very supportive, collaborative director.”

“We all had a brilliant work relationship,” said Skelly. “And the whole set functioned in a very cohesive way.”

Before The Nevers, Donnelly was best known for her role as Jenny Fraser on the series Outlander. She has a notable career on stage earning a Best Actress Olivier Award in 2018 for her performance as Caitlin Carney in the play The Ferryman.

Skelly has been in a handful of films and TV shows and in 2018 was nominated for a Best Actress Irish Film and Television award for her performance in the film Kissing Candice.

The Nevers Laura Donnelly and Ann Skelly

Skelly said that she and Donnelly instantly connected because they’re both Irish.


Keith Bernstein/HBO

You can listen to my entire conversation with Donnelly and Skelly in the player above or on Apple Podcasts. Donnelly discusses fighting in a Victorian corset, Skelly shares drawing inspiration from Albert Einstein and both explain how they instantly became friends.

When I asked if either had anything more to say, Skelly stated exasperatedly, “I’m not dating Brad Pitt. I just want those rumors to end.”

After a beat, Donnelly, Skelly and I shared a laugh.

You can watch The Nevers on HBO Max with new episodes airing Sunday nights. You can subscribe to I’m So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo and I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about their work, career and current obsessions.



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