Truman Capote’s biggest feud in new streaming drama series


Feud: Capote vs the Swans follows Truman Capote's wildest feud
Images: FX

The White Lotus actor Tom Hollander plays Truman Capote in the second instalment of anthology series Feud from Ryan Murphy and Gus Van Sant.

Feud: Capote vs the Swans follows the gay writer’s nuclear falling-out with the “swans,” a group of elite socialites in high society New York.

Actresses Naomi Watts, Diane Lane, Chloë Sevigny, Calista Flockhart, Molly Ringwald and Demi Moore play the wronged women.

Grappling with both writer’s block and alcoholism, Truman Capote published a short story excerpt from an unfinished book – his planned magnum opus – in Esquire magazine in 1975.

But it sparks an instant scandal, with Capote’s characters so thinly veiled that the high society women’s darkest secrets are exposed.

“His act of betrayal effectively destroyed those relationships, banished him from high society and sent him into a spiral of self-destruction from which he would ultimately never recover,” the Feud synopsis explains.

Truman Capote was ‘the greatest writer of his generation’

Tom Hollander shared his thoughts about the “gap” that Truman Capote filled in the high society women’s lives.

“I think he was the greatest writer of his generation,” he said.

“For a group of people who were very rich but, at some level, disempowered by their marriages, to have the greatest writer of his generation in their salons… he was a dazzling accouterment on their dinner table.

“Maybe he would celebrate them. Having him understanding them and listening to them in a way that their husbands didn’t… He was filling a great gap in their emotional lives.

“He was an incredibly entertaining, perceptive, clever, interesting, singular man. They were getting quite a lot out of [the friendships]. Until it went wrong.

“He knew that he was, at some level, a tourist in their world. When he turned, or when they felt he turned, they were vicious because they [thought], ‘From you? You were the adornment in our house. You are not our equal.’”

The limited series Feud: Capote vs the Swans is set in the 1970s – also covering gay culture at the time – and ends with Truman Capote’s death in 1984.

It’s the follow-up to the first instalment Feud: Bette and Joan, which followed the legendary rivalry between actresses Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.

Ryan Murphy is one of the executive producers of the new series, and Gus Van Sant directed all eight episodes.

The new limited series will stream in Australia on Binge from Thursday night (February 1). The anthology series’ first season, Feud: Bette and Joan, is streaming in Australia on Disney+.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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