“The Gilded Age” is a lavish HBO drama about a young woman who travels to live with her eccentric, snooty aunts in bustling late-nineteenth-century New York City after realizing her late father has spent her money. Marian Brook is her name, and she’s played by Louisa Jacobson, an up-and-coming actress you might recognize. You, on the other hand, haven’t! Unless you frequent Yale theater school events in New Haven, in which case I hope you’re taking advantage of the excellent pizza available nearby. You might be wondering why Jacobson seems so familiar because this is her first significant acting role. Let me be the first to shatter your illusions: Louisa Jacobson is a Gummer. The third Gummer sister is a secret! I’m glad I was able to clarify things for you.
Of course, the Gummer sisters are the kids of Meryl Streep and her husband, sculptor Don Gummer. Mamie Gummer, the eldest, maybe best known for her roles as Meryl’s daughter in Ricki and the Flash and as ditzy but skilled lawyer Nancy Crozier on The Good Wife and The Good Fight. Perhaps you’re familiar with Grace Gummer, a younger actress who has been in Mr. Robot, Peacock’s Dr. Death, and, lest we forget, Smash’s second season. (She’s married to Mark Ronson as well.) Those two have appeared in practically every television show that has been filmed in New York City in the last two decades, as well as a lot of theater. (Another son, Henry Wolfe Gummer, does not appear in the film.) It’s great for him.)
So you might reasonably anticipate a Gummer to appear in a new TV series like “The Gilded Age“, which is set in — and filmed with a bunch of theater stars from — New York City. The difference here is that, unlike the elder Gummers, Jacobson does not use her surname professionally. Jacobson is apparently her middle name, which is amusing because it implies that having the last name Gummer would make it too clear that she is connected to Streep, despite the fact that she shares the same distinctive features and arch mannerisms as her sisters and mother.
Jacobson hasn’t gotten much attention for “The Gilded Age”, so there’s not much else to know about her. But finding out she’s a Gummer pulls the whole project into sharper focus. Marian Brook is a descendant of an old-money family as well as a descendant of an acting family. “Hey, did you know she’s a Gummer?” you may now remark to your buddies when they ask about the series. “Oh, that makes sense!” they’ll exclaim. She’s a complete Gummer.” Then you’ll all nod and smile, knowing that you’ve gained a better comprehension of the cosmos.