Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna is the supporting character in Anastasia.
A regal and formal woman, Marie is one of the last surviving members of the Imperial Family after the revolution. Though stubborn and serious, she has always held a close and loving relationship with her youngest granddaughter Anastasia.
Following the revolution, she has spent ten long and fruitless years attempting to find Anastasia. As a result, her heart has become hard and cold from the constant heartache.
Role in FilmEdit
In the prologue, Marie narrates the history of the Romanov family before arriving at a ball celebrating the family's tricentennial rule. Greeted by her beloved granddaughter Anastasia, Marie presents her with a music box that plays their lullaby, "Once Upon a December," and a necklace-shaped key inscribed with "Together in Paris" as a promise between herself and her granddaughter. Because Marie resides in Paris, the gift is meant to ease the separation between the two of them. However, the ball is soon interrupted by the arrival of Rasputin, a false holy man who curses the imperial family for betraying him.
Using his dark powers, Rasputin incites the unhappiness of the common Russian people to revolution and the palace falls under siege. As the imperial family attempts to escape, Anastasia returns to her room to retrieve her music box. Marie and Anastasia are saved when a servant boy opens a secret door in the wall and advises them to escape through the servant quarters. Marie and Anastasia attempt to cross the frozen river, but Anastasia is briefly caught by Rasputin until the ice cracks under his weight and he drowns. At the train station, Marie manages to board a train, but is unable to hold onto Anastasia's hand and bring her on board. The girl's hand slips from Marie's grasp and she falls. The incident is the last time Marie recalls seeing Anastasia.
For the next ten years, Marie has struggled to find Anastasia from her home in Paris. Offering a ten million ruble reward, she has suffered through numerous false claimants trained and educated to resemble and act like her granddaughter. Deciding that she has endured enough heartache, Marie refuses to see any more young women claiming to be Anastasia.
Shortly after Marie's decision, her cousin Sophie agrees to assess a young woman named Anya as a favour to her old flame, Vladimir. Though Anya passes Sophie's assessment, Sophie reveals the Dowager Empress's refusal to see any more claimants. Vladimir manages to persuade her into providing an opportunity, where Sophie will bring Anya and Vladimir's business partner Dimitri to the Empress's private box at the Paris Opera during a performance by the Russian ballet. The meeting goes poorly for Dimitri when Marie, having heard rumours of Dimitri auditioning women to play Anastasia in St. Peterburg, throws him out of her box without meeting Anya. Aware that Anya is actually Anastasia, Dimitri later hijacks Marie's car and forces her to meet Anya at Sophie's townhouse after returning Anastasia's music box to the Dowager Empress. During Marie's meeting with Anya, she believes her to be an extremely convincing actress, but is intrigued enough to listen to Anya when she absently recalls a memory relating to the scent of peppermint oil that only Anastasia would recall. Marie presents the music box to Anya, who finally remembers her past as Anastasia, and the two women are reunited. Returning Marie's manor, she and Anastasia reminisce about their family.
The following morning, Marie presents Dimitri with the promised reward money and is surprised when he refuses it. As she presses for answers, she reveals that she now knows that he is the servant boy who saved her life and Anastasia's during the siege of the palace. Dimitri continues to refuse the reward and she realizes that he is in love with Anastasia. In the evening during a ball celebrating her granddaughter's return, Marie reveals to Anastasia that Dimitri refused the reward money. Happy and satisfied to have seen the woman that Anastasia has become, Marie encourages Anastasia to follow her heart and that she will love Anastasia regardless of her decision. She later finds a goodbye note from Anastasia revealing that she has eloped with Dimitri but with a promise that they will see each other again soon.
- Character animation supervised by Troy Saliba.