Within ten minutes of the opening sequence, characters are established and viewers are reeled in after Adam Price encounters an enigmatic stranger who drops a shocking revelation about his wife, Corinne. Adam begins to investigate his wife’s deception and quickly finds himself caught up in something more mysterious than he could have imagined.
It’s from the same creator of Safe which stars, Michael C. Hall who we know him best for in his role as likeable psychopathic serial killer, Dexter.
“The Stranger is all about secrets – how we think they are buried or that we are anonymous or that no one will find out – but what happens when someone, the stranger, starts to reveal them?” says Creator and Executive Producer, Harlan Coben. “We live in an age where we forget that everything we do, especially online, is monitored. We fool ourselves into believing no one knows our secrets. But people do. But on a micro-level, The Stranger is about a family and a community, much like yours and mine, and what happens when a small thing makes it unravel. The Stranger is a thriller with a beating heart. The ending will shock you to the core”.
We’re taken on a web of entanglements over eight episodes (Add to your MyList at the bottom of this article).
Get to know the characters of The Stranger from the actors themselves:
Richard Armitage – Adam Price
“I love the idea of a story where the character is involved in but not completely planned. Everything was a surprise, the journey that this character goes on is full of trap doors and dead ends.
I was excited to play something where from each moment to the next the character didn’t really know what was going to happen, he’s almost playing detective.
He’s completely blind to the situation. Also, the big reveal happens in one of the first scenes of the show and you think, ‘where do you go from here?’ He receives this damning information and confronts his wife in the first ten minutes. That really interested me because it’s usually the other way around, you get to the end and he finds out what’s happened.
If somebody comes up to you that you don’t know and starts to tell you personal things about your life which are absurd, how do you react to it? What he doesn’t know and doesn’t show are the most interesting parts of the scene and yet I had to receive what she was telling me. So, it’s almost like being in a vacuum and he has to hear what she’s saying and believe it but at the same time keep her at arm’s length. We played with loads of different versions of the scene where he was very angry or completely mystified. He receives what she’s telling him but it’s not until later on at home when he starts to confront his wife that it’s really sinking in.
I loved working with my two boys, Jacob Dudman and Misha Handley, we had lots of scenes together and they were brilliant actors and really fun lads. My worst nightmare was on day two of the shoot when I had to be in goal with under 16’s scoring against me… I’m rubbish at football and only managed to save three goals out of hundreds. I begged Daniel O’Hara to make me look better than I am, or I’d face public shame again – I had to play rugby in Ultimate Force and was equally rubbish!”
Poor guy, within the first ten minutes of the pilot, some random hottie comes up to Adam in a cafe and tells him he should get DNA tests on both his boys since his wife recently lied about a pregnancy and then faked a miscarriage. Now that’s how you open a new series!
Hannah John-Kamen -The Stranger
“The Stranger is a mysterious character. When you meet her, she reveals the truth about something that is going on in people’s lives which they’re unaware of. She drops a bomb which explodes and sets off the series. I think the audience will approach it as you do the book. Hopefully they’ll watch it and go, “woah, what is her agenda!” I think that is a big question mark because she’s very mysterious, a mystique and kind of ghostly. As you learn
more about her, the intrigue builds. I think the audience will sympathise with her and understand her more throughout the series.
(On working with Jennifer Saunders) We were quite the team! We worked together previously on the musical Viva Forever! and have a brilliant relationship. It was fantastic to get to share the screen with her because I’m such an admirer of her work and grew up watching Absolutely Fabulous. It was amazing to have the opportunity to work together again and I am so pleased that our characters cross paths.”
You think she’s a piece of work and the show’s resident wrecking ball, but it turns out this vixen catalyst was a smokescreen for the real villain!
Jennifer Saunders – Heidi Doyle
“Heidi is a woman who has lived a seemingly ’normal’ life – she has her dream – family – business and the ability to have a good time with her friends. She is fiercely loyal and a fighter for her family. What could possibly go wrong?
(On taking on this role which is a contrast to the comedic ones fans are use to seeing her in and the challenges in preparing to play this role) The fact that it wasn’t a comedy. It presented a challenge but I’m old enough not to be daunted. I do have a genetic compulsion to want to fall over and do jokes but the script is so good and intense I found that wasn’t necessary. The hardest thing is relaxing your mind. In comedy you tend to always be striving for a funny look and a reaction, so I tried just to relax that urge. Sometimes even just walking is hard when you think too much about it.”
It was a nice change to see Jennifer in this role, for decades in an iconic role, we saw a vulnerability to her acting chops that has never been accessed before. Not to mention, playing the responsible motherly type for a change!
Anthony Head – Edgar Price
“I’m Adam’s father, Edgar, and we are first introduced as Adam is representing
somebody who is trying to be ousted out of his house. I am a property developer and I am the one who is trying to oust him. Adam is a lawyer, he just has no clue that he’s going to be coming up against me. We still have contact because his wife has tried to keep it going but ultimately, I dropped out of his life, walking out on his mother. I have spent my life a little bit of a narcissist, in fact quite a lot, as my character is completely self-obsessed, and he’s womanised all these years. He did try and go back to his wife at one point, but it was brief, and he’s just always been looking for women…
We had great fun [shooting], there was a moment when I was filming with Hannah [John Kamen], we’re both with the same American manager, and we were filming and things that is great about streaming platforms is the flexibility. There was a point where there was a change in the script and I went to the director to say, ‘can we put this in’, ‘could I take this out, if we don’t have time’ and she said, ‘of course, there’s not a problem – it’s a streaming platform, so you haven’t
got to get it in, the show hasn’t got to finish on time’. It exists on its own, in its own universe, it can be as long as you like. It’s not constrictive which is so freeing. I’ve had scenes that I have been passionate about that have been cut because ultimately, they had to cut it to time, and you know that won’t happen on this. If something’s cut it’ll be because it doesn’t necessarily fit in with the storytelling or for more artistic reasons. That’s about making a picture, not about conforming the picture to constraints and I’ve done quite a few streaming things now and it’s absolutely fascinating.”
To Stream or not:
It’s a gripping eight episode. There are a number of mysteries to solve which all start to converge with the right balance of comedy trickling through from one of the minor interweaved story arcs. One of the original questions that piqued are interest at the start remains unsolved when we come to the final episode. Check it out, you’ll see what I mean!
The Stranger is now streaming, click below to add it to your MyList
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