There’s been lots of news stories circulating recently around who Kate Beckinsale is dating. (it’s Ariana Grande’s ex, Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson apparently.) That’s all well and good, but surely what’s far more interesting is that the Hollywood actress is returning to the small screen after an absence of over 20 years! Yep, that’s right, 20 years.
So what is the project that has lured the Underworld star back to our shores? New action thriller The Widow no less. The drama, about a widow who spots the husband she thought long-dead in a TV broadcast about troubles in the Democratic Republic of Congo, starts this Monday on ITV. Here’s everything you need to know to get watching…
It’s written by the Williams brothers
Who are they you ask? Only the brains behind Liar, The Missing and Baptiste. Tense, tightly written dramas are their wheelhouse. Expect twists, turns and gasp-inducing deaths. You were warned.
It’s filmed in South Africa and Wales
The thriller might be set between Britain, Rotterdam and the Democratic Republic of Congo, but shooting actually took place elsewhere. The Williams brothers revealed in an interview with The Express that:
“We shot it in Cape Town in South Africa, which is a lovely town, but looks nothing like The Congo which you’re not allowed to film in because it’s just too dangerous.
“To make anything in Cape Town, we shot some [scenes] in Durban and some on the East Coast and in South Africa. To make any single frame look like The Congo, you have to bring in extras and buildings.
“So it’s a big undertaking and a lot of that was simply trying to build that world and have somewhere unique and hardly ever seen on TV as The Congo.”
Shooting then moved to Wales. Director Samuel Donovan explained: “what I didn’t want to do – when I picked the locations in Wales – was go for green, lush Wales.
“I went for the darker hills and the slate… It was really cold in Wales. It was snowing, it was the end of February, it was bitter.”
In fact Beckinsale Instagrammed about trying to pee while on location in Wales.
There’s some serious acting talent on board
Neither Game of Thrones‘ Charles Dance nor Doctor Who‘s Alex Kingston are names to be sniffed at in the acting stakes. Joining them are Sherlock‘s Louise Brealey, The Catch‘s Jacky Ido and Matthew Gravelle, who played Olivia Coleman’s husband in Broadchurch. Take from that what you will.
Beckinsale brings her action chops to the role
The Underworld actress has spent quite a lot of the last twenty years distancing herself from the period dramas that first made her famous. (She did return to her roots recently though in Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship). It makes sense then that her return to TV centres on a strong, powerful woman, who can defend herself when it’s necessary. Martial arts moved not guaranteed.
The Widow is already available on Amazon outside of the UK, and premieres on ITV on Monday at 9pm.