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BeitragVerfasst: 06.02.2020, 10:05 
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Mehr oder weniger interessante Hintergrundinfos:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/amphtml/morgan ... ssion=true

Zitat:
21 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About "The Stranger" On Netflix
New characters, Season 2, and more!

Posted on Feb 5, 2020, 10:12:05 PM GMT
Morgan Murrell
Morgan Murrell
BuzzFeed Staff
WARNING: Spoliers ahead!

1. Netflix's series adaptation of The Stranger is based on Harlan Coben's suspense novel of the same name. Harlan acted as executive producer on the show.

Lakeside Books
2. This isn't Harlan's first Netflix collaboration, either. He created two other crime miniseries with them — The Five and Safe.


3. In the book, The Stranger is actually a white male named Chris Taylor. In the series, The Stranger is a biracial woman named Chrissy, played by Hannah John-Kamen.



4. According to an interview Harlan did with the The New York Times, the men just weren't cutting it during the audition process.
"When we started to audition people, the men just weren’t working. It didn’t look or feel right. Once I saw Hannah do it, there was no one else for me. She has the right touch of being a little cool, a little damaged, really interesting and mysterious."
5. Throughout the entire process, Harlan watched more than 300 audition tapes.


6. The more prominent UK actors, like Richard Armitage (Adam Price) and Siobhan Finneran (DS Johanna Griffin), didn't have to audition.



7. But not every actor was easy to obtain. Harlan literally begged Jennifer Saunders to join the cast.

"Jennifer Saunders I wrote a half-begging letter to. They said she’d never do it, she just does comedy. But I said, 'She’d be perfect in this role!' So I wrote to her and sent her the script, and she said, 'Yeah, this looks like fun; I’d love to do it.' This is her first dramatic role."

8. Although the novel is set in the United States, specifically New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, the series takes place in Manchester, England.


9. The New Jersey native has written more than 30 books, and he loves to keep the environments consistent, with the majority of them taking place in New Jersey neighborhoods and suburbs.
I live in a very nice suburban community in New Jersey, but if you look at the houses, there’s a whole world you know nothing about. In The Stranger, Adam is an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances. I think that’s what makes for a gripping story. Even the bad guy is trying to do best by his family. He’s just going a little too far!

10. There are also fewer guns present in the Netflix series than there are in the original story, which probably has something to do with the UK's strict gun laws.


11. Because the series is set in the UK, the sport mentioned is soccer (football), while the book focused on lacrosse.


12. If you look close enough, you can actually spot Harlan in the series for like eight seconds.


I won't tell you which episode. It's all about the element of surprise!

13. The story was inspired by real-life events...kind of. Harlan heard about a news story that involved a woman using a site to help fake her pregnancy, and the rest of the details blossomed from there.


"How easy would it have been to fake a pregnancy before? Where would you have gotten a fake sonogram? Now you find everything on the internet. That makes it easier to produce secrets, but harder to keep them."

14. The teenagers and their storylines aren't featured in the book. They were specifically developed for the series.


15. Harlan's daughter, Charlotte, played a big role solidifying the teenage narratives. She even wrote Episode 5!


16. Some other new characters were introduced in the series as well, like DC Wesley Ross (played by Kadiff Kirwan), who works alongside DC Johanna Griffin...



17. ..and Ingrid, The Stranger's partner in crime and love (played by Lily Loveless, who some of you might recognize from Skins). In the book, The Stranger calls on the help of four other people to help with the reveals, but in the series, The Stranger works solely with Ingrid.


18. Adam's estranged dad, Edgar Price (played by Anthony Head), has a bigger role in the series. In the book, he died of a heart attack when Adam was young, but in the series he's alive and well.


19. Sick children are a major storyline in both the book and the series. On Netflix, Patrick Katz (played by Paul Kaye) is a dirty cop with a sick daughter named Olivia. In the book, one of John Kuntz's three sons has bone cancer.



20. Fans are already looking for Season 2, but Harlan doesn't really think it's necessary.
I don’t think it’s fair to ask people to watch an eight-episode crime story like this and not give you the ending, and make you wait for Season 2. That’s just not fair to me. We’ll do a Season 2 only if we can think of an idea that’s just as good for the characters, but I’m not going to hold something back or not give the full answer in Season 1. And really, the novels don’t lend themselves to more than one season.
21. And finally, the ending. Without going into extreme details, a murder is covered up in both the series and the book, but it's done in completely different ways.


Did you notice any other differences between the series and book? Let us know in the comments below.
And be sure to watch The Stranger, streaming now on Netflix.

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BeitragVerfasst: 07.02.2020, 13:31 
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Ein Interview mit dem Regisseur der Serie, Daniel O'Hara:

http://iftn.ie/news/?act1=record&only=1 ... ws&force=1

Zitat:
Daniel O'Hara, director of Netflix's The Stranger, speaks with IFTN
07 Feb 2020 : Nathan Griffin

Richard Armitage and Hannah John-Kamen in Neflix's The Stranger.


We caught up with Irish director Daniel O’Hara, co-director of Netflix’s adaptation of Harlan Coben’s The Stranger, to find out more about the making of the show, working with Irish talent and the differences between traditional and non-linear productions.
Produced by Red Production Company, The Stranger is helmed by Irish directors Hannah Quinn and Daniel O’Hara, and produced by Madonna Baptiste. Starring Richard Armitage, Dervla Kirwan, Stephen Rea, Siobhan Finneran, Hannah John-Kamen, Brandon Fellows and Jacob Dudman, the show is based on Harlan Coben’s bestselling novel of the same name.

The Stranger follows Adam Price (Armitage), who seems to have a charmed existence; two wonderful sons, a career in law, and most of all, a watertight marriage to his soulmate, Corinne (Kirwan), a teacher at the local school. However, when a stranger (Hohn-Kamen) sits down next to him in a bar and makes a shocking claim about his wife, he becomes entangled in a mystery as he desperately searches for answers.

O’Hara is a director from Dublin, based in Edinburgh. He has directed television projects for a wide range of international broadcasters and content providers, including Netflix, BBC, Sky, RTÉ, and TG4, on shows including Harlan Coben’s The Stranger, Brassic, Doctor Who and Being Human. His first came to prominence with his critically acclaimed short films, Yu Ming Is Ainm Dom (2003) and Fluent Dysphasia (2004), which have won a combined total of 25 awards at international film festivals.

IFTN journalist Nathan Griffin spoke with Daniel ahead of the debut of the Netflix Original Series to find out more about his experience working on the project.

What can you tell me about The Stranger and your experience of working on it?

“The Stranger is an eight-part thriller, based on Harlan Coben’s book of the same name. The book is set in the US, but like Harlan’s previous work with Nicola Shindler’s Red Production Company, the story has been moved to the UK. Richard Armitage plays Adam Price, whose perfect suburban life is thrown apart when Hannah John-Kamen’s Stranger tells him a secret about his wife Corinne (Dervla Kirwan). Lots of twists and turns ensue!

“I had a fantastic experience working on the show. I directed episodes 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8, so after shooting and editing the first block, I went straight back into shooting the finale. I was on the show for a full year - the longest job I’ve ever done, but it’s also probably the most creatively satisfying, because I was able to set things up at the very beginning and then bring them to a conclusion. I had worked with a lot of the key crew before, having shot quite a bit in Manchester, but also having built up good creative relationships on other jobs. And this cast was a dream, an incredible bunch of actors who all brought a really positive atmosphere to the set.”


How did you get involved with the project?

“I directed the last block of Safe for Red the previous year. That was a similar set up in that it was a Harlan Coben / Danny Brocklehurst collaboration for Netflix. They must have been happy with what I did because they asked me to come back for The Stranger!”

There’s a strong Irish contingent working on the show including actors Stephen Rea and Dervla Kirwan and director Hannah Quinn. What was it like working with them and what does it say about the Irish industry having talent in a show of this magnitude?

“I had worked with Stephen Rea a long time ago on my short film Fluent Dysphasia. We kept in touch and it was a real pleasure to work with him again. Every actor who shared a scene with him relished the opportunity and everyone on the production loved him. He’s a legend! Dervla and I had actually crossed paths long ago on the video for Dustin’s Fairytale of New York! I think she brought a great presence to Corinne, a character who we needed to feel strongly about, despite her being off-screen a lot.

“I didn’t know Hannah Quinn before this, though I had seen her excellent work on Blood. There is some overlap between our episodes in The Stranger, so it was nice to share some time on set. We also had two fantastic Irish DPs in Peter Robertson and Tim Fleming, both of whom did an incredible job. I think the show looks great; they helped bring a real scale to it.

“I think the top Irish talent is as good as any out there, of course, we are! The industry is a global one; geography is irrelevant a lot of the time. If you’re right for a project, whether that’s in front of or behind the camera, then you should be on it.”


This is now your second project with Netflix after ‘Safe’ in 2018 – How do you find working with the SVOD giant?

“Netflix has been brilliant to work with. They don’t micro-manage. When they have an opinion or a note, they, of course, let us know and a lot of the time it would be something helpful, maybe something that needed more clarity. Having said that, they were also prepared to listen to our opinion if we disagreed with a note. It helps to have strong executive producers on the production. They all set high standards, so if our team was happy, then most likely Netflix would be happy too!”


How does the work differ from traditional television?

“Obviously there are no ad breaks and we had no recaps or teasers, which was nice. People talk about the hooks at the end of episodes and that's definitely something we kept in mind throughout. It’s such a big element in Harlan’s books too; they are absolute page-turners, so his storytelling really suits the ability to binge. But if you’re making a show where the audience doesn’t get the next episode for a week, you need a pretty good hook too, so I’m not sure that’s as much of a difference as people tend to think.”

Having started your career in Ireland, you have moved towards more UK and now international productions. Have you had the opportunity to work in Ireland again or do you have plans to?

“I’d love to work in Ireland again, of course, absolutely. We are still attracting big international TV shows, so hopefully, I’ll direct one of those at some point.”

With such a sizeable body of work in TV Drama, do you have plans to direct feature film and if so what type of project would appeal to you?

“Yes, I would definitely love to direct features. However, I don’t think the distance or difference between top TV and movies is as big as it used to be. Not in terms of production value anyway. I think the stories that would have been mid budget films in the past seem to have found their home in TV series these days. In terms of what type of film project would appeal, I have been looking at a couple of comic book adaptations. Having had so much satisfaction directing Being Human and Doctor Who, genre definitely appeals. I think you can hide lots of great ideas in the fun of horror and sci-fi.”



The first season of The Stranger is available to stream on Netflix.

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Danke Arianna. :kuss: Am Wochenende werde ich weiter daran arbeiten, die Lücken hier zu füllen.

Die interessantesten Informationen aus den allgemeinen Interviews der letzten Zeit sind für mich, dass für seine Rolle Richard "gesetzt" war und das wohl eher nicht mit mit einer 2. Staffel zu rechnen ist.

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BeitragVerfasst: 09.02.2020, 18:31 
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Laudine hat geschrieben:
Am Wochenende werde ich weiter daran arbeiten, die Lücken hier zu füllen.

Auf geht's!

Hier gab/gibt es ein Fernsehinterview mit Kadiff Kirwan:

Zitat:
Kadiff Kirwan on his new Netflix series The Stranger

London Live

23rd January 2020

This month will see Jennifer Saunders return to our tv screens in a much darker role than normal.

The actress will appear in the pychological thriller The Stranger - an adaptation Harlan Coben's 2015 novel.

It tells the story of a man told a secret by an unknown woman, which threatens to destroy his life.

The all star cast includes Richard Armitage, Anthony Head and Dervla Kerwin along with Londoner Kadiff Kerwan who plays detective Wesley Ross.

He stopped by to tell us more about his character after we look at the trailer


The Stranger is on Netflix from the 30th of January.


https://www.londonlive.co.uk/news/2020-01-23/kadiff-kirwan-on-his-new-netflix-series-the-stranger

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BeitragVerfasst: 09.02.2020, 18:32 
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Ein Podcast mit Harlan Coben:

Zitat:
joseph_arthur

Come To Where I'm From Podcast Episode #68 is Available now! Our Guest this Episode is #1 New York Times Bestselling author of thirty one novels Harlan Coben! @harlancoben We chat about what fuels him, balance, creating characters in his books, loss and how it affected his writing, ‘The Stranger’ project on Netflix, ‘Tell No One’ , hunting for ideas, asking "what if?", his inspiration, gaining success later in life, giving yourself permission to fail, his thoughts on "I Miss the Zoo", needing to know the ending to his stories before he starts, still writing with a pen and paper (sometimes in an Uber) and how in the end, it's all in the dialogue! Enjoy!
Watch the Episode on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/AEsK0gKJxaE
Listen/stream or download on Apple Podcasts here: http://tiny.cc/JAPodcast & everywhere else Podcasts are available, we are on Overcast, CastBox, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher, Pocket Casts and more... please subscribe, rate & leave feedback! Enjoy! Please support us on http://www.Patreon.com/cometowhereimfrom #podcast #harlancoben #cometowhereimfrom #josepharthur


https://www.instagram.com/p/B7tTob-JXwK/?igshid=83n2e857477j

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BeitragVerfasst: 09.02.2020, 18:45 
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Minierwähnung der Serie bei 'I talk telly' mit ansehnlichem Promofoto:


Zitat:
Jan 25

WHAT TO WATCH 25-31 January

This week's best telly includes the return of some brilliant comedies, lots of gripping drama including two concluding episodes plus a jaw-dropping series opener of Top Gear.

[...]

6. The Stranger
Thursday 30th January on Netflix

Richard Armitage, Jennifer Saunders, Hannah John-Kamen, Siobhan Finneran and Kadiff Kirwan star in The Stranger, a Harlan Coben novel which has been adapted for television by Danny Brocklehurst.

Armitage plays Adam Price, a man who has a seemingly perfect life, two wonderful son and a watertight marriage, until one night a stranger sits next to him in a bar and tells him a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne.

He then finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realises that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives but it will end them.

[...]


https://www.italktelly.com/post/what-to-watch-25-31-january

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Auch Shaun Dooley hat Interviews gegeben, z.B. bei SundayBrunchC4:

Zitat:
Shaun Dooley@shaundooley

Put the kettle on @SundayBrunchC4. I’m on my way.


https://twitter.com/shaundooley/status/1221345016079167489


Größere Aufmerksamkeit als seine Beteiligung an 'The Stranger' fand dabei aber scheinbar sein Umgang mit dem "Zauberwürfel": ;)


Zitat:
Sunday Brunch@SundayBrunchC4

Yesterday, @shaundooley
solved a Rubik's Cube live on #SundayBrunch in just 3 minutes and 28 seconds! Relive that moment again here and don't vorget to vote for us in the NTAs!

http://bit.ly/VoteBrunch


https://twitter.com/SundayBrunchC4/status/1221855389970399232

https://web.facebook.com/SundayBrunchC4/videos/3160058590688313/?_rdc=1&_rdr

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BeitragVerfasst: 09.02.2020, 22:17 
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Gesammelte Beiträge der 'Manchester Evening News':

Zitat:
The Stranger: The new Netflix thriller filmed across Greater Manchester

The series, based on Harlan Coben’s novel of the same name, features an all-star cast including Richard Armitage and Jennifer Saunders


By Vickie Scullard

08:34, 26 JAN 2020


Get the best stories straight to your inbox through our new personalised digest…


The trailer for hotly anticipated Netflix thriller The Stranger has dropped ahead of its release on Thursday.

The eight-part series, based on Harlan Coben’s mystery thriller novel of the same name, features an all-star cast including The Hobbit’s Richard Armitage in the lead role of Adam Price.

The series follows Adam, whose idyllic life falls apart when a chance meeting with a mysterious woman entangles him in a conspiracy.

The new drama reunites Coben with Rochdale-born executive producer Nicola Shindler and lead writer and executive producer Danny Brocklehurst, from Hyde.

Other cast members include Hannah John-Kamen as the unnamed stranger, Siobhan Finneran as DS Johanna Griffin, Jennifer Saunders, who plays Johanna’s best friend Heidi, and Kadiff Kirwan as DC Wesley Ross.

A number of scenes from the series were filmed across Greater Manchester including Ancoats,

The two-minute teaser clip introduces lawyer Adam and his seemingly idyllic life with two sons and soulmate wife Corinne.

But all this comes to a head as a mysterious woman sits next to him one day and informs him that his wife once faked a pregnancy.

The stranger says: “She lied, Adam. Corinne made it up, she was never pregnant.

“One more thing. If I were you, I’d run DNA checks on your two boys.”

As the stranger’s words eat away at Adam, he begins to investigate his wife, and to his horror, his greatest fears are realised.

When Adam confronts Corinne with evidence that she lied about the pregnancy, she flees - leaving only a text message.

It says: “Maybe we need some time apart. You take care of the kids.

“Don't try and contact me. It will be ok.

As well as established actors, Harlan - who also worked on Netflix series Safe, which starred Dexter’s Michael C. Hall - brought in local talent for the series, including Leah Baskaran, Ross Grant, Misha Ade, Anthony Bacon and Anna Swan.

Harlan told the M.E.N.: “If you thought Safe had a twist, wait until you watch The Stranger. That is one thing I pride myself on. There are a lot of twists and turns.”

Harlan Coben’s The Stranger launches on Netflix on 30 January 2020.


https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/tv/the-stranger-new-netflix-show-17620160?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar


Zitat:
The Stranger: All the Greater Manchester filming locations for new Netflix series

Writer Harlan Coben takes us on a tour of his filming locations for Netflix's soon to be released binge-worthy thriller


By Vickie ScullardTV

08:54, 27 JAN 2020Updated08:57, 27 JAN 2020


New Netflix series The Stranger, starring Richard Armitage, is the latest in a string of big productions to be filmed here


There must be something about this cloudy, rainy but incredible city of ours - production crews are climbing over each other to use it as the backdrop to a string of binge-worthy TV series and cinema-worthy movies.

From hit BBC shows such as Peaky Blinders, to future Hollywood blockbusters including Spider-man spin-off Morbius, every director seems to want a slice of our surroundings to help bring their latest script to life.

While film crews setting up in the Northern Quarter have become fairly commonplace, American writer Harlan Coben can’t get enough of Greater Manchester as a whole - and has based his entire latest series here.

After falling in love with the area while shooting for another Netflix thriller, Harlan couldn't wait to return for his TV adaption of The Stranger, based on his book of the same name.

And no, it’s not just the city centre - he’s marked off places in Bolton, south Manchester, Eccles and Stockport.

“We filmed all across Manchester for the most part, as well as places around the city like Bolton,” he told the Manchester Evening News .

“It’s a great place to shoot TV. There is some really incredible architecture in the region that looks great on screen.”

The last time the New Jersey-born writer came across the pond and up our way was to film Netflix show Safe, based on another of his novels, and featuring Dexter star Michael C Hall.

“Even now I come to Manchester and I think, why does that look familiar?” said Harlan. “It’s because I’ve seen the location so many times in one of my series.

“The funny thing is, I usually bring the sunshine with me when I visit. Even though Manchester is supposed to be known for rain, I was keen in Safe to show a bright, idyllic setting that turns the dark, gritty expectation on its head.”

For The Stranger, Harlan was keen to work with the same production crew he did with Safe - and it just so happens that he didn’t have to travel very far to meet up with them.

“Nicola had been a reader of mine and for a long time she was helping me turn one of my books into a TV series, but unfortunately the book that she wanted to adapt was not available, so she chose Safe", Harlan said.

“She introduced me to Danny and said he could be the right person to work with me. He has a similar vision to what I was aiming for, so we went from there.

“We all enjoyed working together so much that we came together again for The Stranger.”

The Stranger - starring Richard Armitage (The Hobbit), Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley), Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous), Hannah John-Kamen (Game of Thrones) and Anthony Stewart Head (Little Britain) - follows Adam Price, a man whose life comes crashing down around him after a shock revelation.

As well as established actors, Harlan and co brought in local talent for the series, including Leah Baskaran, Ross Grant, Misha Ade, Anthony Bacon and Anna Swan, who all hail from across Greater Manchester.

The psychological thriller is already being teased on Netflix despite the fact the film crew has only recently shouted ‘it’s a wrap’.

“The great thing about this is, the whole series goes onto Netflix, in full, worldwide,” said Harlan. “One day they press a button and 190 countries have access to your show.

“With Safe and The Stranger, they are novels on screen and I want people to consume them in the way they would a book. I know if I had to wait a week to continue reading a book I would be disappointed, so to make the series fully accessible fits in perfectly with that.

“If you thought Safe had a twist, wait until you watch The Stranger. That is one thing I pride myself on. There are a lot of twists and turns.”

While the story is based on his own novel, don’t expect the TV show to be a carbon copy of it.

Harlan said: “Books and TV are a different poison. I don’t like adaptations that are a slave to the book version. This is why I have chosen Manchester for a location, where the book might be set in New Jersey.

“Writing a book, I am everything - director, producer, scriptwriter, set manager, everything. Whereas when I work for TV, it’s all about collaboration. I create the characters and incredible actors and production workers put their spin on it, and it takes on a new life.”

Harlan Coben’s The Stranger is coming to Netflix soon and his book, Run Away, is out now.


https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/tv/filming-locations-revealed-new-netflix-16748097

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Neben Manchester melden sich auch andere Locations zu Wort:

Zitat:
26th January

Netflix release trailer for The Stranger filmed in Bolton and Bury

By Seamus McDonnell @SeamusMBN News Reporter


NETFLIX has released the first trailer for new thriller The Stranger, which was filmed across parts of Bolton, Bury and Manchester.

The show will be available to watch in full from Thursday, January 30, and stars former Spooks and The Hobbit actor Richard Armitage alongside Hannah John-Kamen as a mysterious stranger.

Armitage plays Adam Price, the series’ protagonist who finds himself tangled in a mysterious web of deception.

His steady life, two wonderful sons and watertight marriage all seem unassailable – until The Stranger reveals a shocking secret about his wife.

As events unfold, Siobhan Finneran’s punchy police detective, Johanna Griffin, finds her pragmatic approach to police work compromised when her investigation into the matter becomes deeply personal.

The series is based on the Harlan Coben novel of the same name.

It was filmed at the disused Moor Lane Bus Station in Bolton town centre throughout April of last year.

While other cameras were also spotted with crews filming beneath the Peel Memorial outside Bury Parish Church on The Rock.

The show also took production to Manchester locations, including Ancoats, St Peter’s Square and Whalley Range, as well as Eccles and Stockport.


https://www.thisislancashire.co.uk/news/18188179.netflix-release-trailer-stranger-filmed-bolton-bury/?ref=twtrec

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BeitragVerfasst: 09.02.2020, 23:43 
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Zur Abwechslung einmal ein Interview mit Paul Kaye:

Zitat:
Game of Thrones star has never watched an episode despite being known to millions

After Game of Thrones finished, Paul Kaye (aka Dennis Pennis), 55, is back on TV in a gritty drama – he talks about weird hair, jumping out of windows, and upsetting his heroes


By Emma Jones

07:00, 26 JAN 2020

Slumped on a sofa, all stripy socks, Dr Marten boots, thick-rimmed glasses and mop of unruly hair, Mr Kaye has no airs or graces.

When we meet him, he’s knackered – he’s had ‘the busiest working year of his life’ and is in need of putting his feet up. We get the impression even he can’t quite believe it.

Since his heartbreaking turn as dad Jim in Three Girls, the true story about a child grooming ring, and his key role as Thoros in Game Of Thrones , this is a Cinderella story like no other – from punk prankster to award-winning serious actor.

Once upon a time, Paul opened the doors for the likes of Ali G through his character Dennis Pennis – a brash, pesky ‘journalist’ who arguably started the mainstream mockumentary-style prank show by upsetting celebrities with his interview questions.

Considering he offended the entire showbiz industry, Paul is lucky to have carved out a career as an actor, starting in comedy and moving on to playing gritty, dramatic roles.

Now he’s starring in tense new series The Stranger (based on the Harlan Coben novel), where he appears to play a right nasty piece of work, causing co-star Jennifer Saunders some serious damage within his first few minutes on screen. It actually made us yelp. Scary stuff.

Away from work, he lives a quiet life in London with wife of 31 years Orla and sons Jordan, 28, and Geffen, 17.

And despite building a career on wanting to be infamous, he’s a real softie – polite, charming, funny, with the only sense of rock ’n’ roll being the effing and jeffing, which he’s very good at.

Here Paul talks offending, pretending and trying to fly…

You’re a bit of an accidental actor, aren’t you?

When I was 21 I fancied it. I went to watch the film Sid & Nancy, but I wanted to play Sid – I thought it was the only role I’d ever be suitable for and it was taken.

Then years down the line, fate led to Pennis and that felt like the beginning and end of my career, really. Yet, here I am.

How did Dennis Pennis happen if you weren’t looking for it?


It was basically kidnap! I was in a band, failing miserably, and a music show wanted to interview us.

I found these funny glasses and did it in this spoof American accent. Then we all got p*ssed and I ended up running up and down Oxford Street abusing people.

That VHS CCTV tape had a life of its own. Someone got their hands on it and found me 18 months later to offer me my first gig.

I was to be dressed up as a chauffeur. I’d only just passed my driving test and they got me in this £80,000 Mercedes.

I was outside The Dorchester waiting to drive US actor Damon Wayans to the Wogan show and ask him stupid questions in the car, which was rigged with cameras.

Did you enjoy it?

Nah. I needed the money, but I didn’t want to taunt the celebrities and that was what they wanted me to do.

I’d always wanted to be infamous, and I didn’t really make it in music or art, which is how I intended it to happen, so I went for it.

I liked the idea of it a lot more than actually doing it.

How did you pluck up the courage to do some of the pranks?


I didn’t! I remember lying to my producer that I’d heard Sean Penn was coming out of a different exit, just to avoid him – he was punching journalists left, right and centre at that point.

I was chased and threatened a lot, it could be very intimidating.

Do you have any regrets?

I remember Adam Ant taking it really personally. He waited for me and pinned me up against the wall, and he was one of my heroes.

That was a horrible feeling, to upset someone you kind of worshipped. To me, what I was doing was ‘punk’ and I thought he was a punk too. Once, anyway.

And when I asked Steve Martin why he wasn’t funny any more. Of course he’s funny, I loved him. His face just dropped, it killed me.

He seemed so hurt. I got my comeuppance, though, people shouted, ‘Why are you not funny any more, Pennis?’ out of vans at me for years after that.

It all sounds quite rock ’n’ roll…

I used to run into lampposts. That was my party trick.

The last time I tried it I almost swallowed my tongue. It is a skill, though!

And when I took acid for the first time I jumped out of a window and broke my arm. The person had another party six weeks later, and I went with my arm in plaster, took acid again and jumped out of the same window and broke my leg.

I was known as the bird man. I thought I could fly even with a broken wing.

Are you that rock ’n’ roll now?

I’m incredibly dull and I very rarely leave the house. I don’t go out, I don’t drink, I’m really boring.

I don’t even have caffeine after 2pm. I’m under the radar now, I hate events. I hide from cameras at weddings.

Game Of Thrones must have led to unavoidable huge fan situations?

The only time I ever got recognised was after the third series of Game Of Thrones, because I had the top knot and beard.

Now I’d have blended in, as that look has oddly been adopted by estate agents.

Are you a social media whizz?

No, I’m terrified of it. I’m just amazed at how people can creep in and watch what other people are doing.

I was asleep at Oslo airport and someone woke me up and said, ‘Excuse me, what’s your name?’ I asked why and he said, ‘Because I don’t know your name and I want to tweet that I’m sitting opposite you’.

That’s social media in a nutshell, folks.

What are the fans like?

Every now and then you get a message asking if you can record something celebratory for a fan.

I’ve learnt a bit of Dothraki and that’s my new party trick – I haven’t got a clue what it means.

It’s a few lines I can say, but I send it to everyone I record a message for and pretend it means happy birthday, or have a great wedding, or whatever.

I’ve still never seen Game Of Thrones, so that works for me.

You’ve never seen it?

Nah, I don’t watch myself. I did for Three Girls, because I met the father I was playing and it broke my heart, so I didn’t want to f**k it up.

Have your kids seen your early work?

Yes, but they just remind me how little hair I have now.

It used to take me three hours in hair and make-up to look like a freak back then.

Now I just walk straight on set.

What are you most proud of?

Matilda The Musical. Even if I’ve got a titanium bolt in my head from it.

There was one scene where I realise a hat has been stuck on my head and I’m trying to pull it off, but I couldn’t get a laugh.

So I did loads of really violent movements to emphasise it and ended up displacing a vertebrae. It was absolutely worth it.

Don’t go injuring yourself again…

Oh, I’m careful now, I need to be able to make a living.

Even when I go to the gym I sit in the steam room for an hour, come back really red-faced and pretend I’ve been for a run, so there’s no need to worry.

Paul tells us all about the new Netflix series....

What can we expect to see?


I haven’t read the book, so when I signed up to do the show I had no idea how the story would play out.

All I’ll say is it’s all centred around one question: ‘How far would you go?’

Your character John seems pretty no-nonsense…


There’s a goodie in there lurking somewhere, I promise. His intentions are honourable, I think he’s just been driven to cross the line.

His daughter is dying and he needs money for treatment.

That’s pushed him to the questions of morality that he faces.

You give Jennifer Saunders (left) a good slap pretty early on…

I’d waited all my life to meet her, so I was a bit nervous and lashed out.

She was fantastic, I was brought up watching her, and she’s a big Manchester United fan.

That night after our first scene Man United were playing, so she had her earphones in listening to the match.

- The Stranger is on Netflix now


https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/game-thrones-star-never-watched-21321250?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar

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Harlan Coben über die Adaption seiner Bücher als Serien:

Zitat:
The Five Spot: Harlan Coben, Executive Producer and Author
Top-selling novelist behind adaptation of his book ‘The Stranger’ on Netflix


Michael Malone
Jan 27, 2020


Harlan Coben has 31 novels to his credit, and a rapidly escalating number of TV series. The Stranger, based on his novel of the same name, starts on Netflix Jan. 30. Richard Armitage stars in a series about a guy living the perfect life with the perfect wife, until a stranger approaches him in a bar and reveals a shocking secret about her.

Coben has a deal with Netflix to develop 14 of his books into series and films. His next novel is The Boy from the Woods, which publishes March 17.


Will we see that one on Netflix?
“I hope so,” Coben said. “Netflix owns the rights to it. No one has read it yet.”Coben spoke with Multichannel News contributing editor Michael Malone about how good adaptations happen, and why his new series may pop.

Does your deal with Netflix change the way you go about your novels? Zero, not at all. It’s a death wish if you write a novel thinking, ‘Oh, this will make a cool movie or adaptation.’ You’re usually dead in the water. A book is a book, a TV series is a TV series and a movie is a movie.

What’s key to a successful adaptation?
Not to be slavishly devoted to the text. I think the more staid or stale adaptations occur because you’re just trying to exactly repeat the book.There’s a famous quote from James M. Cain, who wrote The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity. He was asked, don’t you hate what Hollywood did to your books? He said, ‘They did nothing to my books — they’re right there on the shelf.’When I’ve done my adaptations, I’ve usually been the one on the forefront of making changes. There are certain things that work better visually, and things that work better on paper. Part of my job is to separate those two.

What mistakes do you see authors making when they adapt their novels?
Most novelists are really afraid to get involved, for obvious reasons. For the most part, when you option a book, it’s like letting somebody adopt your child. You have no more say in it. If the adaptation comes off poorly it has nothing at all to do with you.

What’s a book that you felt became a really good TV series? Game of Thrones stayed with the novel, and moved away from it, and some seasons did not have a novel to deal with.Dexter was quite different than the novels. I thought that show worked really well for a number of seasons.

What about The Stranger stands out? I haven’t binged a really great mystery crime drama, where I watch it all in a day or two and just get completely lost. I think The Stranger is that. I guarantee you’ll finish in a day or two — maybe three, depending on your schedule.


https://www.multichannel.com/news/the-five-spot-harlan-coben-executive-producer-and-author

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'Newsweek' mit allen - inzwischen bekannten - Infos zur Serie:

Zitat:
Culture

'The Stranger' Netflix Release Date, Cast, Trailer, Plot: All You Need to Know About the Harlan Coben Series


By Samuel Spencer On 1/28/20 at 6:40 AM EST

Netflix is preparing to release The Stranger, an adaptation of the 2015 Harlan Coben novel. Its cast is led by The Hobbit's Richard Armitage as a man whose world is rocked when a mysterious woman tells him his wife has faked a pregnancy. There are some changes from the book⁠—the gender of the stranger, for example. The trailer also teases a number of dramatic events, murder and plenty of mystery.

When is The Stranger out on Netflix?

Netflix has given the series a release date of Thursday, January 30, when the show will be released at one minute past midnight PT (that's 3:01 a.m. east coast time or 2:01 a.m. CT). The mini-series will have eight 50-minutes episodes, all of which will be released at once.
the stranger netflix cast

What happens in The Stranger on Netflix?

The official Netflix summary for The Stranger reads: "Adam Price is a happily married father of two whose life is turned upside-down after a stranger tells him a secret about his wife. The revelation catapults him into a world of danger."

Though there are some differences between the plot of the book and the series (such as the gender of the eponymous stranger and the location, which has moved from the U.S. to the U.K.), the summary of the Coben novel gives potential viewers a wider idea of what to expect. It reads: "The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

"Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.

"Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne's deception, and realizes that if he doesn't make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he's stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them."

Who is in the cast of The Stranger on Netflix?

Adam and Corinne Price are played by actors Richard Armitage and Dervla Kirwan. To the American audiences, Armitage is probably best known as Thorin from The Hobbit trilogy of films, while Irish actor Kirwan recently starred in Amazon Prime Video's White Dragon.

Speaking to Irish News, Armitage said of his role: "I play Adam Price, who's a successful lawyer, family man, a dad and a husband. They are a pretty aspirational family and their existence is happy. They are heavily scheduled with their lives and I feel like sometimes they pass like ships in the night, but it's a good life. Then The Stranger sidles up to Adam at the [soccer] club and drops a bombshell on him."

The eponymous Stranger, meanwhile, is portrayed by Hannah John-Kamen, star of Ant-Man and the Wasp and Ready Player One. Other cast members who might be familiar to American viewers include Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Anthony Head, who plays Adam's father Ed, Game of Thrones' Paul Kaye, playing a violent man trying to track down The Stranger, and The Crying Game's Stephen Rea, playing an ex-cop who Adam gets to help him after a visit from The Stranger.

Making a transition from drama to comedy is Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders, playing a close friend of police detective Johanna Griffin (Siobhan Finneran of Downton Abbey) who gets her own visit from The Stranger.

The Stranger is released on Netflix on Thursday, January 30.


https://www.newsweek.com/stranger-netflix-release-date-cast-trailer-plot-harlan-coben-1484344?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1580212188

Und vergleichbar:

Zitat:
Elise Dumpleton·TV
·January 28, 2020

New To Netflix: The Stranger
The Stranger Netflix TV Series 2020



Based on the novel by Harlan Coben, The Stranger forces us to confront a question we all fear – how well do we really know the people closest to us?

Adam Price seems to have a charmed existence. Two wonderful sons, a career in law, and most of all, a watertight marriage to his soulmate, Corinne, a teacher at the local school. Adam is living the dream. Until one night a STRANGER sits down next to him in a bar. “She lied, Adam. Corinne made it up, she was never pregnant… One more thing. If I were you, I’d run DNA checks on your two boys…”

As quickly as the stranger came, she is gone. Adam tries going after her, but it’s too late. As the stranger’s words eat away at Adam, he begins to investigate his wife. To his horror, his greatest fears are realised. When Adam confronts Corinne with evidence that she faked a pregnancy, she flees, leaving only a text message: MAYBE WE NEED SOME TIME APART. YOU TAKE CARE OF THE KIDS. DON’T TRY TO CONTACT ME. IT WILL BE OKAY. JUST GIVE ME A FEW DAYS… PLEASE

Adam makes it his mission to find Corinne but is shocked by what he uncovers. Who was that stranger and what does she have to gain from exposing all these secrets? How are these secrets connected?

Meanwhile Johanna– a local detective – is trying to untangle the mystery of a series of increasingly violent and bizarre crimes. As the death toll mounts, Johanna must race against time to find who is responsible.

If Adam is to find out where Corinne is, he needs to understand more about who this stranger is. While Adam hunts for Corinne, the Stranger continues to target other unsuspecting members of the community, exposing secrets and destroying lives. No one is safe.

In a shocking finale, Adam and Johanna are forced to confront the question of how far they are prepared to go to protect their loved ones. They find themselves caught up in something much bigger than they initially realised. The secrets they have stumbled upon will not only ruin lives, they will end them.\

The series stars Richard Armitage (The Hobbit) as Adam Price, Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) as Heidi Doyle, Siobhan Finneran (Downton Abbey) as Johanna Griffin, Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp)as The Stranger, Dervla Kirwan (Ondine) as Corrine Price, Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Ed Price, Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones) as Katz, Shaun Dooley (The Woman In Black)as Doug Tripp, Stephen Rea (V for Vendetta) as Martin Killane, and Kadiff Kirwan (Pokemon Detective Pikachu) as Wes Ross.

The Stranger premieres January 30th o Netflix with eight episodes.


https://www.thenerddaily.com/new-to-netflix-the-stranger/


Und noch eine weitere Variante:

Zitat:
'The Stranger' Finally Drops On Netflix This Thursday

Lauren Bell in Entertainment

Last updated 09:10, Thursday 30 January 2020 GMT

Netflix is no stranger to a gritty dark TV series and now the highly anticipated The Stranger has finally dropped on Netflix.

We've certainly been looking forward to it, partially because the plot looks gripping, and partly because the cast line-up looks stellar.

With lead roles snapped up by Richard Armitage (The Hobbit) who will play Adam Price, Dervla Kirwan (Silent Witness) who plays Corrine Price, Siobhan Finneran (A Confession, Happy Valley, Cold Feet) who will play DS Johanna Griffin and Hannah John-Kamen (Game of Thrones) who will play 'the stranger,' it has major appeal. Joining them too is Jennifer Saunders, Paul Kaye and Kadiff Kirwan.

We told you it was packed with notable faces.

But the plot, based on the novel by Harlan Coben, sounds enough to get us tuning in on its own.

The creepy trailer starts to unravel what it's all about with one of the opening lines: "What if our darkest secrets were exposed by a stranger?"

As it rolls onwards, we find out that Corrine has been covering up a big secret - one that saw her lie to her husband Adam about having miscarried. She was in fact never pregnant at all.

But the only reason Adam finds out is because a stranger pops up to reveal the secret, something she seems to keep doing in order to cause devastation to people throughout the trailer.

Soon, Corrine goes missing and suddenly her name pops up in relation to a murder scene, with law enforcement telling Adam: "We have reason to believe your wife was at the scene of a murder".

According to Netflix, the revelations lead Adam down a dark path trying to uncover who his wife really is, but people close to him could end up getting hurt.

The eight-part thriller is now ready to watch (finally!) after a lot of teasing from Netflix over the past months and we will certainly be tuning in.

Weekend plans, sorted.

The Stranger is now available to watch on Netflix.


https://www.tyla.com/entertaining/tv-and-film-the-stranger-netflix-date-plot-cast-harlan-coben-richard-armitage-20200129?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf

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Noch einmal ein Artikel mit besonderem Fokus auf Jennifer Saunders:

Zitat:
TV To Go: Hello Stranger — Jennifer Saunders is finally playing it straight in her ‘weird’ new thriller


JENNIFER SAUNDERS is amazed, excited… and absolutely terrified. That might sound like a strange state of mind for a much-loved, multi-Bafta-winning actress as she sits in a Stockport coffee shop preparing to film her next scene. But Saunders is definitely feeling out of her comfort zone on the set of her new TV show, The Stranger. It’s an eight-part Harlan Coben thriller, adapted by Danny ‘Brassic’ Brocklehurst for Netflix — and it’s Saunders’ first-ever dramatic role.

‘Yes, I was really thrilled to be asked, if slightly surprised,’ she confides. ‘I mean, I do comedy — it’s what I’m good at. My first scene was with [Downton’s] Siobhan Finneran, who is just about my most favourite actress in the world. I could barely breathe.’

Still, Saunders admits that once you’ve done your first take in a straight drama, it does become just like normal filming — ‘except that when I get to the end of a scene in this,’ she adds, ‘I hope the crew don’t burst out laughing.’

They’re unlikely to. Saunders plays Heidi, a colourful cake shop owner approached by The Stranger (Hannah John-Kamen) with information that shames her family. If she doesn’t pay hush money, her daughter Kimberley’s naked body will be plastered all over the internet. The Stranger, meanwhile, has already destroyed the life of Adam Price (Richard Armitage) after telling him a secret about his wife.

Amid these domestic bombshells there are schoolchildren raving on the moors and severed alpaca heads. The Stranger feels like very much like a darker, slightly discombobulating Cold Feet — and not just because it’s partly filmed on the same streets of Didsbury in South Manchester.

‘It starts off so weird and gets more twisted,’ agrees Saunders. ‘Coben has a really good way of writing thrillers set in normal life and at first it seems everything is perfect. I have these huge dogs that slobber everywhere, my daughter’s at university and suddenly The Stranger changes everything.

‘Having three daughters, I felt I could identify with Kimberley’s situation… not that any of them have done what she has, I hasten to add!’

Saunders, typically, jokes that the peril for her character is finding out whether she might meet a ‘sticky ending in a cake shop’, and for all the grisly subject matter she’s obviously enjoying her stint in ‘real’ drama.

‘It’s been fine,’ she says. ‘Well, no one’s come up to me in the street and shouted, “What are you doing in a drama, you idiot? You’re going to spoil this for everyone!”’

So is that her fear?

‘No, I just have normal fears about whether I’ll be any good, like any actor,’ she smiles. ‘As long as I’m not the worst, right? I don’t think I’d like to actually watch this back, though, see myself pretend to be serious. I only watch my own shows if I think they’re hilarious…’

Which brings us on to the state of TV sitcoms in 2020. Though she was a big fan of Fleabag — ‘it’s properly funny’ — Saunders wonders whether the shows that made her, namely Girls On Top, Happy Families or even Absolutely Fabulous, would get made these days.

‘I genuinely believe there’s not enough comedy being made now — and goodness me, we need some laughs at the moment,’ she says. ‘And the stuff that does get made is overanalysed and killed.

‘It’s just hard to explain to TV execs the joy of a big, old laughy sitcom with gags and people falling over. And yet people do watch them — look at the success of Mrs Brown’s Boys.’

So will she be seen in more dramatic roles?

‘I’d love to do more drama… if anyone will pay me to do it,’ she says. ‘But there’s probably a reason I haven’t been asked before — there’s an awful lot of bloody good actresses out there!’


Thrill ride: Why you need to care about Harlan Coben

ONE of America’s best-selling thriller writers, 58-year-old Harlan Coben published his first novel, Play Dead, in 1990 but it’s taken a while for film and TV to exploit his twist-driven plots. Still, the floodgates are now open and with more than 30 titles in his back catalogue to plunder, there’s likely to be much more Coben on screen soon. Keith Watson has the lowdown on what you need to catch up on so far…

Tell No One (2006)

French director Guillaume Canet was the first to bring a Coben story to screen, enlisting François Cluzet and Kristin Scott Thomas to star in the tangled tale of a doctor suspected of murder eight years after his own wife was apparently killed.

Une Chance De Trop (2015)

The French got in on the Coben act again with Une Chance De Trop, which brings Gallic flair to Coben’s hard-boiled 2003 novel that puts another doctor through the mill as he tries to figure out who murdered his wife and kidnapped his baby.

The Five (2016)

Not an adaptation but a Coben original, this tale of childhood pals haunted by a secret from their past marked the author’s venture into UK TV drama on Sky One. Tom Cullen and Lee Ingleby led the cast and a sequel, The Four, is in the works.

Safe (2018)

Coben stayed in the UK for his first Netflix original, a tale of repressed suburbia starring Michael C Hall (with a very peculiar British accent) as a widowed paediatrician whose teenage daughter mysteriously goes missing.

The Stranger is on Netflix from tomorrow


https://www.metro.news/tv-to-go-hello-stranger-jennifer-saunders-is-finally-playing-it-straight-in-her-weird-new-thriller/1891013/


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Schon interessant, dass noch vor dem Start der Serie dermaßen vehement nach einer 2. Staffel gefragt wurde:

Zitat:
The Stranger season 2 Netflix release date: Will there be another series?
THE STRANGER will soon drop on Netflix where subscribers can delve straight into the new mystery drama. But will there be another series?


By Hayley Anderson
PUBLISHED: 13:24, Wed, Jan 29, 2020 | UPDATED: 13:32, Wed, Jan 29, 2020


The Stranger is going to be out tomorrow, Thursday, January 30, with all eight episodes being released at once on Netflix. The mystery thriller will follow the story of Adam Price (played by Richard Armitage) after he gets told a shocking claim about his wife. But one question viewers are already asking is will there be a season two?

The Stranger is an adaptation of author Harlan Coben’s psychological thriller of the same name.

The series will star actor Richard Armitage who is probably best known for being in The Hobbit and BBC’s Spooks.

Working to bring the book to life has been Danny Brocklehurst who worked on Netflix series Safe and has been working with author Coben on the adaptation.

Brocklehurst told Radiotimes: “It’s fantastic to reunite with Netflix, Harlan and [production company] RED for another complex, emotional thriller.

“Richard Armitage is perfect for the role of Adam, and I can’t wait to bring our binge-able new drama to life.”


Will there be a season 2 of The Stranger on Netflix?

As of yet, there have been no details as to whether The Stranger will be renewed for a second season.

Typically, the streaming service takes around six weeks following a show’s release date to decide if a series will be given any more episodes.

However, in this case, it could depend on if the series strays away from the book or not.

As The Stranger is based on a book, if the season follows the story by the letter and the finale is the novel’s conclusion, it seems less likely there will be a second series.

However, if the season introduces other storylines or doesn’t finish Coben’s entire story by the end of the show, there could be potential for future episodes.

But so far, Netflix has kept quiet on the future of The Stranger.

The Stranger focuses on the dark secret Adam is told about his wife Corinne (Dervla Kirwan) by someone he has never met.

But as he digs deeper into his wife’s past, the more entangled he becomes in what is a dangerous secret.

Alongside Armitage, actress Siobhan Finneran from Happy Valley will play DS Johanna Griffin and Hannah John-Kamen from Ant Man and the Wasp will be playing the role of the mysterious stranger.

Speaking about his book, Coben said: “The Stranger was one of my most challenging novels – and definitely the most twisted.

“When I wrote it, I never imagined that I’d be part of a ‘Dream Team’ of extraordinary talent bringing it to life.

“I can’t wait to reunite with Danny, Nicola, and Netflix on this remarkable project.”

The Stranger will be on Netflix from tomorrow, Thursday, January 30.


https://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/1235039/the-stranger-season-2-netflix-release-date-second-the-stranger-series-season-two?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf

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Über den Entstehungsprozess, die Änderungen im Vergleich zum Buch u.v.m.:

Zitat:
Stranger danger

By Nicole Lampert
January 29, 2020


The team behind Netflix thriller Safe reunite for The Stranger, based on Harlan Coben’s mystery novel. DQ visits the set to find out how they reworked the story for the screen.

A pretty, red-brick side road off Bolton town centre has, perhaps, never seen anything quite like it. Cameras, lights and lots of action for a fast-paced story of murder, intrigue and secrets that – most intriguingly – includes the first lady of comedy, Jennifer Saunders, in her first serious role.

This is the set of The Stranger, the latest Harlan Coben project with Red Production Company for Netflix, and once again the casting gives a hint at its ambition. While the team’s last project, Safe, had Dexter’s Michael C Hall as a suburban British dad whose life unravelled when his daughter went missing, The Stranger has a starry cast including Richard Armitage, Siobhan Finneran (pictured above with co-star Kadiff Kirwan), Stephen Rea, Anthony Head and Hannah John-Kamen.

Like Safe, it is set in a heightened world of suburbia where everyone lives in nice houses, and almost all of them have dark a secret. It’s a fascination of New Jersey-born writer Coben, who has sold 70 million copies of his page-turning mysteries set in a fictionalised version of his home state.

Secrets are once again at the centre of The Stranger, which debuts tomorrow and is the first of his Red coproductions (as well as Safe, they also made The Five with him for Sky) to be adapted from one of his books.

The character of the Stranger, a male in the book, is now played by young female Ant-Man & the Wasp star John-Kamen, who for the opening few episodes drops the truth on unwitting strangers. The first of them is solicitor Adam Price, played by The Hobbit actor Armitage, who is told his wife (played by Dervla Kirwan) faked a pregnancy.

The idea, says Coben, came from the discovery of places on the internet that sell fake pregnancy kits. “I read about this going on in the Dark Web and thought it was just incredible and it planted this seed in my head about what happened if you faked a pregnancy and people found out?” he says. “People think they are anonymous when they do things like this, but they are not.

“The Stranger comes into each of their lives and plants a seed that germinates into something really ugly and unexpected. Adam is an ordinary guy who is told this secret about his wife and by the end of episode one she has disappeared and he goes on this journey to discover what has happened to her.”

It is a real action adventure for former Spooks star Armitage, who claims The Stranger is one of the few shows he’s made that he would actually want to watch. “I’ve been in lots of things where I’ve loved acting in it but it’s not the kind of thing I would watch at home, but this is exactly what I would watch,” he says. “It had a brilliant script, a brilliant cast and I get to do lots of action scenes. The whole thing was a no-brainer for me.”

“It was strange at first, not to be playing a role for laughs,” says the actor and comedian, famed for starring in Absolutely Fabulous and her comedy partnership with Dawn French. “But once we started filming and I’d done the first take, I realised it was just like normal filming, only I didn’t have to try to make people laugh. In comedy, you are normally heading for a joke – and when the director says cut, you hope the crew will laugh. Hopefully they won’t in this.”

While fans of the book will have an idea of what happens, Coben, along with scriptwriter Danny Brocklehurst (Brassic, Clocking Off, Shameless) have made so many changes that they have created something almost completely different.

“I know a lot of writers don’t like their books to be changed, but I kind of love it,” says Coben. “It works if you trust the people you are working with. The book is still there but it’s a separate entity. The fun for me is seeing how things change.

“So for the character of the cop, Johanna, played by Siobhan Finneran, I created her and then Danny changed her a little bit and then Siobhan changed her a little bit too, so she’s taken off into whole areas I never could have expected.”

Coben is intimately involved with the process from beginning to end. It starts with him and Brocklehurst, alongside producers Nicola Schindler and Richard Fee, having an intense few days of storyboarding ideas. For this production, a whole new storyline involving teenagers – Adam’s kids, who just have small roles in the book – was created, while other characters are brought in that are completely new.

“Safe did really well among younger viewers and Netflix likes shows with a teenage story and I love a teenage story, so it was cool to bring them into it,” says Coben. “We’ve also brought in Adam’s dad, played by Anthony Head.”

In addition, the mysterious character of the Stranger not only changes sex from male to female but is also given her own complicated back story, while Rea’s retired cop, Martin Killane, a client of Adam’s, is also given a much more complete history.

Brocklehurst then goes away and writes the script, staying in regular contact with Coben. “I’d say it was a strange combination of a book adaptation and an original story,” says Brocklehurst. “The start and the end of the book are very similar [to the series] but a lot of the middle section is completely new.”

The action has been transported from New Jersey to England – which means the lacrosse team is now a football one and there are fewer guns – but the story is universal. “As with Safe, you start with quite an ordinary domestic setup and an identifiable ordinary guy,” says Brocklehurst. “But things begin to unravel and you go to completely unexpected places.”

As with all Netflix shows, none of the production team have any idea how successful Safe was – only that they have been recommissioned and, as Netflix has optioned several of Coben’s books, they are hoping for more of the same.

All the writers can do is attempt to coax viewers into watching the next episode. “Of course, whoever you are doing any show for, you want to keep viewers watching. But when you do a show for Netflix, there is a real demand that viewers shouldn’t stop wanting to watch,” says Brocklehurst.

“It focuses you to have momentum building up throughout the episode and then these hooks at the end so that viewers feel like they have to watch the next one.”


http://dramaquarterly.com/stranger-danger/

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