Tag Archives: White Lines

Learning Lines

British star Angela Griffin tells DQ about her role in Netflix mystery thriller White Lines, in which a woman seeks the truth about her brother’s death in Ibiza 20 years ago, written by La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) creator Álex Pina.

Despite TV production having been largely shut down in the UK amid the coronavirus pandemic, actor Angela Griffin has had a lot of work to do in recent weeks and months.

As well as starring in one episode of ITV’s Isolation Stories, which told four short stories about people isolated at home during the health crisis, Griffin is also part of the cast of Dun Breedin’, a YouTube comedy-drama created by fellow actor Julie Graham (Benidorm, Penance) that introduces a group of female friends at various stages of the menopause.

Unlike Isolation Stories, Dun Breedin’ isn’t set during the lockdown, but both series were filmed remotely over the last few weeks, with actors and their family members tasked with filming individual scenes at home.

Both series stand in stark contrast to former Coronation Street star Griffin’s latest project, which pairs an intriguing murder mystery with Ibiza’s all-night parties and idyllic backdrops. The Spanish island is the setting for Netflix series White Lines, which will be released tomorrow and comes from showrunner Álex Pina, the writer behind hit Spanish drama La Casa de Papel (Money Heist).

When the body of a legendary Manchester DJ is discovered 20 years after his mysterious disappearance from Ibiza, his sister returns to the beautiful island to find out what happened. Her investigation leads her through a thrilling world of dance clubs, lies and cover-ups, forcing her to confront the darker sides of her own character in a place where people live life on the edge.

Angela Griffin as Anna in White Lines, Netflix’s new Ibiza-set drama

Produced by Left Bank Pictures (The Crown) and Pina’s Vancouver Media, it stars an eclectic cast of UK and Spanish talent, in a series that bounces between the English and Spanish languages.

Laura Haddock plays Zoe, who is looking for answers about the death if her brother Axel (Tom Rhys Harries). Also starring are Daniel Mays, Laurence Fox and Angela Griffin as Marcus, David and Anna respectively, Axel’s friends who stayed in Ibiza and now face uncomfortable questions from Zoe. Meanwhile, Marta Milans, Juan Diego Botto, Nuno Lopes, Pedro Casablanc and Belén López play members of the powerful Calafat family, who run many of Ibiza’s clubs, benefit from its illegal drug trade and own the land where Axel’s body was discovered.

As Anna, Griffin portrays one of the original foursome who went from Manchester to Ibiza in 1996. Anna also became romantically involved with Marcus, with the pair eventually marrying. “The friendship of the four was incredibly close,” Griffin tells DQ. “They were 20-year-olds who believed they could do anything, be anyone, go anywhere – and they did. Arriving in Ibiza in 1996, they completely and utterly rinsed it for everything they could, and Marcus and Anna stayed together, got married and had children.”

Twenty years later, as Zoe lands in Ibiza, the three remaining friends are all grown up but their lives have gone in different directions. David is now a spiritual leader, while Anna and Marcus have split up.

“Anna grew up and became a bit more sophisticated and refined. She’s got a business brain; she wanted more,” Griffin explains. “Marcus is still exactly the same person who walked onto the island in 1996. He’s still wearing the same kind of clothes, DJing at the same clubs, taking the same drugs and dealing the same drugs, and she grew out of him, so they divorced. But they’ve still got the children.

The series follows Laura Haddock’s Zoe as she investigates her brother’s death

“Anna is a strange creature. On the outside, you would look at her and think, ‘She’s so lovely, warm and nice and seems to want to facilitate everything. She’s really helpful.’ But she doesn’t live with her children, they live with Marcus.

“She’s unapologetic about that. She’s not a mother who misses them all the time. She runs sex clubs; she runs very expensive, high-class sex parties. She’s a purveyor of pleasure and she absolutely loves it. She loves the fact everyone adores her. She wants everyone to adore her, including Marcus. Even though they’ve split up, she still keeps him on the end of a piece of string.

“So there’s an edge to Anna that you cannot quite put your finger on. That’s the same for a lot of characters Álex Pina creates. They’re always layered; there’s always something going on underneath. As you go from episodes one to 10, the characters all get stripped back and you find out who they really are and what they really want.”

While the first three episodes of the series lay the foundations of the central mystery, with flashbacks recounting some of Axel and the young friends’ early exploits, it’s clear that many of the characters are keeping secrets about what happened to him all those years ago. As revelations come to the surface, White Lines promises to be a rollercoaster ride typical of Pina, who continues to grip viewers into the fourth season of Money Heist.

“The Spanish way of writing, like La Casa, there’s a lot more passion there,” Griffin says of Pina’s scripts. “I don’t know if that’s a cultural thing, but the emotion is absolutely out there. I do feel with British writing it’s sometimes more reserved. With this, it’s there. It moves along, it’s so pacy. There are so many shocking moments, so many funny moments and moving moments. It was a real pleasure to work on. I do think Álex is a genius character creator – he manages to work through character but have incredible plots too. He’s very clever.”

Alongside the British actors are Spanish stars including Nuno Lopez and Marta Milans

Filming took place last summer in Ibiza, fellow Balearic island Majorca, and Madrid and Almería in mainland Spain. Griffin didn’t get to visit the real Ibiza, with the majority of her scenes shot in Madrid and Majorca.

“We shot a lot of the interiors in Madrid. Because Majorca and Ibiza are very busy, in July and August we moved to Madrid, as everyone there moves out because it’s so hot. All the locals take that time off. It was very interesting shooting in 40-degree heat,” says the actor, whose other credits include Canadian detective drama The Detail.

The international nature of the story and its cast means White Lines is likely to resonate with Netflix’s global audience, while Griffin describes the series as a multigenerational story that will appeal to viewers young and old.

“There are a lot of young characters and it’s very much about a debauched lifestyle. That’s always a hit on Netflix,” she says. “It skews quite young, so it appeals to them. But 1996 in Manchester, I was there. I did it, and I’m watching those [flashback] scenes with nostalgia. They’ve very cleverly appealed to a really wide age range with the fact we have got people from absolutely everywhere. We’ve got Spanish movie stars. So you’re appealing to a massive audience there.

“But it’s not as manipulative as that. Álex wrote a story he believed in and it happens to appeal to everyone. I don’t think you can plan that sometimes. Money Heist was made for Spanish TV and it’s just taken the world by storm. You just don’t know what’s going to hit.”

Thoughts of a potential second season are on hold while most countries around the world continue to pause filming until the pandemic subsides. But Griffin says Pina already has ideas of where the show could go.

“As long as the viewers enjoy it and demand it, hopefully when the world does whatever it’s doing, we’ll come out the other end and we’ll be in Madrid and Majorca shooting season two,” she adds.

“You can expect the unexpected from Álex Pina. He is the king of plots and the king of stories. He will make you laugh, he will make you cry and it will never be what you think it’s going to be. You will cry at things that should be funny and you will laugh at things that should be upsetting. He turns everything on its head and every character on their head.”

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Series to Watch: May 2020

DQ checks out the upcoming schedules to pick out 10 new dramas to watch this May, from American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy’s love letter to Tinseltown to the eagerly awaited sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer.

We Got This!
From: Sweden
Original broadcaster: SVT and SVT Play
Starring: Schiff Musarra, Olle Sarri, Alexander Karim, Anki Bengtsson, Sandra Andreis
Air date: May 1 (SVT Play), May 3 (SVT1)
Described as The Big Lebowski meets true crime, We Got This! stars creator Musarra as George English, an American living in Sweden who finds a way to pay off his tax debt: claim a SEK50m  (US$4.98m) reward to solve the 1986 murder of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme. He is unaware of evil forces lurking in the dark – but are they ready to meet him?

From: US
Original broadcaster: Netflix
Starring: David Corenswet, Darren Criss, Jeremy Pope, Laura Harrier, Samara Weaving, Dylan McDermott, Holland Taylor, Patti LuPone, Jim Parsons, Jake Picking, Joe Mantello, Maude Apatow
Air date: May 1
Co-created by Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story) and Ian Brennan, Hollywood follows a group of aspiring actors and filmmakers in post-Second World War Hollywood as they try to make it in Tinseltown, no matter the cost. Each character offers a glimpse behind the gilded curtain of Hollywood’s Golden Age, spotlighting the unfair systems and biases across race, gender and sexuality that continue to this day.

Isolation Stories
From: UK
Original broadcaster: ITV
Starring: Sheridan Smith, Robert Glenister, Tom Glenister, Darren Boyd, Angela Griffin, David Threlfall, Eddie Marsan
Air date: May 4
A series of four short dramas depicting life in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, produced by Jeff Pope (Little Boy Blue). Smith is Mel: alone, heavily pregnant and fed up with life, she faces having to go through birth without the married father of her child – who has chosen to stay with his wife and family – and without her own family, who have given her the cold shoulder. Father and son Robert and Tom Glenister play Ron & Russell. The former is ill with the virus and is confused about where he is and what’s happening to him, while Russell is trapped and isolating with him.
Boyd and Griffin star in the third story, Mike & Rochelle, in which the worst fears of paranoid, self-absorbed hypochondriac Mike have come true and his psychiatrist Rochelle must try to talk him down from the precipice. Finally, Karen sees a grandad (Threlfall) resolves to bring his broken family together, passing by his son-in-law’s house on the way to the grocery store and stopping outside their window to lark about and make his grandkids smile. But his son-in-law (Marsan), still suffering after being left by his wife Karen, doesn’t welcome these daily visits.

The Eddy
From: US
Original broadcaster: Netflix
Starring: André Holland, Joanna Kulig, Tahar Rahim, Leïla Bekhti, Amandla Stenberg
Air date: May 8
The eight-episode drama takes place in the vibrant multicultural neighbourhoods of modern-day Paris, where a once celebrated New York jazz pianist, Elliot Udo (Holland), is now the co-owner of struggling club The Eddy. From the club, he manages the house band, fronted by lead singer and Elliot’s on-again-off-again girlfriend Maja (Kulig). As Elliot learns that his business partner Farid (Rahim) may be involved in some questionable practices at the club, secrets begin to come to light that have also been concealed from Farid’s wife Amira (Bekhti). And when Elliot’s troubled teenage daughter Julie (Amandla Stenberg) suddenly arrives in Paris to live with him, his personal and professional worlds quickly start to unravel as he confronts his past, fighting to save the club and protect those closest to him.

The Undoing
From: US
Original broadcaster: HBO
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant
Air date: May 10
Grace and Jonathan Fraser (Kidman and Grant) are living the only life they ever wanted for themselves until, overnight, a chasm opens in their existence, with a violent death and a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child (Noah Jupe) and her family. Created by David E Kelley (Big Little Lies), The Undoing is directed by Susanne Bier (The Night Manager).

I Know This Much is True
From: US
Original broadcaster: HBO
Starring: Mark Ruffalo
Air date: May 10
Why have one Mark Ruffalo when you can have two? This six-part limited series sees the actor play identical twins Dominick and Thomas Birdsey in a family saga that follows their parallel lives in an epic story of betrayal, sacrifice and forgiveness. I Know This Much is True
is based on Wally Lamb’s novel of the same name and comes from writer and director Derek Cianfrance.

White Lines
From: Spain/UK
Original broadcaster: Netflix
Starring: Laura Haddock, Marta Milans, Juan Diego Botto, Nuno Lopes, Daniel Mays, Laurence Fox, Angela Griffin
Air date: May 15
When the body of a legendary Manchester DJ is discovered 20 years after his mysterious disappearance from Ibiza, his sister returns to the beautiful Spanish island to find out what happened. The quest leads her through a thrilling world of dance clubs, lies and cover-ups, forcing her to confront the darker sides of her own character in a place where people live life on the edge. The series is a collaboration between La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) creator Álex Pina and The Crown producer Left Bank Pictures.

From: US
Original broadcaster: TNT
Starring: Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs
Air date: May 17
The highly anticipated sci-fi thriller, based on the French graphic novel series and Parasite director Bong Joon Ho’s 2013 film, is set seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, with the remnants of humanity inhabiting a perpetually moving train that circles the globe. Against a background of simmering class warfare, social injustice and survival politics, former detective Andre Layton (Diggs) is called upon by the train’s head of hospitality, Melanie Cavill (Connelly), to solve a murder. The show has already been renewed for a second season.

From: US
Original broadcaster: Starz
Starring: Monica Raymund, James Badge Dale
Air date: May 17
From executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer and writer Rebecca Cutter, Hightown is a crime drama set in beautiful but bleak Cape Cod that follows one woman’s journey to sobriety, overshadowed by a murder investigation. Jackie Quiñones (Raymund), a hard-partying National Marine Fisheries Service agent, has her free-wheeling life thrown into disarray when she discovers a body on the beach and becomes convinced it’s up to her to solve the murder.

From: US
Original broadcaster: DC Universe, The CW
Starring: Brec Bassinger, Luke Wilson, Amy Smart
Air date: May 19
The latest series inspired by DC comics, Stargirl follows high-school sophomore Courtney Whitmore (Bassinger) as she inspires an unlikely group of young heroes to stop the villains of the past. It reimagines Stargirl and the very first superhero team, the Justice Society of America, and is based on the character created by showrunner and comic book writer Geoff Johns in 1999, inspired by the death of his sister in a 1996 plane crash.

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