British actress Keeley Hawes, who just lately found “The Sopranos,” mentioned she utilized its dark humor to her new collection, “Finding Alice,” premiering Monday (Sept. 13) on Acorn TV.
“I’m late to the party, but … ‘The Sopranos’ has shot to the top of my all-time-favorite-shows list,” Hawes, 45, informed The Post. “There are such great examples within that incredible show; such dark moments but there’s always humor nearby. You’re laughing through the shock.”
That would describe “Finding Alice” protagonist Alice Dillon’s (Hawes) response to the loss of life of her husband, Harry (Jason Merrells). He’s discovered lifeless on the backside of the steps in the excessive tech “dream house” he designed for Alice and their teenage daughter, Charlotte (Isabella Pappas). Harry’s terrible exit happens on the household’s very first night time in the home — and it plunges Alice down a coping rabbit gap she peppers with grief, humor and odd habits.
“Inevitably, when you’re talking to people about having lost someone and about the [grief] process, which is awful and inevitable, people more often than not have a funny story,” Hawes mentioned. “Crying is very closely connected to laughing, that’s part of it, and I think that, as humans, we like to find the light in those dark situations.”
For Alice, that’s insisting that Harry be buried in the yard backyard (she digs the opening herself, utilizing a backhoe), a lot to the consternation of her mother and father, Roger and Sarah (Nigel Havers, Joanna Lumley) and her disapproving in-laws, Gerry and Minnie (Kenneth Cranham, Gemma Jones) — whereas Charlotte wrestles privately together with her grief. Before lengthy, household secrets and techniques are uncovered, new characters emerge and Harry’s loss of life is probably not what it appeared.
“Losing someone close to you — your emotions and your world — all of it is turned upside-down,” mentioned Hawes, the “Line of Duty” and “Bodyguard” star who co-created the six-episode collection with Roger Goldby and Simon Nye. “I feel that’s mirrored in Alice’s habits and her remedy of different folks and her daughter. We wished to discover all of these issues.
“She’s a little like marmite — I think you either love her or hate her — but I can’t help liking her,” she mentioned, alluding to the processed meals unfold that’s in style in the UK. “I really enjoyed playing her, and the fact that she does veer from one emotion to the next is a bit of a dream for an actor. She’s someone who’s in shock and feels alone … and as the series goes on she does calm down a bit and secrets continue to come out.”
Hawes mentioned she has an extended historical past together with her “Finding Alice” co-creators Goldby and Nye.
“I worked with Roger and Simon on ‘The Durrells’ for four seasons in Corfu and we had a long working relationship,” she mentioned of the ITV dramedy (2016-19). “When that present got here to an finish we had grow to be mates and nice colleagues and thought why not proceed that.
“So we got our heads together and everyone brought different ideas to the table, and out of those ideas came ‘Finding Alice.’”
Hawes mentioned that is her first “official” time working with Lumley, who received two BAFTA Awards for her function as Patsy in the traditional Britcom “Absolutely Fabulous.”
“I did a Comic Relief ‘Bodyguard’ special with her a couple of years ago. She’s just phenomenal,” she mentioned of Lumley. “Even on that [special], she came in and had all the dialogue down and had been a presenter at the film BAFTAs the night before and went to all the parties and showed up in the morning looking fresh as a daisy. Just having her on the set brightens everyone’s day. Nigel [Havers] is very similar — they’re a great pair of national treasures here who are very beloved.”