EXCLUSIVE: Upcoming HBO and Channel 4 drama Get Millie Black has set The Long Song’s Tamara Lawrance as lead. With shooting beginning this week in Jamaica, the six-part detective drama has also rounded out its cast with Game of Thrones star Joe Dempsie joining and Tanya Hamilton set to direct.
Production on the Marlon James-created show began on Monday, with additional shooting to come in London further down the line. Also starring are Gershwyn Eustache Jr and Chyna McQueen.
Lawrance, who has starred in BBC drama The Long Song and has National Theatre credits to her name, will play ex-Scotland Yard detective Millie Black, who returns to Kingston to work missing persons cases for the Jamaican Police Force and soon finds herself on a quest to save a sister who won’t be saved, to find a boy who can’t be found, to solve a case that will blow her world apart and prove almost as tough to crack as her.
Lawrance’s short firm Silent Twins, in which she stars and executive produces, debuts in Un Certain Regard at Cannes later this month. She is also know for several plays and was nominated for a Best Actress Bafta Scotland award for her role in indie feature Kindred.
Dempsie, meanwhile, will play British detective Luke Holborn, who shows up on the trail of a major investigation that puts him on a collision course with Millie; Eustache plays gay cop Curtis, who partners Millie but is about to have his whole life shattered; and McQueen is Hibiscus, Millie’s sister and one of the Sunlight Ladies, a band of queer outcasts living hand-to-mouth yet exuberantly.
Director Hamilton’s credits include feature Night Catches Us and she was pilot director and executive producer of Ava DuVernay’s Oprah Winfrey Network drama Cherish the Day. She also has credits for HBO’s Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, Showtime’s The Chi and Epix pair Berlin Station and Godfather of Harlem.
“This is the first major international TV show to put my home country, Jamaica, center stage, so it’s beyond awesome to have actual world-class Jamaican talent both in front and behind the camera, with our star Tamara Lawrance and Director Tanya Hamilton,” said James.
The series comes from Motive Pictures, the Endeavor Content-backed British production company run by Simon Maxwell, former Channel 4 international drama boss and co-creator of Fox’s spy drama series Deep State.
Maxwell, CEO of Motive and an executive producer on the show alongside Leopoldo Gout and Joshua St. Johnston, said the talent line up “showcases some of the most exciting acting talents from Jamaica and the UK.”
Annetta Laufer will also direct two episodes, while St. Johnston is writer/executive producer, Theresa Ikon and Lydia Adetunji are writing and Pia Furtado is story producer.
Lawrance is represented by Gordon and French and UTA, while Dempsie is with B-Side Management in the UK and UTA and Atlas Artists in the U.S. Eustache is with ARG and McQueen by RAW Management.
Creator James — known for winning the Man Booker Prize for A Brief History of Seven Killings — is represented by The Trident Media Group and Anonymous Content, while Hamilton is represented by Michael Lewis and Associates.
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