In 2001, the sport present “Who Needs to Be a Millionaire” was a world TV phenomenon. And within the U.Okay., the place the present had originated, there was such a frenzy for the present that a big underground community of followers communicated methods to sport the system and get on the present. Across the identical time, English former military main Charles Ingram, alongside together with his spouse Diana and alleged confederate Tecwen Whittock, turned infamous after they had been accused of dishonest their method to 1,000,000 kilos on the present. Nearly 20 years later and the notorious scandal is re-created within the AMC restricted collection “Quiz.”
After an unique premiere screening of the primary episode, stars of the upcoming collection Matthew Macfadyen, Sian Clifford and Michael Sheen, together with author and govt producer James Graham spoke with Variety senior editor Michael Schneider within the Variety Streaming Room to debate the present’s success and reliving the notorious scandal.
“It’s mainly ‘Oceans 11,’ however with actually middle-class English individuals utilizing encyclopedias as an alternative of weapons,” Graham informed broadcasters when he first pitched the collection. “It’s geeks and dweebs who’re utilizing common information to steal the million from a financial institution vault.”
The alleged methodical plan to outsmart the favored sport present garnered huge media consideration across the U.Okay. on the time (however much less so within the U.S., because it coincided with the 9/11 terrorist assaults right here), and catapulted the Ingrams into the general public eye. When writing in regards to the historical past of the scandal, Graham grappled with detailing either side of the story that will make audiences rethink the supposed rip-off.
“We noticed it as an audacious heist, and you’ve obtained the entire components there allegedly,” mentioned Graham. “As a result of one of many troublesome issues is, in fact, the entire premise behind the present is that you just wish to preserve the likelihood that they didn’t do it.”
Clifford, who performs Diana, mentioned one of many different intentions whereas filming the collection was to additionally depict the Ingrams, whose lives had turn out to be so sensationalized by the media, with a recent eye.
“I believe humanizing them was the primary factor…I forgot on the time that there was a human value on this story, however they had been, as James mentioned, they had been glorious pantomime villains, and they had been very simple targets,” mentioned Clifford. “And the notion of them and the reality of who they had been and their lives and what they went via is huge.”
Though the solid did get the chance to fulfill the Ingrams on set, they remained centered on the script of the characters somewhat than fixating an excessive amount of on their mannerisms or bodily particulars. “It’s such a brilliantly written script, and that’s your information, actually, and additionally the actors you’re working with,” mentioned Macfadyen, who performs Charles.
Whereas taking part in his half as sport present host Chris Tarrant, Sheen shared that he gained a brand new respect for the position of quiz emcee. “The way in which he runs the studio. His timing is the timing of the present, actually, and he’s the one which retains the type of heat with the viewers and the visitors, retains the suspense and the drama,” mentioned Sheen. “He’s kind of a grasp.”
“Quiz” has but to premiere within the U.S. however has already achieved excessive scores for ITV within the U.Okay., which might be a attainable foretelling of its success within the states when it airs on AMC on Could 31.
“One thing about this story actually captured the nation, and I believe it’s as a result of it’s regular individuals put in a rare state of affairs the place it simply tantalized the nation,” mentioned Graham.
Watch the complete Q&A under: