This new TV show will fill the gap left by Big Little Lies
Brand new show Riviera starts on Sky Atlantic tonight. Lucy Pavia caught up with its star, Julia Stiles.
Brand new showRivierastarts tonight on Sky Atlantic. Set in billionaire’s playground Monte Carlo, it stars every Millennial’s rom-com favourite Julia Stiles and more super-rich property porn than you can shake a diamond encrusted stick at. In the July issue of Marie Claire, Stiles – who recently announced she is pregnant with her first child – talked all about the show, her upcoming wedding and why she thinks the Queen is so necessary right now…
Julia Stiles is describing what sounds like the best cinema trip of all time. The film wasMagic Mikeand her movie buddies were her friend, actress Amber Tamblyn, and comedienne Amy Schumer. It was the first time Julia Stiles and Amy Schumer had met. ‘I had so much fun,’ says Stiles. ‘She brought a flask of tequila, and we were throwing popcorn at the screen and shouting from the back.’
The cinema date led to Julia Stiles doing a cameo on Inside Amy Schumer last year (a rude and funny skit called ‘Pussy Painting’), but in the main the 36-year-old New Yorker isn’t known for taking laugh-a-minute roles. After those millennial nostalgia-inducing turns in10 Things I Hate About YouandSave The Last Dance, she was cast as Nicky Parsons in the thinking person’s action franchiseBourne– a part she would return to over the next 14 years – took a Golden Globe-nominated role as Lumen Ann Pierce in crime thriller seriesDexterand starred with Jennifer Lawrence in Hollywood Oscar magnetSilver Linings Playbook. Perhaps because of this, I’m (unfairly) expecting Julia Stiles to make quite a serious interviewee, but when we meet for lunch at a south London restaurant, she’s relaxed and quick-witted, greeting me in a red Burberry trench, her dark blonde hair pinned up, enthusing about the food in the south of France, where she’s just been filming.
Julia Stiles is on a whistle-stop trip to London after finishing the first series of new Sky Atlantic dramaRiviera, set in Monte Carlo. The actress plays newly-wed American Georgina, who attempts to solve the mysterious death of her billionaire husband Constantine in a yacht explosion – what else? The show is a winning mix of thriller, a beautiful Côte D’Azur backdrop and vicarious snooping into the lives of the 0.0001 per cent. As a bonus, Stiles got to work with her fiancé, camera assistant Preston J Cook, who she met on the set of the 2015 filmGo With Me. She says they found life renting an apartment in Nice so romantic that they nearly had a quickie wedding…
Riviera is set in a billionaire’s playground. Did filming there make for some pretty good people-watching?
‘I was born and raised in New York and there is a rich elite there, but the level of wealth in the south of France is pretty remarkable. I had never seen yachts that big before. One of the producers has a little motorboat, and we would go out on the water a lot while the captain would tell me the story of each yacht. There was this giant one owned by a Russian and we were told he has bodyguards diving under the yacht periodically to make sure there aren’t any explosives. I mean you couldn’t write this stuff, but I guess we kind of did!’
It must have been lovely to work with your fiancé again.
‘We were so lucky, because you often don’t get to [work together], and if you’re away from each other it can be hard on your relationship. [When I got the part] I panicked and thought, “Oh my god, I’m going to be away for seven months.” But they hired him because he has a great résumé and they needed someone bilingual.
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