Jared Harris on his BritBox revenge thriller 'The Beast Must Die'

'The Beast Must Die' stars Cush Jumbo, Jared Harris and Billy Howle.
'The Beast Must Die' stars Cush Jumbo, Jared Harris and Billy Howle. (Image credit: New Regency Television International/Scott Free)

Gripping BritBox thriller The Beast Must Die sees a vengeful mother set out to track down the hit-and-run driver who killed her son. "I am going to kill a man. I don’t know his name," she says. "I don’t know where he lives. I have no idea what he looks like. But I’m going to find him. And kill him."

Adapted from a novel by Cecil Day-Lewis — father of Oscar-winning actor, Daniel — the five-parter stars The Good Place’s Cush Jumbo as Frances, a bereaved teacher who takes matters into her own hands when she learns the police investigation into her son’s death during a trip to the Isle of Wight has hit a dead end.  

Taking a leave of absence from her job, Francis poses as a writer researching a crime novel as she returns to the island to conduct her own investigation, which leads her to the posh home of George Rattery, a successful businessman with a love of fast cars, played by Mad Men, The Crown and Chernobyl star Jared Harris.

While the cast — which also includes Billy Howle as newly arrived DI Strangeways, and Geraldine James as George’s sister Joy — were still filming on the island, we caught up with Jared for a virtual chat, to find out what’s in store...  

Jared Harris on his character, George Rattery

“George has the ‘three Ws’ — women, winning and wealth! Initially he seems fairly charming, but deep down he is deeply selfish, and all he can see is what affects him, what interests him and whatever makes him feel has value.”

Jared on George's first impression of Frances

“George is suspicious initially. I mean, obviously Frances is very attractive and she's charming, but he doesn't have any clue about what her agenda is.”

Jared on getting to drive fast cars and sail luxury yachts

‘“My dad [actor Richard Harris] had a house in the Bahamas going back about 30 years, so I was on boats a lot, and they don’t bother me. I also got a really swanky Aston Martin to drive around in so, although I’m not a car person, that was fun!”

The Beast Must Die will be shown weekly on streaming BritBox in the UK from Friday 28 May. There's currently no US release date.

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Ian MacEwan
Senior Writer

Ian writes about TV and film for TV Times, What’s on TV and TV & Satellite Week magazines. He co-hosts the weekly TV streaming podcast, Bingewatch.