Angela Black lifts the lid on the stark reality of domestic abuse. The six-part thriller, airing on ITV from Sunday, Oct. 10 at 9pm, is penned by Liar and Baptiste creators Harry and Jack Williams and sees Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt, who worked with the Williams brothers on Liar, as troubled Angela.
Mum-of-two Angela tries to hide the violence and manipulation she suffers at the hands of her apparently charming property developer husband Olivier (The Haunting of Hill House’s Michiel Huisman). But when she encounters a mysterious stranger Ed (The Watch’s Samuel Adewunmi), who tells her he is a private investigator and delivers some shocking information about Olivier, she is left reeling. Can Angela get to the truth and fight back?
We caught up with Joanne Froggatt to find out more about Angela Black…
Angela Black sounds very tense. What appealed to you?
“I hoped I’d work with Jack and Harry again, because I had a fantastic experience on Liar and I love their writing. When they sent me Angela Black I couldn't put it down. They just write these incredible twisty, turny thrillers with something important to think about running alongside it. By the time we go through the six episodes, the audience will have been through shocks and surprises.”
How do you see Angela?
“She is a woman who is about to find her voice. In our first episode, she hasn't got to that point, she hasn't found her strength. So it was nice to go on that journey with her finding her way through this next stage of her life to fight her own corner again. I thought she was fascinating!”
Tell us about her relationship with Olivier...
“She's seemingly living this perfect life, and she's got this lovely husband, house and children and from the outside, everything's dreamy, but you scratch the surface and there's much more going on underneath.”
What does Angela make of Ed?
“Ed comes into Angela's life and it initially seems like a chance meeting and she's lonely, she hasn't got anyone to talk to. Then he follows her and she's freaked out. But she sees him as a lifeline and thinks, ‘Maybe this person’s going to help me..’ And then obviously, things unfold…”
The domestic violence that Angela experiences isn’t shown explicitly on screen, was that important to you?
“Yes, there's a moment in the first episode of this that’s shocking but when you break it down, you don't see much. You just see the beginning and then you hear it. But it feels like you've seen much more. It’s shot in a Hitchcockian style and that lends itself to a psychological build rather than it being gratuitous.”
Was there any research you could do?
“Yes, Women's Aid were incredible at supporting us. They suggested I read a book by Mandy Thomas called You Can't Run, which is one of the most harrowing accounts of domestic violence and incredibly moving. I also read Katie Piper's book, Beautiful, about the attack on her and Mel B's book, Brutally Honest. All of these women told their story so courageously.”
Angela Black airs on Sunday Oct. 10 on ITV at 9pm in the UK. We will update here with news of a US broadcast.
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