Anatomy of a Scandal premiere: On the red carpet with Rupert Friend, Naomi Scott and Michelle Dockey
From the show creator behind Big Little Lies and The Undoing, David E Kelley, comes Anatomy of a Scandal, carrying some of the nail-biting thriller aspects of those series, but here delving into power and privilege in a quintessentially British setting. It’s based on a book by Sarah Vaughan and follows the fallout of an MP being accused of rape by a political aide he was having an affair with, a courtroom drama that spirals out into a boundary-pushing dissection of the issue of consent.
At its centre are Rupert Friend as Tory MP James Whitehouse and Sienna Miller – arguably in one of her most meaty roles to date – as his wife Sophie. Miller has opened up in interviews about how her own personal experiences with infidelity in the public eye were a painful source of inspiration but also cathartic to play out, something that shows in her powerful and deeply empathetic performance.
Rounding out the main cast are the fantastic Naomi Scott as the young parliamentary researcher, Olivia Lytton, and Michelle Dockery and Josette Simon as the two barristers fighting out the case in court. Behind the camera as well, it’s a female-heavy team led by director SJ Clarkson, which helps bring this exploration of consent and the female experience nuance and sensitivity while still giving it binge-worthy appeal. Some of its best scenes, though, are perhaps the flashbacks to the protagonists’ youth at Oxbridge: the image of tuxedo-clad Bullingdon Club boys behaving with absolute depravity becomes all the more chilling when we look at who is power in this country as we speak.
The Upcoming had the pleasure of chatting to the cast and creatives at the series’ world premiere in Mayfair. Scott and Dockery spoke to us about playing their roles and the appeal of the project and what they hope the impact of the series will be.
Rupert Friend told us how it wasn’t an easy job to take on the role of James Whitehouse but why he felt it was an important part to play.
Josette Simon explained the appeal of playing the QC Angela and how she thinks the film delves into power and privilege, as well as consent, in British society.
Director SJ Clarkson shared her insights into working with David E Kelley and working with a female team both in front and behind the camera.
Writer Sarah Vaughan told us about the inspirations behind her book and what it meant to her for her story to be adapted into a Netflix series.
Joshua McGuire told us about playing spin doctor Chris Clarke and how the script was a big draw for him, giving him some fun, if despicable, lines.
Producer Melissa James Gibson shared why she wanted to come on board with the project.
Producers Liza Chasin, Allie Goss and Bruna Papandrea also shared the joy of being a female-led team behind the series.
Anatomy of a Scandal is released on Netflix on 15th April 2022.
Watch the trailer for Anatomy of a Scandal here: