Dead Ringers: On the red carpet with Rachel Weisz, Alice Birch and Britne Oldford
Bringing David Cronenberg’s 1988 psychosexual thriller Dead Ringers firmly into the 21st century for a new Prime Video show are writer Alice Birch (Conversations with Friends, Normal People) and Rachel Weisz (The Favourite, The Mummy), the latter arguably delivering one of her greatest roles to date in this radical and fresh take on the material. Well, perhaps we should say two of her greatest roles, as here she steps into the dual shoes previously worn by Jeremy Irons as co-dependent twin gynaecologists Elliot and Beverly.
The series brazenly leans into Cronenberg’s penchant for body horror, with blood and bodily fluids gorily plastered across many a scene featuring the hyperrealistic invocation of the act of childbirth. While the story was subversive to begin with, this version perhaps seems more so when gender-flipped, the acid-tongued nature of the dual protagonists, with a shared appetite for pleasure, all the more taboo-busting when from a female perspective.
The Upcoming had the pleasure of hitting the blue carpet at the premiere of the new show, where Weisz described it as a twisted psychosexual thriller with a comedic tone and shared the challenges of playing distinct twin characters, crediting Birch’s writing for their unique personalities. Birch mentioned the story is set in contemporary times, touching on modern medicine and “nearby science”. Both emphasised the importance of humour in the series and agreed that it will appeal to those who enjoy dark, subversive thrillers.
Britne Oldford shared insights on her character Genevieve, who is also an actress. She mentioned that she rewatched the original Cronenberg version for preparation but didn’t have to research medical aspects, as they had professionals on set. The actress found the experience of working with Weisz, who played dual roles, fun and challenging, crediting body double Kitty Hawthorne for making the process smoother. The unique tone of the show, which is dark, funny, sexy and truthful, appealed to Oldford, and she hopes that people will take away from it the ease of having conversations about topics explored in the series, such as women’s health, and appreciate its ability to address these subjects in an engaging manner.
Dead Ringers is released on Prime Video on 21st April 2023. Read our review here.
Watch the trailer for Dead Ringers here: