“The stakes are high in the spy genre, I think that’s why it’s ubiquitous”: Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Joe Russo on Citadel
Is there any end to our love for the espionage thriller? Now the Russo brothers, most usually seen helming mega-budget film franchises such as Avengers: Endgame (one of the highest-grossing films of all time) and the like, have brought their own spin on the genre for a mega-budget Prime Video original series, Citadel. Set in a futuristic world, there are multiple intertwining stories involving plot twists and rival global intelligence agencies (the titular Citadel and Manticore), and plenty of high-octane action sequences, globe-trotting locations and fancy tech gadgets.
Richard Madden, a name often slung around in the everlasting discussions on the next Bond, puts in a convincing audition through his role as spy Mason Kane, with hints of 007, Ethan Hunt and Jason Bourne in his character (the latter due to his lack of memory of his time as an agent). Providing a perfect contrast is Priyanka Chopra Jonas (the Indian actress’s second Hollywood TV role) as the beautiful yet tough fellow operative, Nadia Sinh; the delightful Stanley Tucci is one of their few remaining allies and the always-brilliant Lesley Manville has a lot of fun as the ruthless ambassador, Dahlia Archer. The multinational series already has spin-off productions in train, reflecting the global way content is now consumed.
Ahead of the new show landing on screens, we had the pleasure of hearing from Chopra Jonas and the Joe half of the Russo brothers. The pair touched upon the popularity of espionage thrillers, drawing inspiration from iconic characters, and the unique aspects of their series. Russo explained that it pays homage to the genre’s rich history, while also presenting a fresh, subversive take. He highlighted the elevated concept and the opportunity to engage in world-building. Chopra Jonas, a fan of the genre, shared her excitement for playing a complex and badass character in a production that puts drama at the heart of the action. Both agree that the best action sequences are an expression of character and theme, taking the audience on an emotional journey. Chopra Jonas compared her Citadel character, Nadia, to her previous role in Quantico, noting the differences in both the characters and the shows themselves. Russo spoke about the challenges and rewards of bringing together creative teams from around the world to tell a single story. Finally, Chopra Jonas shared a funny anecdote about an on-set accident that left her with a scar, proving her toughness and dedication to the role.
Citadel is released on Amazon Prime Video on 28th April 2023.
Watch the trailer for Citadel here: