Richard Armitage on how the ending of new drama Stay Close will 'blow your mind'

Virgin Radio

4 Jan 2022, 10:48

Credit: Rex

Credit: Rex

With eight-part crime-drama Stay Close out now, acclaimed actor Richard Armitage joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to talk about starring in the adaptation of the bestselling novel by Harlan Coben.

Regarding the plot of the show, Richard told Sam Pinkham, who is in this week for Chris: “It’s a classic Harlan Coben thriller about a woman whose past comes back to bite her on the backside after something that happened 17 years ago, and I play a character called Ray Levine, who's a photographer, and he’s kind of an integral part of her past and he hasn’t been able to let her go, and he goes in search of her.”

Speaking about his involvement in the series, which is out now on Netflix, Richard explained that he joined the show before there was a script. “I came on board pretty early in 2020, so I only had the book,” he said. “But I love working from the book anyway, because you get a real insight into Harlan’s world, and what he’s given the character in the inside of their heads. And then the scripts really evolved from the book and they added loads of subtext."

He added: “It gets really exciting.”

The actor, who previously appeared in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” film series, continued: “You don’t get all the scripts at once, you get them one at a time, so it’s kind of fun, as you go along, to be given the next episode, and everyone’s like, ‘Oh have you seen the next episode?’ So, we’re as excited about filming it as the audience is, hopefully, when they catch up with it.”

The book is set in the USA, however the series is set in the UK, with filming around North West England. Richard said: “Atlantic City doubles for Blackpool, which I think is a good parallel. So yeah, we got to go to breezy Blackpool in February!”

In the story, Richard’s character is heavily tattooed. He joked with Sam that he had got the tattoos done for real, before admitting: “I was really tempted! I left them on one night and I got home, and I was like, ‘Could I actually do this?’ and then by the morning, I’m like, ‘Nah, they look a bit grubby!’ 

Of the work that went into creating the artwork, Richard said: “Designing those tattoos was brilliant, because we looked at different parts of the location, maps, things in his life that he was trying to piece together, and we created this visual design for his arms, which I thought was great.” 

The series follows other Coben-created Netflix originals Safe, The Woods, The Innocent, and The Stranger, the latter of which Richard also starred in. 

Of Stay Close, the actor said that viewers are definitely going to want to stick with it until its conclusion. He told Sam: “There’s a massive twist at the end which will kind of blow your mind!” 

All episodes of Stay Close are available now on Netflix.

For more great interviews listen to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.