Natalie Dormer to Lead South African Crime Thriller 'White Lies'

Natalie Dormer in "Penny Dreadful: City of Angels"

Natalie Dormer in "Penny Dreadful: City of Angels"

(Photo: Showtime)

Natalie Dormer is an actror well known to both Anglophiles and genre TV enthusiasts, thanks to her popular turns in series ranging from The Tudors and The Scandalous Lady W to Game of Thrones and Penny Dreadful: City of Angels. But now she’s taking on a very different role as the lead in the high-tension South African crime thriller White Lies.

The series, created by Sean Steinberg and written by award-winning scriptwriter Darrel Bristow-Bovey, is described as an “urgent exploration of race and privilege, inequality and identity.”

Dormer will play Edie Hansen, an investigative journalist whose world plunges into chaos after her estranged brother’s murder in the wealthy neighborhood of Bishopscourt, Cape Town, particularly once his teenage children become the primary suspects in the crime. As Edie digs into the case, she finds herself forced to grapple with the crumbling local police force, a corrupt political system, and the secretive underbelly beneath the picturesque city’s extreme wealth.

“I’m thrilled to be in Cape Town and begin this beautiful, gripping show,” Dormer said in a statement. “South Africa has so much to offer an international audience in its storytelling. I’m truly excited to bring Darrel’s eight-episode page-turner to life with a group of talented directors led by John and a superb ensemble cast.”

Natalie Dormer in "Game of Thrones"

Natalie Dormer in "Game of Thrones"

(Photo: HBO)

Award-winning South African actor Brendon Daniels (Four Corners) will star opposite Dormer as veteran detective Forty Bell, with whom Edie repeatedly finds herself at odds throughout her investigation. They’ll be joined by an ensemble cast that includes Langley Kirkwood (Warrior), Morgan Santo (Raised by Wolves), Daniel Schultz (Upon the Edge), Jane de Wet (The Girl from St. Agnes), Katlego Lebogang (Wounds), Robert Hobbs (District 9) and Athenkosi Mfamela (Knuckle City).

White Lies is produced by Harriet Gavshon and Nimrod Geva for Quizzical Pictures, with Dormer and Bristow-Bovey also serving as executive producers. The series, which doesn’t have a U.S. distributor yet, hails from Quizzical PIctures and Freemantle, the production company behind dramas like The Responder and The Mosquito Coast and various popular reality shows. The latter will also distribute the show internationally.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Natalie again and announce this latest partnership with M-Net and Quizzical,” Julie Hodge, Vice President of Editorial, Global Drama at Fremantle, said. “White Lies is a multi-layered, psychological thriller that forces us to examine the darker side of wealth, affluence, and the complexity of family dynamics”s." 

Filming is currently underway in South Africa. 

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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