McMafia (BBC-1 2018, James Norton, David Strathairn)
BBC One’s ground-breaking new international thriller McMafia is an eight-part series created by Hossein Amini and James Watkins and inspired by Misha Glenny’s best-selling book of the same name.
It charts Alex Godman’s (James Norton) journey as he is drawn deeper and deeper into the world of organised crime.
As the English-raised son of Russian exiles with a mafia history, Alex has spent his life trying to escape the shadow of that criminal past, building his own legitimate business and forging a life with his girlfriend Rebecca (Juliet Rylance). But when his family’s past returns to threaten them, Alex is forced to confront his values to protect those he loves. What starts out as a story of survival and revenge becomes an epic tale of a man’s struggle against the lures of corruption in the modern world and in himself. McMafia is impressive and intimate, glamorous and gritty, global in scale and forensic in detail.
James Norton said of his prep for the role: "I did this bizarre thing where I spent time as Alex doing really mundane stuff, such as buying milk or brushing my teeth, in his headspace with his demons, his conflicts, desires and passions. It meant when I was on set and they called action, the headspace became quickly familiar to me. I think it freaked people out when I walked about as a schizophrenic Russian banker and then would go back to being me but that’s my process!"