Best Interests: Michael Sheen & Sharon Horgan Lead New BBC Drama
Production has begun on Best Interests, a new four-part BBC drama written by Jack Thorne (writer of Help, His Dark Materials) starring Michael Sheen and Sharon Horgan as parents faced with an agonizing decision. It's the story of a family driven apart by having to make choices no parent would ever want to make. Horgan (co-creator of Catastrophe and Shing Vale, Together) and Sheen (star of Good Omens, Quiz) play married couple Nicci and Andrew, who have two daughters: Katie played by Alison Oliver (Conversations with Friends) and Marnie played by Niamh Moriarty (Jack Thorne's A Christmas Carol). Marnie has a life-threatening condition. The doctors believe it is in her best interests to be allowed to die, but her loving family disagrees. And so begins a fight that will take them through every stage of a legal process, as they struggle to contemplate this huge decision. Who decides? And in whose best interests will it be?
Additional cast includes Noma Dumezweni (The Undoing) as Samantha, Chizzy Akudolu (Holby City) as Mercy, Des McAleer (Hope Street) as Eddie, Mat Fraser (His Dark Materials) as Greg, Gary Beadle (Grantchester) as Frank, Jack Morris (Strike) as Tom, Pippa Haywood (Bodyguard) as Judge Spottiswood, Shane Zaza (Happy Valley) as Fred, Lucian Msamati (Gangs Of London) as Derek and Lisa McGrillis (Mum) as Brenda.
Horgan said, "Best Interests broke me when I first read the script and then again after talking with Jack about it. Covid seems to have shone a closer light on the desperate inequalities that exist for our disabled community so this felt very timely. It's a big subject but it's in Jack Thorne and Michael Keillor's safe hands. I'm thrilled to be working on this story with a super talented cast, the wonderful Michael Sheen and Noma Dumezweni, and my gorgeous daughters; Alison Oliver and Niamh Moriarty," said Horgan about the series. Sheen added, "Jack Thorne is such an extraordinary writer and he has approached this incredibly important and urgent subject with humanity, honesty, and humour. I feel very fortunate to be part of this production and to work with the brilliant Sharon Horgan and some of the most talented actors around." To cap it off, Jack Thorne added, "Best Interests cases are both compelling and revealing. Our country has a very troubled relationship with disability and these cases put a spotlight on that. But our drama is first and foremost a love story and it needs incredible actors to bring it to life. Sharon Horgan and Michael Sheen lead a company of ridiculous talents that pull you into the most interesting of places. I'm so grateful to be working with them, Chapter One, Michael Keillor, and a very brilliant crew."
The 4-part drama was commissioned by Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama & Charlotte Moore, BBC's Chief Content Officer. Executive Producers for Chapter One Pictures are Sophie Gardiner (Howards End, Chimerica), Toby Bentley (Kiri) with Thorne for One Shoe Films, and Lucy Richer for BBC One. The series will be directed by Michael Keillor (Roadkill) and produced by Jenny Frayn (Help). Best Interests will air next year on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. It will end up on one of the US streaming services, but which one has not been determined.
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