Natalie Dormer to Lead South African Crime Thriller Show ‘White Lies’  

Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games star Natalie Dormer is set to lead the cast of White Lies, a South African crime thriller from M-Net, Quizzical Pictures and Fremantle.

  can reveal that the British actress — who became a fan favorite for playing Margaery Tyrell across 26 episodes of Game of Thrones — is now in Cape Town, where shooting is due to start on March 6. Dormer also had major roles in Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Tudors, and moved into producing and writer with 2018 thriller In Darkness.

Joining Dormer is award-winning South African actor Brendon Daniels, whose credits include the acclaimed film Four Corners, Skemerdans and Trackers, another M-Net international co-production.

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

Set in the wealthy neighbourhood of Bishopscourt, Cape Town, the series is described as following investigative journalist Edie Hansen (Dormer) as she gets caught up in the ugly underbelly that lies beneath the picturesque beauty of the city, dragging her back to a turbulent past. Following her estranged brother’s murder in his luxury home, Edie’s world plunges deeper into chaos when her brother’s teenage children become prime suspects for the crime. As Edie investigates, she finds herself at loggerheads with veteran detective Forty Bell (Daniels), and grapples with the crumbling local police force, a corrupt political system, and the secretive world of extreme Cape wealth.

“I’m thrilled to be in Cape Town and begin this beautiful, gripping show,” said Dormer, who signed a first-look deal with Fremantle in 2018 to develop a slate of drama projects. “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 such a group of talented directors, led by John, and a superb ensemble cast.”

Also joining the cast are are Langley Kirkwood (Warrior, The Catch, Inconceivable), Morgan Santo (Raised by Wolves), Daniel Schultz (Upon the Edge), Jane de Wet (The Girl from St. Agnes, Still Breathing), Katlego Lebogang (Wounds), Robert Hobbs (District 9, The Girl from St Agnes, Isibaya) 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’ lead director is The Wound’s John Trengove, whose latest film Manodrome with Jesse Eisenberg and Adrien Brody recently premiered in Berlin. Directing alongside Trengove are Thati Pele (Lerato), Catharine Cooke (Reyka) and Christiaan Olwagen (Poppie Nongena, Kanarie). Julie Hodge is executive producing on behalf of Fremantle, which is also distributing the series internationally. Matt Western was the casting agent who helped bring Dormer on board the show.

“We are thrilled to announce this latest international co-production from the M-NET stable, and proud to be building new global content partnerships,” said Waldimar Pelser, Director of Premium Channels at M-Net, which also worked with Fremantle on the Emmy-nominated Reyka.

White Lies brings together an exceptional creative team and stellar cast in a riveting story set in Cape Town, an iconic city with great natural beauty but also hidden undercurrents. We believe White Lies will resonate with series lovers locally and globally. Partnerships such as this one with Quizzical Pictures and Fremantle give shows the best shot at reaching their full potential, and cements M-Net’s reputation as the home of world-class entertainment.”

Added Julie Hodge, Fremantle’s vice president editorial, global drama: “We’re thrilled to be working with Natalie again and announce this latest partnership with M-Net and Quizzical. White Lies is a multi-layered, psychological thriller which forces us to examine the darker side of wealth and affluence, and the complexity of family dynamics. I’ve no doubt that White Lies will build upon the stand-out success we have achieved with our first South African drama Reyka and we look forward to partnering again with Quizzical and M-Net on this new journey”

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