Netflix has a new thriller series on the way next week and, according to star Tom Bateman, Behind Her Eyes will keep fans guessing until the very end of its six-part run.
The series is based on Sarah Pinborough’s 2017 bestselling page-turner of the same name, which had an ending so surprising it prompted the hashtag #WTFthatending to trend on Twitter, and Bateman reckons the series will prove just as wrong-footing to Netflix subscribers.
“I think what’s amazing about this piece is you think you know where it’s going, and then you don’t, and then you definitely know where it’s going, and then you don’t again,” he told RadioTimes.com. “And I think what’s really really impressive – I don’t know too many pieces that have done this successfully – is right up to the last minute, you don’t know what’s going on.”
Bateman said he had not been familiar with the novel before he was sent the scripts but he was instantly hooked after reading the first two episodes.
“I said to my agent, ‘I’d love to do this, because I can’t wait to read episode three,'” he said. “That doesn’t always happen when you read things, and it really did hook me – I thought, I cannot wait to find out about this.”
In the series, Bateman’s character David is caught in an unusual love triangle with his wife Adele (Eve Hewson) and his colleague Louise (Simona Brown) – and the audience is never quite sure who to trust, or whether David is a good guy or a bad guy.
Asked if he has to factor this ambiguity into his performance, Bateman replied, “I try to never think of an audience because it makes me shy and want to run away!
“But what’s wonderful is there are other characters in the piece, Simona’s character Louise and Eve’s character Adele, who don’t know everything about me either. So, what’s wonderful is playing the sort of layers, what I do say, what I don’t say and their sort of expectations of me as a character and how that changes.
“And Steve [Lightfoot, writer] has done brilliant dramatisations of just when you think you know who David is there’ll be a scene where you think, wait I didn’t realise that.“
As with most shows on the platform, the series will all be added to Netflix in one go – and Bateman reckons the show’s page-turner roots will lend it a binge-worthy quality that should go down well with subscribers, comparing it with other shows he’s worked on in the past.
“What’s wonderful about a page-turner, with a book you’ve got it right there,” he said. ” What really interested me is a few years ago I did a drama, Vanity Fair, and I discovered in my research while I was prepping for the role that was done as an article, Thackeray would release a chapter at a time and I quite like that idea, I really like the thing of having to wait for an episode.
“But I think with Behind Her Eyes, it will lend itself to that [binge-watching] because each episode gets faster and faster, with more and more intrigue – every time you answer one question, you ask two others, so I really think it will lend itself to that.”