ITV's Red Eye is not only a compelling conspiracy thriller that will keep you on your toes, actor Jemma Moore has also described it as an important moment for East and Southeast Asian representation on British screens.


The six-part series sees Harlan Coben favourite Richard Armitage play a British doctor who's accused of causing the death of a Chinese woman and is ordered to return to Beijing for questioning, with Jing Lusi's DC Hana Li accompanying him on the return flight.

"The fact that it's ESEA (East and Southeast Asian)-led, the fact that Jing is the lead and it's through the perspective of her character, rather than the white man – Dr Nolan is going on this journey, he has been accused, but it's through the perspective of Hana – that's just unheard of," said Moore.

She continued: "Joe Barton did an amazing job with Giri/Haji, and there have obviously been other shows where that's the case, but I think I can count just over one hand how many shows are ESEA-led.

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"It's so refreshing to see because it's happening so much in America, and I felt like in reading scripts and seeing what's been going on in UK television that we're kind of going further backwards, so this is a huge step for UK television."

Moore plays Jess, a journalist who is investigating the Nolan case in an effort to turbocharge her career, and Hana's half-sister, the pair sharing a Chinese father.

"I'm mixed race and Hana isn't," she said. "And there are obviously a lot of privileges that come with being mixed race and my proximity to whiteness, and also being brought up in the UK. It means that Jess kind of gets away with a lot more.

"And Hana also now has a white stepmum. She's finding her place in the world, but Jess is finding her place in the world too. And it's not spoken about on TV very much, of this dynamic of being mixed and being mono-racial and and how that affects families that are blended."

Jess walking through a tunnel
Jemma Moore as Jess Li in Red Eye. ITV

As well as praising Lusi and the rest of the on-screen ESEA talent, Moore also highlighted the individuals who worked off-camera to make the production as "authentic" as possible, including co-writer Jingan Young.

"It's just incredible what we have in front and behind," she added. "Going back to looking at the scripts, one of the main things when I first saw it was I have to play this role, I have to do this role because it's going to be so big for our community."

Moore even wrote a letter to the producers when she secured a second audition to thank them for creating the series because she'd "never seen anything like this".

"I just never had this growing up," said Moore. "I never saw Jess growing up. And that would have been so important to me. I would have been able to then see that that was a place that I could get to, instead of having to continuously tread water through my career to get to this point. Representation matters."

Red Eye is coming to ITV1 and ITVX on Sunday 21st April 2024.


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