Heather Morris's book The Tattooist of Auschwitz, which charts the true story of Holocaust survivors Lale and Gita, who met and fell in love inside Auschwitz, enjoyed international success following its publication in 2018.


So it was only a matter of time before it was adapted for the screen, with the six-part series arriving on Sky Atlantic in the UK on Thursday 2nd May.

Given the delicate subject matter, with ample room for error, Jonah Hauer-King, who plays Lale in his younger years, and Anna Próchniak, who stars as Gita, both admitted that they were apprehensive about signing up to the project.

"I was unsure, personally," said Hauer-King. "Usually, as an actor, you have nothing but joy and excitement at the possibility of getting some work. But with this, it was so complex, the feelings towards it."

He went on to say that while he felt "very privileged and honoured" to be offered the role, he was hyper-aware of how "challenging it would be on a personal level, but also making sure that you deal with it respectfully".

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"And even a work of fiction, there's a level of apprehension when you're doing it, especially if it holds a special place in people's hearts," he added.

"So that, coupled with it being a real-life story and it being in this context, it really was a perfect storm of fear and trepidation."

Próchniak echoed her co-star's comments: "It's such a responsibility, to play a real character, to play this character, to tell this story, which is so meaningful and so important. It was scary. At first, it was very scary, very terrifying."

Lale and Gita standing close together behind one of the blocks. He is looking down and holding her hands in his as she looks over her shoulder.
Jonah Hauer-King as Lale as Anna Próchniak as Gita in Auschwitz. Martin Mlaka / Sky UK

While it was the "unique and extraordinary" nature of Lale and Gita's relationship that first drew him in, Hauer-King was also struck by their "bravery".

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"It's a really courageous choice to allow this to happen," he explained. "Meeting someone, finding someone to be in love with, them choosing to allow that to happen, it's so far beyond what Lale's expecting, but when they meet he sees this person showing so much bravery and courage.

"And even showing humour in a place like that. He's just immediately captivated. It's pretty profound."

Próchniak added: "They are ready to give love and receive love. And they are aware of the power of love and decide that this will be something that will sustain them."

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is coming 2nd May to Sky Atlantic and NOW. Sign up for Sky TV here.


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