Dane DeHaan plays a man living with Huntington’s disease in Sky’s latest crime drama ZeroZeroZero and has spoken out about the “incredible” experience of meeting people with the affliction in preparation.
The degenerative condition prevents certain parts of the brain from working properly, which can cause a variety of physical and mental health problems, usually proving fatal within 15 to 20 years of the first symptoms showing.
In the vast majority of cases, it is a hereditary affliction caused by a faulty gene that can be inherited from parents to their children and this is exactly how it is depicted in ZeroZeroZero.
DeHaan plays Chris Lynwood, the youngest child of a wealthy family involved in the exporting of illegal drugs around the world, whose mother passed away from the illness prior to the events of the show.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press ahead of ZeroZeroZero’s launch on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV, DeHaan recalled spending time with sufferers of Huntington’s to ensure his portrayal respected the reality of the condition.
“It was pretty incredible to meet with them,” he said. “When we were in New Orleans, I met with several people who have the disease. It was incredibly helpful and incredibly, at times, profound to hear about their journey, their day-to-day and everything they’ve been through because of the disease, not just physically and not just mentally, but even from relationship standpoints within their life.
DeHaan added: “I don’t think I would have had as good of a sense of what it really means to have the disease if I hadn’t met with them. It was really important for me to portray it as accurately as possible, so I’m very thankful to them.”
ZeroZeroZero also stars Andrea Riseborough (National Treasure), Tchéky Karyo (Baptiste) and Gabriel Byrne (Hereditary), as well as a large international supporting cast for its ambitious globe-trotting story.
Huntington’s disease has also been spotlighted recently on BBC One’s medical drama Casualty, where the character of Ethan Hardy (played by George Rainsford) was diagnosed with the illness, inherited from his mother.
ZeroZeroZero premieres on Sky and NOW TV as a box set from 4th February. While you’re waiting, check out our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.