Melissa George re-enters the spy game this fall on the BBC and Cinemax thriller Hunted.
George plays Sam Hunter, a private-security operative on the run across Europe while trying to find out who tried to kill her.
George is best known in seriable circles for her role on Alias as the villainous Lauren Reed, a part she accepted after narrowly missing out on Sydney Bristow, as she recounts in an interview with Zap2It:
“It was down to Jennifer [Garner] and me for ‘Alias’ a long time ago, and I really wanted it. Then I got ‘Thieves,’ which was on the same network. They put me on that when I didn’t get ‘Alias’ … and then, of course, ‘Thieves’ got canceled. “Then, ['Alias' creator] J.J. Abrams said, ‘Perfect. We’ll put you on as the evil Lauren Reed.’ I knew everyone was going to hate me, but I said, ‘OK. I’ll do it.’
But George’s time as spy series lead has come in the shape of Hunted, into which she hopes incorporate some Sydney Bristow elements:
I thought, ‘If I could take the role of Sydney Bristow but put it in a world that’s European, making it a little more like ‘The Bourne Identity’ and ‘Taken’ but be less polished, I would be thrilled.’
It’s not hard to see a bit of Alias, Bourne and Taken in the early Hunted footage, and it makes for a tantalising prospect.
Another series which comes to mind when looking at Hunted, is ABC’s Missing. The Ashley Judd starrer was of a similar ilk and was canceled after one season, but George doesn’t believe the same fate will necessarily befall Hunted, as she explains:
”They don’t sit on the set tearing out [script] pages when you’re working for an HBO or a Cinemax. They hire the right people, then it’s a collaboration where there’s not a lot of input from second parties. They allow you to create, and there’s something about being left alone that I think brings a bit of magic.”
The reduced interference that George mentions is an often-cited advantage that cable and the like has over network-based seriables. And there will be different expectations in terms of ratings as well, so hopefully we’ll be talking more about the story and characters than sweating over viewing figures.
It wont be long before we’ll be able to put Hunted through its paces when the series begins October 19 on Cinemax and on the BBC at some point this fall. We’re looking forward to this one, we’ll keep you updated.