Secrets could be ‘The Undoing’ of privileged Manhattanites in HBO thriller series

'The Undoing' – Grant, Kidman play NY power couple in twisty drama

Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant star in “The Undoing,” premiering Sunday on HBO.

Lives of privilege get thrown into turmoil when shocking revelations surface in the wake of a violent death in a limited thriller series upcoming on HBO.

In “The Undoing,” a six-part series premiering Sunday, Oct. 25, we are introduced to Grace and Jonathan Fraser, a Manhattan power couple living the only life they have ever wanted. Grace (Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies,” “Moulin Rouge”) is a successful therapist on the verge of publishing her first book, while Jonathan (Hugh Grant, “Love Actually,” “A Very English Scandal”) is an oncologist and her devoted husband. They have a young son attending an elite private school in the city.

Overnight, a chasm opens in their lives when a violent death occurs and Jonathan disappears. And in the place of the man she thought she knew, Grace is now faced with a chain of horrific revelations and a decision to dismantle her current life and make a new one for her family.

The series comes from writer/creator David E. Kelley (“Big Little Lies,” “Picket Fences”), was directed by Susanne Bier (“The Night Manager”) and features a cast that also includes Edgar Ramirez (“Carlos”), Noma Dumezweni (“Black Earth Rising”), Lily Rabe (“American Horror Story”) and Donald Sutherland (“Citizen X”).

It also has a lot of twists and turns in a world where no one is who they seem, which is why Kidman signed on to work with her “Lies” boss once again.

Nicole Kidman stars in “The Undoing,” premiering Sunday on HBO.

“I think what the theme of it is …,” the actress says, “choosing to unknow things is a fascinating part of human nature. And when you choose to — and what you choose to believe and what you choose to see would be. … I mean, that’s the basis of a lot of this, of the psychology of this series is we choose to see certain things but also everyone has secrets. They just do.”

Chief among them is Grant’s character of Jonathan. From episode to episode, the viewer is left to guess whether he’s good or evil, which Grant says was a tricky dance to do as an actor without revealing too much.

“Your job as an actor,” he explains, “you have to sort of be as truthful to your character as you possibly can be, which actually runs counter to what you sometimes need to do in this kind of film, where you’re trying to fool the audience slightly or keep up a pretense. You know, and I think that same applies to … there’s about seven suspects who emerge in this film.”

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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