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‘Fortitude’ Producers Talk Battling Frigid Temps, Unpredictable Snow

Pivot’s first original drama, “Fortitude,” lived up to its name during the production in Iceland, producers and cast members said Friday during the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena, Calif.

Stanley Tucci stars in the psychological thriller, set in the sleepy Arctic town of Fortitude, which takes a dark turn after a brutal and shocking murder. Warmer-than-average temperatures cause the ice to melt, revealing secrets, which have long been hidden under the frozen ground.

“This place is seething with secrets and things that people would rather put behind them,” exec producer Simon Donald said. “We didn’t want to privilege any of the characters with having the weightiest secret…we wanted to have everyone be available and have some kind of suspicion.”

However, Donald confirmed the murder mystery will be solved by the end of the season, and planning for a second season is already under way. The series bows Jan. 29.

The extreme conditions in the fictional Fortitude were far from fictional on set in Iceland. The cast members on the TCA panel — Richard Dormer, Veronica Echegui and Luke Treadaway — plus Donald and director Sam Miller explained that the weather affected their shoot, but in an unexpected way.

When Iceland was freezing, as expected, the cast was just fine. “Luckily, we were dressed in environmentally-friendly clothing,” Treadaway said. “We were in the right gear for the world.”

However, in a life-imitates-art moment, when temperatures rose, damage control had to be done to set the icy scene. Miller admitted, “We ended up having to import snow from London.”

In other news from Participant Media’s cabler, Pivot has ordered the docu series “Secret Lives of Americans,” which focuses on the process of people revealing deep secrets to those who are closest to them. Series is produced by MME/Filmpool USA/All3Media America, with Eli Holzman, Stephen Lambert and Danny Villa exec producing.

Pivot has also ordered more episodes of the travel-adventure series “Angry Planet,” from Cineflix Media.

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