ROME — Egyptian actor Amr Waked, his country’s biggest international star, has joined the cast of Neil Jordan’s “Riviera” as a French detective investigating the yacht explosion that precipitates the plot of the high-profile TV crime series.
Waked, who also played a French cop in Luc Besson’s “Lucy,” will play a detective named Delormes who is “trying to decipher a very complicated case,” the actor said. The show is being produced by London-based Archery Pictures for pan-European pay-TV network Sky.
Billionaire Constantine Clios is killed in the explosion, after which his new wife, Georgina, played by Julia Stiles, “is shocked to discover [that] the fortune that maintained his immaculate, ever-so-tasteful lifestyle is tainted with dishonesty, double-dealing, crime, and ultimately murder,” according to Sky’s press notes.
“Riviera” is among the flagship titles in the pipeline of Sky’s Sky Atlantic network.
The ensemble cast of the series, set amid the sleazy French jet set on the Cote d’Azur, also includes Monica Bellucci, Nicholas Rowe, Lena Olin, Dimitri Leonidas, Adrian Lester, Iwan Rheon, and Phil Davis.
Waked’s previous international roles include turns in “Syriana,” “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” the BBC’s “House of Saddam” miniseries, and the first series of Netflix TV show “Marco Polo,” in which he played Yusof, the Khan’s Vice Regent. Waked will next appear on global screens in Gerard Butler sci-fi blockbuster “Geostorm” in which he plays the French head of security at an international space station. Warner Bros. will be releasing “Geostorm” next year.
Neil Jordan (“The Crying Game,” “The Borgias”) is the co-writer of “Riviera” with Booker Prize-winning author John Banville, as well as its show runner and one of the directors. “Riviera” started shooting on location in August and is expected to wrap in February 2017.
The 10-episode series is based on a concept by former U2 manager Paul McGuinness and developed by Archery Pictures, a new shingle set up in 2014 by former Scott Free head Liza Marshall and U.K. producer Kris Thykier.