Patrick Dempsey (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Italian actor Alessandro Borghi (“Suburra”), who co-star in the anticipated financial-world thriller series “Devils,” said the show pulled them into uncharted territories.
A sign that the TV drama business is becoming increasingly global, “Devils” marks the first truly international drama for both actors. Although it shot in English, “Devils” was made by Lux Vide, the producer of “Medici: Masters of Florence” for Sky Italia (“The Young Pope”), and it brings together characters who come from different parts of the world.
Based on the best-selling novel by Italian trader Guido Maria Brera, the show takes place in the London office of a major U.S. bank and is set against the backdrop of the 2008 financial crisis. The plot revolves around the relationship between the ruthless head of trading, Massimo Ruggero (Borghi) who comes from Italy, and his mentor Dominic Morgan (Dempsey), who is the bank’s CEO.
Dempsey said he was attracted to the project because he got to play “a character (he) hadn’t played before” and he was “inspired by the experience of Guido. “He has a real story to tell. It’s authentic, and it’s a dramatic story with a different perspective (compared with) that you normally see.”
He was also drawn to the contemporary resonance of the series which shows how finance can be used as an “instrument of power.” After watching the series, “you can’t help but think about how you perceive the world. That’s the power of TV,” said Dempsey. He said the aim of “Devils” was to “move people and get them to think,” but “you can’t be too preachy.”
For Borghi, whose best known for his performance in Netflix’s hit crime series “Suburra,” joining the cast of “Devils” was exciting and daunting at the same time because it presented the double challenge of being his first English-speaking role, and his introduction to the financial slangs.
“I had to learn about this world, I didn’t know anything about it, the terminology of the finance,” said Borghi. The Italian actor said he watched a lot of movies about finance like “Margin Call,” “Wolf of Wall Street,” and noted that “Devils” is “completely different.” “We show different sides (…) and we have a lot to tell about the relationships between the characters. They have a lot of money, but also a lot of (personal) problems,” said Borghi.
The Italian actor said he spent time in London to master his British accent and listened to loads of Ted talks.
“‘Suburra’ was seen by people on Netflix all over the world, but ‘Devils’ was my first time working with an international cast and story — It could be a great starting point to do more international projects,” said Borghi.
For Dempsey, the diverse cast of “Devils” is “a reflection of the world.” “I love being in Europe, I love traveling, I learn when I travel and I like working internationally,” said Dempsey, adding that he hopes “to meet other filmmakers and showrunners and work in other countries to do more of these.”
Dempsey, who previously worked with Jean-Jacques Annaud on “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair” and “Bridget Jones’s Baby,” said the thing that amazes him at Mipcom is to see “how many countries are represented, how many filmmakers are getting a change to get on a worldwide platform, it’s quite exciting.”
The actor received the Excellence Award from Canneseries at Mipcom today in recognition of his 30-year career in television and cinema. “It’s very humbling to be recognised. I think it’s just a real testament of the power of TV, and to be on a hit show that’s affected so many people in a positive way,” said Dempsey.
“I grew up in a small community in Maine and the only way I could see things was through television (…). It had a profound impact on how I see the world, how Iv’e learned about the world and what my aspirations are inspired by,” added Dempsey.