‘Bodyguard’s’ Keeley Hawes Sets Up Production Company Buddy Club (EXCLUSIVE)

Fresh from the success of “Bodyguard,” Keeley Hawes has told Variety that her next move is into producing. The star has set up her own shingle, Buddy Club Productions, and will start work on its first project as soon as she has wrapped on Netflix film “Rebecca,” in which she will play Beatrice Lacy, sister of Maxim (Armie Hammer).

“Producing and making things happen myself just feels like a natural progression for me,” she said. “I’m enjoying it. It’s at an early stage, but I have a couple of things in the pipeline.

“It’s looking at it from a different angle and coming at it with 30 years of experience. The older you get, the younger everyone else is, and then you realize you are the one with the most experience. That can be really useful on both sides of the camera.”

Details of the first Buddy Club project will be revealed soon. The newly minted production business will partner with other producers to start with. Hawes has cut her teeth by executive producing the fourth and final season of “The Durrells,” which is made by “Killing Eve” producer Sid Gentle for ITV.

The star says the sands have shifted in TV. “I’ve been in the business since I was 9 and have worked fairly consistently, and it’s just so exciting with Netflix and Amazon, and the whole landscape of TV and film has changed,” she said. “There’s money in TV that wasn’t there before. There’re writers who wouldn’t have worked in TV before. The gloves are off.”

Jed Mercurio’s “Bodyguard,” which starred Hawes as an ambitious politician, was a smash hit for the BBC in the U.K. before going global on Netflix. “The way we watch TV, the way people binge watch, the content just needs to keep on coming,” Hawes said. “It’s a very exciting time.” While in Corfu shooting “The Durrells,” she would fly back to the U.K. on weekends and discovered just what a hit “Bodyguard” was “when people started camping outside my door,” she said.

Having worked with Mercurio before on “Line of Duty,” which earned her a BAFTA nomination, Hawes said that working with him again would be a no-brainer. In both “Bodyguard” and “Line of Duty,” Mercurio packs in twists and turns and often deadly outcomes for his stars, as Hawes discovered.

“He’s one of our bravest writers,” she said. “There are very few people who would be prepared to take that risk and stick to their guns, and then cast somebody recognizable. That’s what makes it work. People don’t imagine I’ll only be in some episodes and not be back.”

As she moves into production as well as acting, Hawes flags the importance of efforts to improve representation. “Diversity and gender are so high on everyone’s agenda, which is just brilliant. In terms of the projects I’m working on, they are conversations that are constantly had. When crewing up and casting it’s a constant discussion.”

That wasn’t always the case: “It wasn’t a conversation at all [in the past]; it didn’t occur to people. Now it’s about training people up and getting people into the industry who might not otherwise have a chance.”

With Stephen Poliakoff’s “Summer of Rockets,” Ruth Wilson’s “Mrs. Wilson,” and Channel 4 series “Traitors” and “Year of the Rabbit” also showing now or recently, Hawes has been on screen more than off, of late. “Everything I did last year and the year before all came to the fore at the same time,” she said.

There’s more to come, with the Buddy Club projects and Philippa Lowthorpe’s comedy drama movie “Misbehavior,” with Keira Knightley and Greg Kinnear, which comes out later this year.

More Film

  • Remi Bonhomme

    Marrakech Film Festival Taps Cannes Exec Remi Bonhomme as Artistic Director

    Remi Bonhomme, a leading force behind Cannes’ Critics Week, has been appointed artistic director of the Marrakech Film Festival and its industry conference, the Atlas Workshops. In recent years, Bonhomme successfully headed the Atlas Workshops, a platform dedicated to supporting the cinema of the African continent and the Arab world, where he was also part [...]

  • A Stasi Comedy

    Picture Tree Intl. Picks Up Leander Haussmann's 'A Stasi Comedy' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Berlin-based Picture Tree International (PTI) has acquired global sales rights to Leander Haussmann’s highly anticipated East German laffer “A Stasi Comedy.” Set in the early 1980s, the film centers on East Germany’s infamous state security service, the Staatssicherheitsdienst or Stasi, and young agent Ludger, played by David Kross (“Balloon,” “The Reader”), who is sent to [...]

  • Berlin: Media Luna Acquires Horror Thriller

    Berlin: Media Luna Acquires Horror Thriller 'Blood-Red Ox' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sales agent Media Luna New Films has acquired international rights to Rodrigo Bellott’s horror thriller “Blood-Red Ox.” Bellott directed Bolivia’s Academy Award entries “Sexual Dependency” and “Tu Me Manques,” and was the producer behind Jim Mickle’s U.S. remake of Mexican horror hit “We Are What We Are.” In “Blood-Red Ox,” which is in post-production, a [...]

  • Parasite Movie

    'Parasite' Enjoys Record Box Office Boost After Oscar Wins

    Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” is reaping box office riches after its groundbreaking Oscar best picture win. The twisted South Korean thriller collected $5.5 million over the weekend, an exceptional 234% increase in ticket sales and the biggest post-Oscar boost for a best picture winner in the past decade. In the seven days since the Academy [...]

  • Nikita Pearl Waligwa

    Nikita Pearl Waligwa, Actor in Disney's 'Queen of Katwe,' Dies at 15

    Nikita Pearl Waligwa, an actor who appeared in Disney’s biographical drama “Queen of Katwe,” has died, according to BBC and the Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor. She was 15. Waligwa had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016 and seemed to recover a year later. However, in 2019, another tumor was found. “Queen of Katwe” [...]

  • James Marsden and Sonic (Ben Schwartz)

    'Sonic the Hedgehog' Dominates Box Office With Mighty $57 Million Debut

    Paramount’s family film “Sonic the Hedgehog” ignited over Presidents’ Day weekend with $57 million in North America and $100 million globally, the biggest showing ever for a video game adaptation. “Sonic” is expected to earn $68-70 million through Monday, one of the best results for the holiday weekend. The better-than-expected start is even more notable [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content