Ben Whishaw has signed on for the lead role of the upcoming BBC Two-AMC co-production “This Is Going to Hurt,” based on the Adam Kay memoir of the same name. In addition, Lucy Forbes has signed on to the series as the lead director.
Whishaw is set to play the fictional version of Kay, who is working his way through the ranks of hospital hierarchy – junior enough to suffer the crippling hours, but senior enough to face a constant barrage of terrifying responsibilities. The series sees him clinging to his personal life as he is increasingly overwhelmed by stresses at work: the 97-hour weeks, the life and death decisions, and all the while knowing the hospital parking meter is earning more than him.
Whishaw won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his role in the series “A Very English Scandal,” in which he starred alongside Hugh Grant. He is also set to appear in the upcoming fourth season of “Fargo,” the premiere of which was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the film side, he is known for lending his voice to the title character in the two “Paddington” films as well as his role as Q in the Daniel Craig James Bond films.
He is repped CAA in the U.S., Hamilton Hodell in the U.K., and Peikoff Mahan.
Kay is adapting his book for the screen and will serve as executive producer. The show was commissioned by Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama. Naomi de Pear will executive produce along with Jane Featherstone for SISTER, James Farrell for Terrible Productions, Mona Qureshi for BBC Two, and Kristin Jones and Dan McDermott for AMC. Holly Pullinger will produce, while Forbes is to direct the first four episodes. Dan Isaacs and Phil Sequeira brokered the deal with AMC. SISTER will produce the series in association with Kay’s Terrible Productions. AMC is on board as co-producer. The international distribution will be handled by BBC Studios.
“I am proud to join this exciting adaptation of Adam Kay’s terrific book ‘This is Going to Hurt,’ based on his experiences working in the NHS,”: Whishaw said. “It’s an honest, hilarious, heart-breaking look at the great institution and the army of unsung heroes who work there under the most stressful conditions. The Covid-19 crisis has now shed even more light on their great work and underlines the necessity to support the NHS and its workers. I look forward to telling this story with director Lucy Forbes and the great team at SISTER to bring Adam’s words to life and I am really grateful to be a part of it.”