The real-life mother-daughter duo star as a fictional family in the feature-length special, which is set to air in the U.K. on broadcaster Channel 4 this winter.
Winslet plays concerned mother Ruth who grows alarmed as her teenage daughter Freya (Threapleton) becomes consumed by social media and the pressures that come with it. As Freya retreats further into herself, her relationship with Ruth becomes increasingly strained.
Winslet conceived the project with filmmaker Dominic Savage as “a story for our times about the endemic mental health crisis affecting young people.” Winslet and Savage developed and co-authored the drama together. It will be broadcast as part of female-led anthology series ‘I Am,’ which Savage created.
“The collaborative and sensitive way in which Dominic Savage goes about creating and filming each episode of ‘I Am’ is challenging, rewarding and completely immersive,” said Winslet. “The actors become these roles, and there is simply no room for pretending. It’s a working environment that any actor would give anything to be a part of, and I can safely say with my hand on heart that I will never forget the things we learnt as we made this piece.”
“The low key, quiet nature in which we put this together is how I aspire to work all the time,” she continued. “Often creative environments can be big and overwhelming, but part of Dominic’s directorial process is to keep things to a bare minimum and just focus on the actors and the world we are creating alongside him, and with his unwavering support. It was a privilege and an inspiration to work with Dominic Savage. He’s simply extraordinary.”
Savage said: “Creating ‘I Am Ruth’ for Channel 4 has been an honour as well a sublime creative experience for me. Collaborating closely with the incredible Kate Winslet to bring this important story surrounding child mental health to the screen has been an absolute highlight of my filmmaking career. It encapsulates everything that I love about making drama – experimental, raw, instinctive, with fearless acting, and above all, about something that affects all of us in some way. I believe that many parents and children will relate to our story of immense difficulty and hope.”
“I Am” first debuted in 2019, with the first season starring Vicky McClure, Samantha Morton and Gemma Chan. Suranne Jones, Letitia Wright and Lesley Manville appeared in the second season, each leading a stand-alone, female-fronted story. “I Am Ruth” marks the first instalment of season 3, with further instalments to be announced.
Savage created, wrote and directed “I Am Ruth” based on a story by Savage and Winslet. Me+You Productions produce in association with Juggle Productions. Savage, Winslet and Richard Yee exec produce. Me+You co-founder Krishnendu Majumdar and Josh Hyams produce.
Caroline Hollick and Gemma Boswell commissioned the drama for Channel 4. It is co-funded by Sky Studios. NBCU Distribution are repping global sales.