“Gangs of London” is the kind of in-your-face action series that takes no prisoners, but that doesn’t mean the show has no heart.

“Sometimes it feels like an opera or a bit of Shakespeare set in the heart of contemporary London,” star Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù said, highlighting the show’s massive scale. “And whilst we have the grandness of the crime … reducing it back to the familial relationships is what brings the heart of the series.”

“It’s got to be grounded in truth and grounded in love and emotion,” Joe Cole added. “As an actor, you’re looking for stuff that you understand as a human being.”

Cole plays Sean Wallace, who inherits a massive crime syndicate after its leader, his father Finn (played by Colm Meaney), is assassinated. From the series’ opening scene — where Sean lights a man on fire and drops him off the side of the building — its clear that there are no lengths to which he won’t go for family. Dìrísù plays Elliot Finch, a mysterious man who works for the Wallaces, but comes with his own complicated backstory.

In the Variety Streaming Room presented by AMC, hosted by film and media reporter Angelique Jackson, the cast and creatives “Gangs of London” — including actors Cole, Dìrísù and Michelle Fairley, producer Thomas Benski and director Xavier Gens —- discussed the “family nucleus” at the center of the series and tease what’s to come as the fiery crime drama’s first season progresses.

Though the first season of the series has aired in full in the U.K., the final two episodes are still yet to premiere on AMC. (The full series is available to stream on AMC plus.)

Speaking about her own character’s development over the course of the show, Fairley explained that matriarch Marian Wallace is done keeping her mouth shut.

“She’s sort of like a pressure cooker in many ways,” she said. “She had taken a back seat for so long, and now that Finn is no longer there, the book opens up and all those secrets are starting to come out. And she is going through a renaissance, a resurgence. The Phoenix rises again.”

While on the topic of the series’ biggest and best scenes, Benski applauded the show’s “incredible” cast and crew, from the stunt team to the directors.

“The most amazing thing is actually to see the incredible craft across the board,” Benski said. “What makes the show unique is sometimes, in this genre, you don’t have that level of intention. We were so lucky to be able to cast such phenomenal actors that elevate the show to a whole different level.”