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If you found yourself addicted to Netflix series The Stranger and Safe, we’ve got some good news for you. The next drama series adaptation from writer Harlan Coben is on the way.
Red Production, Nicola Shindler, Harlan Coben, Danny Brocklehurst and Richard Fee – the same team behind The Stranger and Safe – have brought together an incredible cast for their next series, Stay Close.
Based on Coben's novel, which is set in Atlantic City, New Jersey, US, the Netflix adaptation switches to UK shores. Filming took place in and around Manchester, as well as Blackpool, and fans can expect a classic British thriller - check out the trailer below for a taste of the drama.
Here is everything you need to know about the series…
Stay Close on Netflix: How it was made into a must-watch TV show >
Stay Close: Meet the cast
Key cast members including James Nesbitt, Cush Jumbo and Eddie Izzard speak about their roles in the Netflix adaptation of Harlan Coben's best-selling book.
What is Stay Close about?
With trademark thrills, gripping suspense, and a crime to solve, Stay Close questions how much you really know someone.
Three people living comfortable lives each conceal dark secrets that even the closest to them would never suspect. Megan is a working mother of three; Ray, the once promising documentary photographer, is stuck in a dead-end job pandering to celebrity-obsessed rich kids; and Broome is a detective who’s unable to let go of a missing person’s cold case.
Lorraine, an old friend from Megan's past, delivers some shocking news which will impact on all three characters.
As the past comes back to haunt them, threatening to ruin their lives and the lives of those around them, what will be their next move?
Writer Harlan Coben said: “I am so happy and excited to Stay Close (pun intended) with Danny Brocklehurst, Nicola Shindler and Richard Fee — the same team that made The Stranger, Safe and The Five.
“And talk about a dream-come-true cast – Cush Jumbo, an incendiary and awesome talent; Jimmy Nesbitt, a legendary actor I always wanted to collaborate with; and wow, Richard Armitage back again! Netflix has been a wonderful home, and from what I’ve seen so far, Stay Close will be our most gripping and binge-able series yet.”
Who is in the cast?
Cush Jumbo (The Good Fight, The Good Wife, Deadwater Fell), plays the role of Megan/Cassie - a working mother of three going about her life when suddenly her past comes back to haunt her.
James Nesbitt (Cold Feet, The Missing, Bloodlands) plays Broome, a detective who works with his ex-partner Erin Cartwright (played by Jo Joyner). He's determined to solve a missing person case which may just tie in with an unsolved case he can't let go of from 17 years prior.
Richard Armitage (The Stranger, The Hobbit, Hannibal) plays Ray, a talented photographer who's now working as a papparazzi for hire and has links to Cassie.
Speaking about her role Jumbo says: "I love a thriller. I feel like I’m quite synonymous for doing quite a lot of drama, which I love doing, and a thriller is dramatic, but it has a pace and an energy that I really enjoy. And I think you get that in a Harlan’s books already, which is why they’re so popular. You just can’t put them down."
Sarah Parish (Bancroft, Medici) is also joining the series as Lorraine, who ties many of the characters together. Speaking about her part, Parish comments: "It was a very different look for me. And a different part – she’s not an absolute b**** (laughs). It was quite nice for me to play someone quite nice. She was a really lovely part to play."
Speaking about his character, Detective Broome, James Nesbitt says: "It was nice to play someone with a bit of optimism about them – someone who wasn’t either in their own personal hell or creating hell for others, or someone who’s in conflict. I love the honesty of him, although there’s a lot he keeps to himself. I love the decency and warmth of him. I love the idea that here is a man of a certain age that has a chance again of some sort of redemption, not only professionally but personally."
Giving an insight into his character, Armitage said: “Ray was once toes-on-the-edge-of-greatness as an artist and he’s kind of fallen into the cesspit of his business. He’s a paparazzi for hire photographing kids at a bar mitzvah. He has this absence of memory which I thought was a really interesting challenge."
Eddie Izzard plays Harry Sutton, a local lawyer who befriends many of the women from the local club Vipers. He has another side to him though and we regularly see him under the influence of heroin.
Jo Joyner (Ackley Bridge, Ordinary Lies) plays Broome's police partner (but ex-wife). They share some great comedic moments throughout the series.
Speaking about the partnership, Nesbitt comments: "It’s interesting when you see his character with Erin. It’s such a brilliant example of a relationship that didn’t work personally but works professionally. "
Daniel Francis (Small Axe, Once Upon A Time) plays Dave Shaw, a doting father to his three children and engaged to Megan.
Comedian Andi Osho (Line of Duty) is cast as Simona, a retired ex-army sergeant who’s now pregnant with her first child.
Bethany Antonia (Get Even) plays Megan and Dave’s eldest daughter Kayleigh Shaw and Rachel Andrews (Butcher Boy) is Bea, Kayleigh’s best friend. They are each other’s greatest ally, co-conspirator and support mechanism.
Also joining the cast is seemingly sweet young couple Barbie and Ken, played by Poppy Gilbert (The Pale Horse, Call the Midwife) and Hyoie O’Grady.
Where was Stay Close filmed?
Stay Close is set in the fictional towns of Livingstone and Ridgewood, England. Most of the filming took place in Manchester and Blackpool.
In the book, the story takes place in Atlantic City, New Jersey, but as Harlan Coben revealed to us last year, "Blackpool really looks a lot like Atlantic City. It’s always a challenge to move things around. In the book we have this thing called Lucy the Elephant and here we’re using The Dream head sculpture (in Sutton Manor Woods, St Helens).”
The Central Pier appears a lot throughout the series, but care was taken to not show any of the iconic landmarks, such as Blackpool Tower.
Vipers is one of the key locations in Stay Close. Exterior shots of the club were filmed at the old Shorrocks Hill County Club in Formby (Merseyside). It used to be a health club, but the site closed down in 2015.
The interior of Vipers was filmed at Impossible Bar and Restaurant in Manchester. The ruins outside the club, where much of the mystery unfolds, was shot at a private farm in Chorley, Lancashire.
The bridge which Megan often crossed is the Silver Jubilee Bridge in Halton, Cheshire. It connects Widnes and Runcorn.
The big head landmark is the Dream Sculpture in St Helens.
Megan and Dave Shaw’s house is a private property in Didsbury, Manchester.
Harry Sutton’s shop (Eddie Izzard) is set at an old carpet store at 161 Stamford Street in Ashton-under-Lyne.
The Imperial Hotel, where we see Megan leaving, is on Blackpool’s North Promenade.
The fictional Oneida Park Residential care home where Dave’s mum stays is a mansion in Halsall, West Lancashire.
Ray's friend Fester works as a pub landlord. These scenes were filmed at The Top End Bar on Stamford Street Central, Ashton-under-Lyne.
Is there a Stay Close trailer?
Yes there is. The haunting two-minute clip shows Megan (Jumbo) being confronted by the mysterious Lorraine (Parrish) who calls her 'Cassie'. Meanwhile detective Broome (Nesbitt) is investigating the disappearance of two men and Ray (Armitage) is finding it hard to avoid his own past...
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Stay Close: Ratings and reviews
Since Stay Close was released on New Year’s Eve 2021, the quirky crime drama has been the number 1 show on Netflix, even against other new series of popular shows including Cobra Kai Season 4, The Witcher Season 2 and Emily in Paris Season 2.
What’s more, Stay Close has resonated with fans across the globe, hitting the number one spot on the streaming service in dozens of countries including France, Germany, Jamaica and Morocco.
The fans certainly seem to love it, with one declaring “Stay Close on Netflix is the best thing I’ve watched in a long time.” Another added that it’s “fascinating and captivating.”
The Guardian also enthused, “you won’t be able to turn it off.”
Watch Stay Close if you loved…
Previous Harlan Coben adaptations on Netflix such as The Stranger and Safe, or the Sky One adaptation The Five.
9 gripping Harlan Coben thrillers to watch right now
How many episodes are there?
There are eight 45-minute episodes of Stay Close.
When is Stay Close released?
Stay Close will launch on Netflix on December 31, 2021.