Don’t miss the UK première of Undercovers on BT Vision! The spouses and spy-ops series from Lost creator JJ Abrams is now available on Vision TV as part of WarnerTV’s Spies in Action season.
Described as a modern-day Hart To Hart, Undercovers sees a couple of happily married, retired CIA agents drawn back into spying after a good friend of theirs disappears. Steven and Samantha Bloom are left juggling domestic bliss and date nights with the high-stakes world of international espionage.
The show is considered revolutionary across the pond, having taken the unusual step of casting two black actors in the lead roles. Abrams’ collaborator, Josh Reims, tells us how it happened.
“We started out by saying, ‘Let’s just see every possible incarnation of a person.’ We didn’t go out of our way to say, ‘We’re hiring two black people to be the leads of the show’ but we certainly didn’t ignore the fact that it would be great if we could do that and if we found actors who were great enough,” Reims explains. “And luckily, we found one of them in Gugu (Mbatha-Raw, who plays Samantha), and then we hired Boris (Kodjoe, who plays Steven) too.”
Joking aside, Reims knows it’s groundbreaking stuff. “We don’t consider that we’re revolutionising TV, but at the same time, we do realise it is a big deal. Yes, we all wish it wasn’t such a big deal at this point in time that there are two black characters who are the leads on a major TV show on a major network, but unfortunately that’s the way it is right now.”
Boris Kodjoe agrees. “It’s not the norm, although it should be the norm because that’s what the world looks like. The world is diverse, and we come in all kinds of different shapes, sizes, and shades. So Josh and JJ have, I think, led the way, and hopefully the world will open up to it.”
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