What we don’t expect are famous names like Sex And The City’s Kim Cattrall turning up as the US President, and The Crown’s Greg Wise as a Machiavellian FBI agent.
But the Swedish crime drama Modus, which returns this week, has beefed up its second series with starry foreign actors and swapped the usual serial killer plot for a fast-paced political thriller.
Swedish star Melinda Kinnaman reprises her role as police profiler Inger Johanne Vik, who’s paired up romantically and professionally with detective Ingvar Nyman (Henrik Norlén).
The dramatic story arc sees disaster strike during a state visit to Stockholm by US President Helen Tyler, played by Kim Cattrall, 61.
It’s an international catastrophe when Tyler disappears without a trace, and the cops, joined by Inger Johanne, frantically try to trace her.
Playing the US President is a far cry from Kim’s most famous role, as free-spirited Samantha Jones in Sex And The City.
Helen Tyler is America’s first female president, a serious politician suffused with gravitas. But Kim says it makes no difference to her.
“My preparation for any role is the same, because it doesn’t matter what a person does in their life,” she explains.
“If they have a very busy or complicated life or a very simple life, they are human. So I’m trying especially to play Helen Tyler with an understanding of what it could be like, first of all, to be the President, a woman living in this time, but also to have broken the glass ceiling and changed the way people perceive a President of the United States – because we are telling human stories, not just a political story.”
Kim also asked herself what sort of person would be attracted to the job of US President.
“And what I found in myself, when I came to the conclusion to play the role, was a strength to believe that you could attempt to take on the presidency,” explains Kim.
“It’s beyond being a politician. I wanted to infuse Tyler with determination and grit, but also a vulnerability.”
She can’t give away much more without revealing spoilers, but Greg Wise, who plays FBI agent Warren Schifford, the President’s right-hand man, describes Kim as “wonderful and just fantastic.”
“She did scenes where she’s the President and everyone’s going ‘oooh’ around her,” says Greg, 51.
“And then she has to do some pretty horrible stuff and she did it with such grace. She’s not your sex kitten in this by any means. And bless her for giving the piece an extra-posh international dimension.”
Sense and Sensibility star Greg also adds gloss to the Scandinavian production. When his character, Schifford, shows up on Air Force One with the President, it causes a strong emotional reaction in Inger Johanne.
What the audience already knows – thanks to the opening flashback scene – is that four years previously, when they worked together in Washington DC, Schifford had raped Inger Johanne.
The new casting and shift in theme brings a different energy to Modus.
“This season is fuelled by the behemoth that is America landing in this small place tucked up in cold northern Europe,” muses Greg.
“It’s about the energies of America versus the Swedes and it’s exciting.”
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