Maisie Williams has revealed that the original plotline for her new show Two Weeks To Live included a virus outbreak similar to the real life coronavirus pandemic.
The Game of Thrones actor is the new lead in the upcoming black comedy, which also stars Fleabag’s Sian Clifford, and marks Williams’ first major TV roles since the fantasy series ended last year.
Two Weeks To Live follows a young woman, Kim Stokes, who is described as a strange misfit because she has been living with her mother in a rural getaway away from society ever since the mysterious death of her father when she was still a young girl.
After her escape from the woods, Kim meets brothers Nicky (Mawaan Rizwan) and Jay (Taheen Modak) who convince her that the world is going to end following a nuclear attack.
Speaking to Yahoo ahead of the release of the show, Williams said: “The show, when we shot it, we set up the prank that the boys pulled on Kim [to be that] this virus would break out and that the world was gonna end and we had to change it. Because it is what is going on in the world right now.”
In the show Kim struggles to adjust back into society after growing up in recluse, Williams compared this to the world shifting back into ‘ a new normal’ following the easing of lockdown measures around the globe.
“I think it will be something that people find just really comforting as we all try and step back into the social situations, which can be really uncomfortable,” she said before discussing the differences between her latest character and GoT’s Arya.
Elsewhere in the interview actor Modak and comedian Rizwan touched on the fact that they both portrayed two British-Asian men and romantic leads, which is often a rarity on UK television.
Modak admitted: “We never really spoke about it. We were just there, which I think for me is really important.”
He added: “It’s really reassuring to know that we are here on one hand and also really reassuring to know that they are not putting a stamp on it [their races] but that we are just people, just like Maisie is a person, just like the producers and directors are also people. We are just actors trying to do our job. So I think it will be relatable for that for sure.”
Meanwhile, Rizwan similarly shared that there can be a lot of “unsustainable” pressure for actors of colour to represent large communities in the roles they play - but admitted diversity can bring about “compassion and empathy”.
“There's a lot of pressure when there aren't a lot of characters of colour on screen,” Rizwan said. “Actors of colour, we feel pressure to like represent our entire community, of course, that's not sustainable. I mean not one person can really represent an entire community.”
Rizwan added: “There are many different types of British-Asian people in the UK and around the world. So it's really important to have characters where the race is not the main storyline, and we're just existing and people can relate to that because that's what evokes compassion and empathy.”
Two Weeks to Live will air on Sky One on Wednesday 2 September at 10pm.
All six episodes will also be available to stream from the same date on both Sky on demand and Now TV.