TV Highlight AND TRAILER: McMafia - coming to BBC One on New Year's Day

McMafia, New Year's Day, 9pm, BBC One

Thursday, 28th December 2017, 3:00 pm
Dimitri (Aleksey Serebryakov), Alex (James Norton), Oksana (Maria Shukshina), Katya (Faye Marsay) and Rebecca (Juliet Rylance).

Ground-breaking new international thriller McMafia is an eight-part series inspired by Misha Glenny’s best-selling book of the same name.

It charts Alex Godman’s (James Norton) journey as he is drawn deeper and deeper into the world of organised crime.

As the English-raised son of Russian exiles with a mafia history, Alex has spent his life trying to escape the shadow of that criminal past, building his own legitimate business and forging a life with his girlfriend Rebecca (Juliet Rylance).

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But when his family’s past returns to threaten them, Alex is forced to confront his values to protect those he loves.

James Norton told us: “When I got the first episode I was so excited to devour it. James Watkins and Hossein Amini (screenwriters) tantalisingly fed me the rest of the episodes and I read them as quickly as I could.

“Each actor is different but the process for me is collecting the data and forming the world, so I read books about the mafia, Russia and finance, topics that I wasn’t particularly up to date with. Then after that, I had to essentially put it aside and forget it and get myself into the headspace the character would inhabit.

“I have a theory that as an actor you should love the person you are playing, however abhorrent their actions might be.”