The Undoing’s Killer: Susanne Bier Solutions Largest Questions

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The Undoing's Killer: Susanne Bier Answers Biggest Questions

Warning: this put up comprises spoilers for The Undoing.

It seems that HBO’s homicide thriller The Undoing is far more homicide than thriller. From the start, charming pediatric oncologist Jonathan Fraser (Hugh Grant) was the principle suspect within the horrific killing of a younger mom from his son Henry’s prestigious non-public college. All through the collection, Jonathan’s spouse Grace (Nicole Kidman), a medical psychologist, realized that he’d been hiding nearly all the things from her: he was fired from his job, had affairs, borrowed cash from her father and had a sister who died beneath his care.

All indicators pointed to Jonathan being the proper candidate for homicide—a lot in order that he appeared too apparent a alternative for a crime thriller. However within the final installment of the six-part collection, the large twist was that there was no twist in any respect, when it was revealed that Jonathan did certainly smash a younger lady’s face in with a hammer. He was the particular person he claimed he by no means might have been. TIME spoke to Susanne Bier, the director of The Undoing and the filmmaker behind Hen Field and The Evening Supervisor, in regards to the massive reveal, the selection to forged Hugh Grant, the present’s reputation and extra.

Hugh Grant in ‘The Undoing’ finale

{Photograph} by Niko Tavernise/HBO

TIME: Jonathan was the plain suspect from the primary episode. How did you hope viewers would react to the reveal that he did, in truth, homicide Elena?

Susanne Bier: In a manner, the entire conceit was to do that hand-holding with Grace. What Jonathan was doing with the viewers is just about what Jonathan is doing with Grace. He’d admitted that he’d been untrue. He’d admitted that he was not fairly the person she thought he was. Then he very consciously and diligently rebuilt her belief in him till she couldn’t belief him any longer. Grace suffered from what she instructed one among her shoppers to start with of the collection: Are you seeing what is admittedly there? Or are you seeing what you need to see? It’s very deep in human nature that we see what we need to see. You’ll be able to see the collection philosophically is about that. It’s about our personal lack of ability to take care of actuality and our fixed want to twist our notion right into a actuality we discover extra promising, handy and likable. That’s what the collection was about. There was by no means any query that it could possibly be anybody else.

A part of the explanation it’s arduous to consider that Jonathan might actually have achieved it’s that Hugh Grant is such an enthralling actor. Might you might have pictured anybody else on this position?

A part of the explanation why Hugh Grant wished to do it and a part of the explanation we wished him to do it’s as a result of he’s such an enthralling actor with plenty of depth beneath. We love Hugh Grant and we need to love him, as does Grace. The very first thing I mentioned after I began on my very first assembly with [creator] David E. Kelley and Nicole Kidman was that I feel we should always get Hugh Grant to play it due to the attraction and likewise the sort of disappointment he has, which can be extremely endearing and likable.

It’s uncommon for a criminal offense thriller to have the assassin be the particular person viewers suspected it is perhaps right through. What have been the challenges of pulling that conclusion off in a compelling manner?

It was very difficult. A part of what we got down to do was to seduce audiences that perhaps it wasn’t him after which to have the suspicion go in all kinds of instructions, after which have it come again like a boomerang. Episode six was massaged in some ways earlier than the ultimate model.

The Undoing relies loosely off of a novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz. How trustworthy did you need to be to the supply materials? How a lot freedom did you’re feeling you needed to play with it?

David E. Kelley, in our first dialog, instructed me that he was going to make use of the guide for the primary two episodes. The guide is known as You Ought to Have Recognized. The basic theme of the guide is that it doesn’t actually matter how sensible or insightful you’re, you may nonetheless be fooled. You’ll be able to nonetheless let your self be fooled into pondering that issues are completely different. And that entire factor of “you should have known” is the core of the collection in addition to the core of the guide.

In an earlier episode, we be taught that Grace walked by Elena’s studio the evening of the homicide and doesn’t keep in mind it. What are we speculated to make of that given what we all know now?

What she does is inform the reality. We do see her stroll lots. She walks the entire time. She simply occurred to stroll previous.

Henry is across the identical age that Jonathan was when his sister was killed. Was that an intentional assertion in regards to the legacy of childhood trauma?

It was actually advised when it comes to childhood trauma, but additionally, I feel for Grace there was this concern: is it actually doable that my son is a sociopath? Or is Jonathan utilizing that potential as a result of Grace now is aware of? And the latter is the appropriate rationalization.

The present was the finest first season launch ever for HBO in your native Denmark, and highly regarded in Europe usually. What do you suppose accounts for its reputation there?

Very fortuitously, it’s been extremely widespread all over the place. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant are an attention-grabbing and attractive couple. I feel we have been very fortunate this time and made a present which individuals are actually enthusiastic about.

Lots of people in contrast this present, at the least earlier than watching it, to Huge Little Lies, given the mix of David E. Kelley, Nicole Kidman and HBO. Did you ever really feel such as you have been anticipated to fill a Huge Little Lies-shaped void for viewers?

I didn’t. After all I knew there could be dialog, however I really feel it’s a very completely different present. I felt that Huge Little Lies is a present extra about feminine friendship than the rest. I really feel this present could be very a lot a couple of couple, about who you may belief, otherwise, and lots about women and men.

This can be a miniseries, however now we have seen a number of profitable miniseries that have been meant to finish come again for a second season. Is there any extra materials right here you’d need to discover in one other installment of this collection?

I’d love for David E. Kelley to write down a season two, however at this cut-off date it’s solely wishful pondering. There aren’t any plans. I’ve acquired no concept whether or not David could be remotely . There hasn’t been a dialog about it.

There was plenty of chatter on the Web in regards to the coats Nicole Kidman wears, and even the helicopters that have been used within the finale. What appealed to you in regards to the underbelly of this very ritzy New York Metropolis world?

I really feel prefer it’s been a personality within the present by itself. New York Metropolis is on one hand so monumental, and there’s one thing type of very clear and sort of architecturally strict about it. Like, the grid. After which, it’s so, in one other manner, uncontrolled. I like that complexity and I preferred that combined factor. I felt that Grace’s strolling at evening and strolling within the metropolis emphasizes that.

There’s one very last thing that’s been looming over the collection. Do you suppose Henry can lastly get his canine now?

It’s actually humorous—sooner or later, within the ending, we had Grace getting in and shopping for a canine. Then it sort of grew to become too many endings on high of endings on high of endings. However sure, I feel Henry will get his canine.

Write to Annabel Gutterman at The Undoing Solutions All of Our Questions About That Surprisingly Unsurprising Finale&physique=httpspercent3Apercent2Fpercent2Ftime.compercent2F5916391%2Fthe-undoing-killer-susanne-bierpercent2F” goal=”_self” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>annabel.gutterman@time.com.


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