And so we’ve reached the last day of 2012, and what a cracking year it has been for Jonas Armstrong!
Two very successful TV series with Prisoners’ Wives and Hit & Miss, and the release of the fantastic urban thriller Twenty8k. Ending the year filming current project All You Need is Kill. Let’s take a look back at what was a glorious 2012!
January – March ~ Prisoners’ Wives
During the first three months of 2012 we had the pleasure of watching the fantastic Prisoners’ Wives on BBC One. Telling the story of four very different women, each struggling to cope with a significant man in her life serving time in prison.
Jonas Armstrong plays the role of Steve Roscoe, husband of pregnant Gemma played by the fabulous Emma Rigby, who has found himself in prison on a suspect murder charge. During the course of the six episodes it becomes clear whether or not Steve is guilty or innocent. Now I won’t spoil it in case you haven’t seen it yet…but it was really great fun to see Jonas play a character that wasn’t as clean-cut compared to all his previous roles. That said when you watch it, you can’t but help see some glimmers of the rather smug but ever charming Robin Hood coming through in a couple of scenes when Gemma visits Steve in prison.
Prisoners’ Wives is a TV series with a terrific cast and very strong performances by all. It really was an eye-opener on many levels regarding prison life in the UK and the social stigmas attached to the women’s situation. Now if you haven’t seen it yet I’ve to point out that there are lots of funny moments in the series too! That’s what is brilliant about the series, it has a perfect balance between hardcore drama and comedy. It really was a hit with BBC One viewers, together with many TV critics. So much so that a second series has been commissioned and will air in 2013. Sadly it will not feature the cast of series 1 as the writer decided to tell four different stories this time round, but do keep watching! The DVD boxset of the series is available to order online.
April – August ~ Hit & Miss
By the time Prisoners’ Wives finished, it wasn’t long or the promotion started for Jonas Armstrong’s second highly successful TV series of the year: the truly outstanding Hit & Miss created by Paul Abbott with the brilliant Chloë Sevigny as Mia shown on SkyAtlantic. Mia is a contract killer with a secret – she’s a transgender woman. Eddie, Mia’s handler and a well-known name in the criminal underworld, took Mia under his wing and trained her into a first class assassin. Her life is sent into a tailspin when she receives a letter from her ex, Wendy, who reveals that she’s dying from cancer and that Mia has fathered a son, 11-year-old Ryan…
You can still watch a video of the MIPTV convention held in Cannes where Paul Abbott talked about how the show came about and where his ideas originated from. Really fascinating stuff!
Hit & Miss is very special and without a doubt one of the big highlights of 2012! Beforehand it got rather all hyped up because of the prosthetics involved etc… Where in fact this series showcased pure brilliance as the writing, courtesy of Sean Conway, was truly outstanding. Every episode was an emotional roller-coaster. You can’t help but feel for Mia and how she tries to build a relationship with the children who are still grieving the loss of their mum. The show is brutally honest, not shying away from the assassin scenes, in contrast to the family life Mia is trying to build or indeed starting a romantic relationship. This is where Jonas Armstrong comes in, as he plays the role of landscape gardener Ben who falls for Mia but hasn’t got any clue about her many secrets. Trying to avoid any spoilers in case you’ve yet to see this one, it’s fair to say their relationship doesn’t always run smoothly… Jonas and Chloë were just amazing together, making their characters very believable to the audience. Special kudos has to go to the children as well, as they were just superb in their roles. Lol it’s very hard to talk about the plot as such as it does contain many twists! Hit & Miss proved to be a massive big hit for SkyAtlantic with some of the highest audience figures together with worldwide sales. To top it all off the series has won multiple awards already and is nominated for best original series of 2012 at the Broadcast Awards held on the 30th of January 2013! The DVD boxset is available to order online.
With Hit & Miss it was really great fun to see Jonas Armstrong promoting the series, doing TV interviews or online. It had been ages since he’d done any of that! If you’d like to watch/ read them all back simply follow the links mentioned in this post. And thank you @SkyAtlantic again for including one of my questions in the interview held by BlackBerry.
Then there was also the Hit & Miss premiere back in May which turned out altogether incredibly surprising! Lots of twitter fun and very special, so huge thanks again to @AbbottVision & Martin, @RedProductionCo, @GayTimesMag and of course Jonas! Xx
You might wonder why I put the time period for Hit & Miss up to August? Well that’s because it was a really big hit when it aired in the US too! It was incredible to see how many fans of the show helped out with the Soundtrack listing, or left a really nice comment on the blog about how much they were enjoying the series! Without any doubt Hit & Miss was the favorite read subject of the year on the blog! Almost 20.000 of you checked out the song listing alone!! *Thud* Make note that lots of other countries including France will air Hit & Miss in 2013, so the fun is certainly continuing next year as more people discover this little gem.
July – October ~ Twenty8k
Just when Hit & Miss finished airing in the UK, the very gripping urban thriller Twenty8k got its World Premiere on July 5th in London. Directed by Neil Thompson and David Kew with screenplay written by Paul Abbott & Jimmy Dowdall.
Parminder Nagra plays Deeva Jani, a successful, Paris-based fashion executive who is forced to return home to the UK when she receives the shocking news that her teenage brother Vipon. has been arrested for a fatal gang shooting in East London. As she and her family are vilified and the dead boy’s violent family threaten retribution against her brother in jail, Deeva turns detective in an attempt to uncover the truth, prove her brother’s innocence and save his life.Teaming up with youth worker and ex-gang member, Clint, played by Jonas Armstrong. As events unfold a deeper conspiracy is unlocked involving political corruption, media manipulation, prostitution, murder and power struggles way beyond London’s street gangs, all the way to the heart of the government.
Twenty8k is a compelling and gritty thriller showcasing the best of British talent in terms of cast, crew & storytelling. The intricate plot keeps you guessing all the way through, as there are so many twists and turns along the way. The characters are all believable and found it a real joy to follow the lead character Deeva played by the amazing Parminder Nagra, in her investigation to find the truth & clear her brother’s name. It really is a terrific ensemble cast, each giving fantastic performances and beautifully shot by directors David Kew & Neil Thompson, creating lots of atmosphere, the helicopter shots of London in particular are simply breathtaking! Twenty8k is a smart thriller, giving the audience just enough back-story to fill some of the blanks, while still leaving more than enough room for guesswork on how all the puzzle pieces finally fit. I found it highly entertaining and a very enjoyable watch!
It was really amazing to see Jonas Armstrong starring in two Paul Abbott projects back to back, especially as the characters he played were very different from one another. This is another project where I can’t say too much due to spoilers, but his performance in Twenty8k was terrific!:D The film was eventually released in UK cinemas in September. As much as I enjoyed the 2012 London Olympics this summer, there came an actual point that I resented it a bit…mainly due to the quite baffling reviews from critics who took ratings away from the film for the simple reason that it didn’t fit with the ‘Olympics happy after-glow’. Which was so annoying to read, especially as 12 months earlier there were gangs causing havoc for days during the August Riots in London. *sigh* The DVD was released in October and happy to say that the viewers and audience have given the film a real thumbs up!
I was very lucky indeed to be able to attend the Premiere in Whitechapel as part of the EastEnd Filmfestival, you can read more in this post about how it went. Had the most fabulous time and many thanks again to @AbbottVision for everything, including that phone call! Xx
You can watch more pictures from the Premiere here or for video interviews with cast & crew check out this post. Sadly Jonas couldn’t make it to the Premiere due to personal reasons and I really can’t stress it enough how absolutely gutted he was for not being able to attend. As always he had the fans in mind and told me to pass on a message to the fanbase as he was ever so very sorry!
Not being able to be at the premiere, Jonas did however manage to catch up with promoting the film, as he appeared on T4 back in September with a very hilarious interview!
October – December ~ All You Need is Kill
The last couple of months Jonas Armstrong has been incredibly busy shooting his latest film at Leavesden Studios. (next door to the Harry Potter Studios ) All You Need is Kill will be his first major Hollywood Studios (WarnerBros.) production and bound to be a breakthrough project! It’s all so very exciting. The film is being directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, producer of Covert Affairs & Suits) and the writers of the screenplay have been involved in shows like Alias, Fringe and Hawaii-Five-O. All awesome as I’ve watched or am still watching all of these, being a big fan of J.J. Abrams The cast includes Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton, so Jonas is in very good company. Not that much is known yet apart from the synopsis, as it’s based on a Japanese manga novel. A soldier fighting in a war with aliens finds himself caught in a time loop of his last day in the battle, though he becomes better skilled along the way. All we know about Jonas’ character is that he’s playing the role of Skinner, my guess a soldier under Bill Paxton’s character command but could be wrong of course… We’ll have to wait til March 7 2014 to see it released on the big screen!
This concludes the look back at 2012, and I’m sure you’ll agree that this has been a fabulous year for Jonas Armstrong! Really hope 2013 will be another fantastic one, fingers crossed for more new and exciting projects coming his way!
I’d like to end with a massive big thank you to you guys for reading the blog, to everyone on twitter (team Twenty8k and team Hit & Miss) for all the updates and answers to questions! And of course Jonas Armstrong for being such a really nice guy, and for all the entertainment in 2012! It really has been tremendous great fun to get involved and follow it all up.
Lots of love, Nikki Xxxx