Hulu’s new original drama Hard Sun premieres this week. The cop drama poses a world that knows they are only five years away from an extinction event. That makes it somewhat more complicated for Detectives Renko (Agyness Deyn) and Hicks (Jim Sturges) to police the city. What do criminals have to lose anymore?
An international model, Deyn made her feature film debut in Clash of the Titans. Hard Sun marks her first series role, and the show has already aired in the U.K. We spoke with Deyn after Hulu’s TCA panel for Hard Sun. Catch the U.S. premiere Wednesday, March 7 on Hulu.
WLE: How have you been choosing roles in your acting career
Agyness Deyn: I’ve been very fortunate to have amazing directors, Terrence Davies and Bryn Higgins, really young and up and coming directors in England, send me material. I just go step by step, moment by moment and maneuver in that way, but I’m very blessed and fortunate that I’ve had these amazing women characters knock on my door.
WLE: Do you do ridealongs with police in England?
Agyness Deyn: I didn’t personally. I know Jim spoke to some. Elaine, for me, is so new school. She’s come at it from an intellectual standpoint. She’s not come up from the bottom up. She’s gone straight in as her role through university and Masters so she’s coming at it from a different perspective than Hicks, highly educated. So from that standpoint, she always is the outsider so I think for me, I didn’t want to feel like I knew too much about the way things work. She always comes at it from an original, ingenious perspective if that makes sense.
Q: But she still feels like she needs to learn?
Agyness Deyn: Absolutely, and is very open to that which I loved about her. She kind of goes by feel, environmentally. So it actually keeps you moment by moment with her.
Q: How intense were the fight scenes?
Agyness Deyn: I mean, Jojo [Macari] who plays Daniel is incredible. It’s the first thing that he’s done. The funny thing about the fight with Jojo is that when we choreograph some of them, it didn’t feel authentic. So things that happen further along in the series, we couldn’t actually choreograph them. Jojo and I were like, “can we just do it and see what happens?” The stunt directors were literally losing their shit.
Q: Was that the fight in the hospital?
Agyness Deyn: Yeah, so we just did that. It looked really janky before and we didn’t feel comfortable so we just trusted each other and just went for it. That’s what’s so fun.
Q: Why is that relationship so contentious?
Agyness Deyn: Well, I think obviously he has abandonment issues which is totally understandable. From Elaine’s standpoint, she felt like she was doing the right thing. She gave him up for adoption. She has this fantasy that he’s living in this beautiful home with these loving parents and is doing really well in life. He’s having a better life than he would be, because she was only 13-14 when she had him so she feels, so when he comes literally knocking on her door, it just becomes so crazy because it’s so unexpected for her. Obviously, they both have a different reality of how things have progressed.
WLE: How would you react to a Hard Sun situation? Would you live life to the fullest for five years?
Agyness Deyn: Yeah, I suppose you have to. I think for me I would just want to be with family and friends. I try to live with no regrets. Even if you do something, you learn. I would just want to be around nature and family. I think I’d be okay with it when it came to it. If everyone’s going, you just…
Q: How much do you keep that in the back of your mind when you play the police procedural?
Agyness Deyn: I try and play, if I dissect it now looking back, I always try and play things in the moment as trying not to have everything. Obviously it’s there but situationally, what is actually occurring right now? So it doesn’t feel like you have to contain everything all at once.
Q: Do you think Elaine would block it out?
Agyness Deyn: Yeah, yeah, because you actually have to function. Also as well, I think when I know from my own life, when you know a knowledge of something, like if someone’s very ill, you go through moments of being oblivious and then you remember again. I think that’s a very human quality psychologically to be able to cope with something that you go back and forth on.
Q: Does her investigation into Hicks carry throughout the season?
Agyness Deyn: Yeah, it’s secretive. They’re very wary of each other. What I love about the relationship is they both know that they’re investigating each other, which is a really fun thing. It really becomes this Tom and Jerry kind of thing where they’re all trying to one up each other. The interesting thing that I found when we were playing it is that when one of us peaks our head above and is like oh no, I like you, then the other one has come down. It becomes this push and pull. It’s like oh, I do trust him and I don’t care about this thing. Then he’s like oh my God, she’s after me and I have to take her down, which is fun to play.
WLE: How quickly did you and Jim get along?
Agyness Deyn: From the get go. We’re very similar I think in temperament. So yeah, straight away. And also as well, you want to get on with someone so you go in with your best foot forward as a partner, as a collaborator.
WLE: What reaction have you gotten since it’s aired in the UK?
Agyness Deyn: I think people like it. I don’t read anything but I was just there a few days ago. People were like, “Oh, Renko.” I was like oh, that’s weird. I think a lot of people binge watched and were kind of like oh my God, what the hell was that? It’s relentless.
WLE: Are you still based in England?
Agyness Deyn: In New York.
WLE: For how long?
Agyness Deyn: 2005 so nearly 13 years now.