The cast and crew of Sky Atlantic's Riviera welcomed Female First to Nice for an exclusive behind the scenes glimpse of season two of this hit drama which became the most-watched original Sky programme when it launched in 2017.
Now the show - conceived and executively produced by the long-time manager of U2 Paul McGuinness - is back for a second season, with scandals reaching new heights in this world of shady art dealing, offering a perfect narrative to a compelling storyline.
We caught up with the lead actress Julia Stiles, who gave us an insight into filming in the most glamorous location imaginable.
Did you always believe Riviera would be a success?
When I first saw the scripts I knew this would be a success. Riviera is different when compared to a lot of what we see on TV. It is larger than life, it is set in such an amazing place and we walk a fine line between escapism and the fancy cars that are great to see, alongside some serious characters who are living our extraordinary lives. After I was sent the script for the first episode, I was asking what the premise of the show would be and the quote they gave me was; this is a sunny place for shady people. Well, it's lived up to that billing!
Did it take a lot of persuading for you to take the role of Georgina in Riviera?
Not at all. I jumped at the chance to do it. This show could easily be just about big boats and girls in bikinis, but it is much more than that for the female characters. We have four really well fleshed out females in leading roles in Riviera and it feels like the make-up of this show fits in with the mood of change we are seeing across the industry as more doors are being opened for women.
You had your baby son with you in Nice while you were filming. Was that a nice distraction?
It was amazing to be down in Nice with our wonderful little boy and he was a great diversion when I went home at night. It meant I had something else to worry about and it was a delight to get back to my family every night and see his little face, even though it meant I was tired a lot of the time. Having a baby is an incredible experience and allows you to have a lot of perspective on everything that used to seem important in this world.
Does Riviera continue the trend of having strong women characters in leading roles in big productions?
I guess it does, but I have to be honest and admit I don't watch a lot of TV at the moment as all of my spare time is spent learning lines and trying to get some sleep. Despite me not seeing a lot of what is happening on TV of late, I have heard that there is a push for women to get more prominent roles and I'm told it's a campaign that has been going quite well.
Have you ever worked in more beautiful settings than Nice and Monaco?
It's an amazing place to shoot. We are working, but there are worse places to be, for sure. Everywhere you go, you can see sights that take the breath away and we are basically sightseeing every day while we are at work. We do some small scenes in a studio, but the majority of Riviera is filmed on location and you cannot get a better backdrop than what we have here.
What can we expect from season 2 of Riviera?
Season 1 of Riviera finished on quite a cliffhanger and now we have lots of new characters for season 2 and that adds to the tension and the drama. Also, Georgina is doing things I never imaged she would do and that is always exciting for an actress. We have a new family that comes in to shake up the already chaotic world of the Clios and I'm so excited with what we have produced for the second season. I'm sure fans of the show will not be disappointed.
Season 2 of Riviera starts 23 May on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV.
Written by Kevin Palmer
Tagged in Julia Stiles