‘Anatomy of a Scandal’: Rupert Friend Promises ‘the Truth Will Out’
Life is going exactly as planned for posh, pedigreed London politician and married father of two James Whitehouse (Rupert Friend, Homeland). Then, shockingly, he’s accused of raping a young aide (Naomi Scott) with whom he had an affair. The alleged crime, and its ripple effects, play out in this twisty thriller, developed by hitmaker David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies) and based on Sarah Vaughan’s bestselling 2018 novel, Anatomy of a Scandal.
Whitehouse and his wife, stay-at-home-mom Sophie (Sienna Miller, above right, with Friend), first scoff at the idea that the accusation will stick to the Oxford-educated golden boy and close friend of the prime minister. “James grew up with enormous privilege and has gotten pretty much everything he ever wanted,” says Friend, who modeled the character after an amalgam of politicians.
But savvy, devoted prosecutor Kate Woodcroft (Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery, steely as ever) is positively convinced of the man’s guilt. “James and Kate have a secret in the past which neither is able to reveal once they realize their connection,” Friend teases. “The tension in the courtroom is all the more heightened.”
Making the six-episode series even more compelling: The show is shot from multiple perspectives, so viewers see different characters’ points of view. When it comes to what really happened between James and the aide, however, there’s no gray area. Friend promises, “The truth will out!”
Anatomy of a Scandal, Series Premiere, Friday, April 15, Netflix