GEORGINA CLIOS – JULIA STILES
Tenacious and determined, Georgina Clios escaped a difficult childhood to train at the prestigious Courtauld Art Institute in London. Georgina threw herself into the world of art collectors, billionaires and the upper echelons of society, a universe that was incomparable to her blue-collar upbringing. But Georgina will always be an outsider. She smiles along with the room, and can hold her own in intelligent conversation and witty retorts, but she is forever fighting for her place in the world.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Georgina’s career as an art curator was highly successful, and through it she met her husband Constantine, marrying into the wealth she had constantly been circling as part of her career. But more importantly she married into a caring, supportive relationship: something she had never anticipated finding. After Constantine was murdered in a yacht explosion, Georgina set out on a mission to get to the bottom of his death. Refusing to buckle under pressure from the Russian state or powerful Oligarchs, she fought to uncover the truth, only to discover that it was closer to home than she could have anticipated.
Georgina murdered her stepson Adam in cold blood. In her eyes, Adam took away her husband, and tainted the life and home she had built around her. Since childhood, Georgina has believed that sometimes it’s understandable to do the wrong thing for the right reasons, and now, as she tries to move forward and hide her crime, both physically and emotionally, it will force her to reassess the foundations of her beliefs and moral code. In Season 2 Georgina is a truth-seeker who carries with her a massive secret. A secret that causes massive internal moral contradiction and forces her to examine her already complicated attitude towards the truth…
IRINA CLIOS – LENA OLIN
The first wife of Constantine, Irina’s involvement was key in building the Clios brand into the multi-billion dollar company it is today. Keeping her name after the divorce, she became Madame Clios; elegant, resourceful, intelligent, still very much a revered member of Riviera society, and the face of the Clios charity foundation. But a queen without a castle.
Though she maintains a difficult relationship with her children, she wants nothing but the best for the family. Whether or not that’s in line with what her children want for themselves is a different matter. Whatever keeps the Clios brand, her brand, alive, Irina is willing to do it. Family is everything. But this family is hers, first and foremost. She is a tigress when it comes to her children. She will not be sidelined. Irina likes to be in control, and is not afraid to be manipulative to get what she wants.
Irina is intelligent, canny, and a little cynical. Throughout her life in the Riviera, she’d always believed her power stemmed from her femininity and sexuality, and she’d pulled some considerable strings from the sidelines. Irina has no lack of self-confidence, but she is not invulnerable. She owns and celebrates her sexuality, but she needs to be wanted.
In Season 2, Irina will attempt to keep together the family she fought hard to build. With Adam missing, Christos estranged, Adriana hurt, and Georgina carrying a massive secret, it proves more difficult than she initially believes. There is also light for Irina though: in Georgina’s uncle Jeff, Irina discovers both her equal and opposite, and an odd but fascinating chemistry crackles between them. She finds herself with an unexpected confidante and friend.
CHRISTOS CLIOS – DIMITRI LEONIDAS
A brash, confident playboy, Christos was the natural fit as Constantine’s heir, throwing himself into the cutthroat world of international banking, business, and the party lifestyle that goes with it. Except Christos is not the leader that he portrays himself to be. As the second son, he never anticipated taking over the reins from his father, but when it became clear that Adam side-stepped the responsibility, he had to step up. But Christos is riddled with self-doubt. His father didn’t trust him – and even Irina expects Christos to rely on her advice and guidance. It’s these demons, chipping away at his self-esteem that led Christos to give in to his addictive personality. Ironically, it was the step-mother he never trusted that eventually saved him from his vices. Christos may have been manipulated by Georgina initially, but she was the one who organised the help he needed to treat his heroin addiction. Georgina, with Irina’s help, coerced him into rehab to give him a shot at rebuilding his life. But the events of the last few episodes – the kidnapping and near-betrayal by his mother – left him literally a broken man. Hobbled, deposed as head of the family empire, alienated from Irina – and tempted to fall off the wagon.
In Season 2 Christos finds a new path. With rigorous discipline, and steady, quiet guidance from his new friend and business partner Raafi, he begins to rebuild that confidence. After being sidelined by the board, he embraces new, exciting, risky business ventures. And he makes a success of it, emboldened by a new maturity and clearer sense of his place in the world. Alcohol and drugs may be out, but Christos is back and he’s better than ever.
ADRIANA CLIOS – ROXANE DURAN
The youngest of the Clios children, idealistic and passionate Adriana has never wanted for anything – except to feel truly loved. She’s not as young and naïve as everyone thinks she is, and following the death of her father she began pushing the boundaries of her world. Adriana is an anxious, trusting and vulnerable girl. In a stable, supportive environment she could have blossomed, but the Clios family have trampled her. She’s a dependent person who has no one to depend on.
Spurred on by her fractured relationship with Irina, she acted out, desperate to change her status from an unconfident child to the respected daughter of Constantine Clios. A romance with Sophie Lombardi followed, but her happiness was quickly torn apart when she unearthed the truth about her parentage, and witnessed more than she should have pass between Georgina and Adam.
At the end of Season 1, she seemed to have repaired her relationship with her mother though this was based on a lie; that Negrescu wasn’t her father. Discovering her true parentage in the final moments of the series may have an effect not only on how Adriana feels about Irina, but also on how she feels about herself. The foundations of her past have completely been shaken. And this leads her into temptation: when Adriana meets Nico Eltham, the chemistry is tangible and the irresistible attraction between them raises eyebrows from the off. Hot-headed Adriana is never one to heed the warnings of those who stand between her and what she wants – but has she underestimated the danger of a dalliance with the handsome Englishman?
JEFF CARTER – WILL ARNETT
Magnetic and captivating, New York City bachelor Jeff was only in his mid-20s when 12-year-old Georgina landed on his doorstep. Her chancer father Kurt had been sent to prison for white-collar crime and her unstable mother Rose (Jeff’s sister) had disappeared the previous year. Jeff installed Georgina into his cramped spare bedroom and got on with his life.
Unprepared to be a parent, let alone to a teenage girl, he shut down any conversation about Georgina’s parents, angry at Kurt for getting himself locked up and fearful for Rose’s safety. Jeff was trying to carve out a career for himself in advertising as an account director, and had found an agency where charisma and chutzpah covered a multitude of sins. Long hours in the office and socializing with clients meant Georgina was mostly left to fend for herself – although when Jeff was around, he was a lot of fun. Desperately fond of his only niece, but with no real clue what to do with her, Jeff stuck to what he knew and Georgina learned to cheat at cards, shoot a gun and shake a martini. All the essential life skills…
Georgina was about to head to college when temptation came Jeff’s way in the form of some risky-looking investments in the dotcom boom. A gambling man, Jeff was one of the lucky ones; he made his fortune and relocated to the Caribbean. He decided to pay the rent on their apartment for Georgina and move himself to the Caribbean. He bought a stretch of beach and built holiday homes on it – in effect, he never worked again. Maintaining a sporadic relationship via email, he followed his niece’s success – but their first meeting in person for years comes at Kurt’s funeral – and this is where the skeletons in the closet start rattling, as Georgina searches for answers about her father’s death and the missing pieces of her childhood. Jeff and Georgina unite as they face up to the truth about what really happened.
Jeff is the moral pivot for Georgina and his opprobrium cuts her to the core. When he arrives in the Riviera, he offers fresh and relatable presence, and a welcome slant of normality in the skewed and distorted world.
NOAH LEVY – GREGORY FITOUSSI
French-Israeli Noah is a shameless opportunist and a consummate storyteller. These days, he makes a living flying Oligarchs and Sheikhs around the Riviera in their private helicopters. With a self-deprecating charm and a wry wit, Noah is a past master at winning people over; his problem is that he loves the thrill of the chase. It is in midst of an adventure that he feels the most alive.
When the opportunity arises to ferry guests to and from an exclusive art installation, Noah jumps at the chance. There, he meets Georgina, and the attraction between them is immediate. He confides in her the reason he has come to the Riviera: to track down a painting that was stolen from his family home when the invading Nazi forces looted the Marais during the occupation of Paris in 1942. But will his entanglement with Georgina be his undoing?
CASSANDRA ELTHAM – JULIET STEVENSON
Cassandra was brought up among the flinty, blue-blooded, minor league of the English aristocracy, from which she takes her indomitable spirit, innate confidence and some seriously impressive antique jewellery. When they died, Cassandra also inherited their estate on the Cote d’Azur, their manor on the edge of Dartmoor – and a towering pile of debt. Cassandra and Henry decided to sell the Dartmoor estate and downsize to a more modest London apartment. Once the debts were paid, there was nothing left to renovate the French property and it has lain under dustsheets ever since. Cassandra’s feelings about the place are mixed, but Daphne and Nico’s memories of their holiday home are nothing but fond, and Daphne’s recent marriage to Raafi provides plenty of cash to restore the house to its former glory.
One moment tender and affirming, the next contemptuous and cruel, series II sees Cassandra at the heart of an obsessive, distorted love story as she is forced to lay the past to rest.
DAPHNE ELTHAM – POPPY DELEVINGNE
Uninhibited and vibrant, Daphne’s effervescence and magnetism always puts her at the centre of the most excessive and thrilling parties. Her wealthy upbringing has made her fearless, but there’s a compassion to Daphne that is hard to match. If you compliment the roses in her house, the next morning an identical bouquet twice the size will be delivered to your door.
Daphne is incredibly close to her twin brother Nico; they are each other’s equal and opposite, and she takes care of him when he finds the world too much. However, since her marriage to Raafi, a fissure has begun to open up between brother and sister, though Daphne has yet to perceive it…
Daphne is inquisitive and affectionate, and she loves nothing more than meeting new people. When she and Georgina are thrown together at the beginning of series II, the instinctive and guileless Daphne is instantly fascinated by the reclusive American widow. But woe betide anyone who mistakes Daphne’s charm for weakness…
NICO ELTHAM – JACK FOX
Nico is always at least four moves ahead of everyone else. A valuation expert working at Sotheby’s, if Georgina is the heart of the art world, Nico is very much the head of it. He’s cerebral and reserved. He likes to be in control. His life is utterly governed by logic.
Daphne used to be the only person Nico felt he could truly trust. They have been soulmates since the day they were born. The twins complimented – and complemented – each other perfectly, but then Daphne pledged her future to Raafi and their bond was splintered. Nico had always known intellectually that his and Daphne’s lives would diverge as they got older, but he was not emotionally prepared for how chill the wind of change would be.
His parents Cassandra and Henry were careful to deal sensitively with the burden of the tax bill that came with her inheritance, and to protect their children from the financial sink-hole opening up underneath their life – but even as a young boy, Nico was able to see through the most artfully arranged of subterfuges, as he is so adept at disguise himself. He recognised that his family had wealth but no money, and he doesn’t want to experience that again – and now he is at the helm of his own life, he won’t have to.
RAAFI AL-QADAR – ALEX LANIPEKUN
Raafi is a sybaritic Sheikh who married into the Eltham family for their prestigious aristocratic status – but moreover because he fell for the fearless, intoxicating Daphne.
Born into Gulf royalty, Raafi is the eldest son of nine siblings scattered across the globe. While his younger brother was always destined to be the heir, he was steered towards the family business empire. Educated at Eton, Oxford and Harvard, he spent five years on the ‘shop floor’ before taking the reins, and his efforts tripled the worth of the family’s European interests. A shrewd businessman, he knows exactly where the power is in the room, and his natural acumen and charm is bolstered by his enduring sense of justice. He takes pride in conducting business in an honourable and gentlemanly way. His Achilles heel is his beloved wife – he’d do anything for Daphne; and his entanglements with the dark recesses of the Clios and Eltham families mean that his integrity will be pushed to its limit to keep her safe.