Alice Englert and Nicholas Denton are two rising Australian stars who play the leads in STARZ’s new Dangerous Liaisons prequel series.
Set in France in the late 18th century on the eve of the Revolution, Dangerous Liaisons takes us back to the youth of the iconic characters from the novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, made famous by Christopher Hampton’s play and Stephen Frears’s subsequent 1988 film.
This version of Dangerous Liaisons introduces us to Camille and Pascal, young lovers trying to break into the lush, decadent world of the aristocracy by any means necessary.
Alice Englert was recently seen as Nurse Dolly in Netflix’s Ratched. Englert plays Camille, the woman at the center of it all.
Nicholas Denton has acted in countless theatre productions, as well as television and film, where he also writes and produces. Denton plays the driven, determined rake, Pascal.
We caught up with this charismatic pair at a recent press day and chatted about the responsibility of stepping into such well-known characters.
Of Pascal and Camille, Englert notes, “It’s interesting the lies they tell to people and the lies they tell themselves.”
Denton found the couple’s many levels of manipulation, scheming, and machinations an exciting challenge as an actor. “I was trying to keep up with them, which keeps me on my toes.”
With characters this ruthless and single-minded, Englert says, “What makes their behavior, instead of just being stupid, [but] tragic … is that you can understand. The pain is almost forcing their hands.”
Denton maintains that “They’re just trying to exist.”
The irony is that, despite their behavior, Camille and Pascal “think they’re good! They hope they’re good. They actually hate themselves.”
Both actors liken their characters’ journey to a horror movie, “You’re like, ‘Don’t go in there! Don’t do it!'”
The show is filled with extremely steamy intimate scenes, and Denton and Englert dissolved into giggles when we brought up their palpable chemistry.
They cite the work of their intimacy coordinator (Ita O’Brien), directors (Leonora Lonsdale and Olly Blackburn), and hours of rehearsal to make the sex scenes safe and comfortable.
When asked what attracted Camille and Pascal to each other, they cited “competition,” “curiosity,” and, of course, “love.”
It’s clear these two have a charming, easy rapport with each other, whether they are playing 18th-century lovers or just joking around as themselves.
You can watch our full interview with Alice and Nicholas here:
Dangerous Liaisons premieres on Sunday, November 6, at 9 p.m. on STARZ.
Mary Littlejohn is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.