Stay Close star jokes he relates to tragic life in Netflix show Declined into cess pit

Stay Close: Richard Armitage wasn't added to cast Whatsapp

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Stay Close is based on the novel of the same name by American best-selling author Harlan Coben. In 2018, Coben struck up a multi-million dollar five-year deal with Netflix, giving the streamer permission to bring his books to life with each one going down a storm with subscribers. Fans of Coben’s series will remember that actor Richard Armitage played the lead in The Stranger but now he is back for a brand new role in Stay Close.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Stay Close.

The Stranger premiered on Netflix in January 2020, telling the story of family man Adam Price’s (played by Richard Armitage) world falling apart.

After watching his children’s football match, Adam is caught up in a brief conversation with a stranger who forces him to question certain events in his life.

This ultimately leads to the disappearance of his wife and more confusion follows as the truth quickly unravels.

Armitage was welcomed back into the world of Coben as he was cast for Stay Close which saw him take on a completely new part.

Stay Close sees the lives of Meg (Cush Jumbo), Ray (Armitage), Lorraine (Sarah Parrish) and Detective Broome (James Nesbitt) turned upside down after a young man goes missing.

Armitage portrays Ray, a paparazzi photographer who put his life’s ambitions on hold as he became obsessed with finding the love of his life Meg who left without warning.

For more than a decade, Ray hasn’t been able to move on, with some of Meg’s pictures still hung up on his wall.

While speaking to press, including Express.co.uk, Armitage joked that he could relate to this unfortunate lifestyle.

Armitage said: “Ray was sort of once on the toes-of-greatness as an artist, he has kind of declined into this cesspit of this business which I completely relate to!

“But you know, he’s a paparazzi for hire, he’s photographing kids at Bar mitzvahs and they added a scene where you see a book he was once about to publish on war photography.

“And there’s a lot of well-known photographers I took inspiration from.

“It’s completely fictional but I did imagine him in the gutter looking up and looking back at his life and thinking ‘I’ve wasted all this time looking for this person, trying to piece together these events and I’ve hit a certain age now’.

“It’s kind of tragic so I relate to that.”

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As well as the disappearance of his fiancée, there is the issue of memory loss to deal with as well.

His friend and pregnant ex-army sergeant Simona (Andi Osho) shows up worried one day as her partner was nowhere to be seen.

Ray remembers snippets of a night out which resulted in him punching Simona’s boyfriend but the rest remains hazy.

So did Ray have something to do with him going missing or has something even more sinister taken place?

Armitage added: “He’s [Ray] an interesting character because he’s spending his time trying to piece together this lost memory of a traumatic event that happened 17 years ago.

“He has this absence of memory which I thought was a really interesting challenge.

“The way that Harlan unpacks the story in the book and then seeing how that translates into a screenplay when everyone gets involved and you realise it has to come away from the book and be tailored to the characters, I find that a really exciting process.”

Stay Close is available to watch on Netflix.

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