Charlie Hicks and Elaine Renko neither trust nor like each other, but each is painfully aware their fates are inexorably intertwined.
As played by Jim Sturgess (“21,” “Feed The Beast”) and Agyness Deyn (“Clash of the Titans,” “The White King”) in the Hulu crime drama series “Hard Sun,” which begins streaming Wednesday, they're oil-and-water detectives with the London police force who couldn't be more polar opposite.
Charlie is a solid family man and a committed cop, but also is profoundly corrupt. After his beloved partner is killed in the line of duty, he is paired with Elaine, a difficult personality with a troubled past who is also incorruptible. As each grudgingly accepts their new situation, they come into information during the investigation of an apparent suicide that changes everything – a coming cosmic disaster will end all life on Earth within the next five years.
“It's interesting,” Sturgess says, “because the two characters right from the off have two very different perspectives on what is important when we discover this information on this flash drive.
“And for my character, it all boils down to family,” he continues. “It's all about protection and looking after the people that you love and that are closest to you, and making sure that their exit from this world is as looked-after and is as well-prepared as possible. So that's my character's absolute through line throughout the show, is to look after the people that he loves no matter what the cost and is prepared to do some fairly questionable things at times to reach that through line.”
Indeed, family comes first for both officers, but one wouldn't glean that from an early sequence in the premiere, where Elaine is stabbed during a knock-down-drag-out with her teenage son. Deyn, a former supermodel, proves herself quite adept at fight scenes, particularly one later on with Charlie over custody of the flash drive.
“She comes at it from a very intellectual standpoint,” Deyn explains. “And I think that's where Elaine and Hicks kind of come to blows. It's kind of like, 'We can't be emotional about this. This is what we have to do,' which is a very interesting thing to play when she has this new relationship of her son there. It was really fun to play the balance of her energy ... of righting her own wrongs and trying to do the moralistic good thing for the masses and having herself being second, to then have to put herself first for her son. So that was a nice twist that I really enjoyed playing.”