Anthony Pantalone, Arts and Entertainment Editor
On Monday, Mar. 28, I had the opportunity to attend a virtual event where Academy Award-winning actress Rachel Weisz and Emmy-nominated writer Alice Birch spoke about and debuted the trailer for their new show “Dead Ringers”. This six-episode show is a remake/re-imagining of David Cronenberg’s 1988 classic film of the same name. Birch and Weisz in this show look to update the original film’s story of eccentric twin gynecologists, Beverly and Elliot Mantle, for modern audiences from a female perspective. Weisz—who won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award in 2006 for “The Constant Gardener” and starred in box office hits such as “The Mummy”—pulls double duty as the twin protagonists of the series. Alice Birch, the creator and writer of the show, has amassed a successful career as a screenwriter and playwright—garnering an Emmy nomination for her work on Episode 3 of “Normal People” in 2020.
When asked about what “Dead Ringers” is, Birch and Weisz responded:
Alice Birch: “It’s a reworking of David Cronenberg’s iconic film. It’s a twisted, darkly comedic thriller about these two dangerously codependent twins who are obsessed with each other. Have never spent a night apart for their whole life. Have always lived in the same city.”
Rachel Weisz: “They’re both obstetricians and gynecologists, and they’re very brilliant in their field. They’re professionally at the top of their game.”
When asked about the experience of playing two main twin characters, Rachel Weisz answered:
“This was without a doubt the biggest challenge of my acting life….No question about that. But also the most joyous in many ways. It was hard work….[I]t was thrilling. I mean, exciting as maybe learning to walk a tightrope.”
The creator/writer Alice Birch also was asked about the importance of telling this specific story from a female perspective.
“It felt like it would just be really interesting to tell this story with two women at the center of it. But I don’t know that Rachel and I ever had conversations where we said, “okay, well, now that they’re women, how does that change it?” It, of course, changes everything, but it also changes nothing. That’s what I think we wanted it to be as fun and as wild as the film and let the series go in its own direction. And then setting it against a medical background that particularly focused on obstetrics and gynecology – that felt really right for the storytelling…It felt like that could have like this tone that we wanted could really sit in that space in a really interesting way.”
Here is the official trailer for “Dead Ringers”:
“Dead Ringers” will be available for streaming on Prime Video with the first two episodes premiering on Apr. 21.