There’s nothing pretty or little about what’s haunting Lucy Hale in Ragdoll.
The Pretty Little Liars alum is starting a new chapter in her career with AMC+’s six-episode drama based on the novel by Daniel Cole. She stars as a “fish-out-of-water” American detective constable, Lake Edmunds, who’s working a gruesome case in London where six murder victims have been dismembered and sewn into one grotesque body nicknamed “the Ragdoll.”
“I feel like I’ve been preparing my whole life for this role because I love true crime,” Hale tells EW about the “dark” and “disturbing” new series. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of a show like this because this is the genre I gravitate towards naturally. I watch all the true crime documentaries and listen to the podcasts. And this show is right on the money for what true crime people are into.”
Ragdoll (premiering Nov. 11) also stars Henry Lloyd-Hughes (The Irregulars) and Thalissa Teixeira (Too Close, The Musketeers) as the two other detectives assigned to this case along with Hale’s character. “These three detectives become taunted by the serial killer, and they’re trying to hunt down who it is,” Hale says. But, she adds, this “serial killer thriller” is unique because it’s also funny — which makes sense, seeing as how it comes from the brilliant minds behind Killing Eve.
“There’s a lot of comedy within the whole gruesomeness of what the show is about,” Hale says. “It’s British humor so it’s not like slapstick at all, but it definitely makes for an interesting mix to have this very intense, dark case that these detectives are working on, but the banter between the detectives, they never really take each other or themselves too seriously.”
Hale laughs as she reveals she thankfully didn’t need to attempt a British accent for the series. “My character actually is American in the show,” she says. “I think a lot of my friends and family think I’m playing a Brit because it’s set London and everyone else is British.”
While Hale loves the true crime genre, bringing Edmunds to life was what really excited her about Ragdoll. “My character is so much fun to play because she’s super headstrong, really intelligent, well-educated, feminist, stands her ground, kind of in over her head but doesn’t let people know that, and she says all the things that people are thinking but never have the guts to,” Hale says. “She’s really suspicious of one of the characters right from the beginning, and she has something that she’s carrying with her that’s really weighing on her and is really heavy; it’s followed her all the way to a different country.”
Throughout her wide-ranging career, Hale has never played a character like this — and that’s why she’s thrilled to get to show a new side of her talents. “She’s definitely a lot more rough around the edges and edgier than a lot of the characters I’ve played,” Hale says. “If I’m being honest, I didn’t think I had a shot at it because this is really different for me. But I knew that I could do it. I had to fight for it. It’s just been such a nice challenge doing something super different.”
If “A” could see her now.
Lucy Hale says she’s been preparing for a series like AMC’s upcoming crime show Ragdoll her whole life.
“I’m the first girl to listen any true crime podcast or to watch any of the crime shows,” Hale said during AMC’s TCA portion on Tuesday.
From listening and watching the horrors of true crime, Hale is now at the center of a horrifying web of murders in Ragdoll. Adapted for television by Freddy Syborn from Daniel Cole’s novel, the six-part series follows newly-reinstated DS Nathan Rose (Henry Lloyd-Hughes); his best friend and boss, DI Emily Baxter (Thalissa Teixeira); and the unit’s new recruit, DC Lake Edmunds (Hale) as they unravel the mystery behind the six people who have been murdered, dismembered and sewn into the shape of one grotesque body — nicknamed the ‘Ragdoll.’ The team must find the ‘Ragdoll Killer’ before he murders the victims for his next gruesome creation.
For Hale, Ragdoll is a new step in her career – following her teen drama days of Pretty Little Liars and her time on Katy Keene. The actress, who starred on Pretty Little Liars from 2010 to 2017 and Katy Keen from 2018 to 2020, wanted to venture out beyond the types of roles she was most known for, she said.
“When you’re a part of something like Pretty Little Liars or Katy Keene, people definitely want to keep you in that box and I’m very grateful for those opportunities,” she said. “But, I made the conscious decision that after Katy Keene got cancelled I knew that the next job I did really had to creatively excite me.”
The actress said that her supporters, who first started following her with the ABC Family drama, “have grown up with me” and believes that they, too, will take a leap into Ragdoll to continue their support.
The darker, more sinister AMC show isn’t just a new chapter for Hale’s career, but a new book, she said.
“Going to London and working with Sid Gentile, working with Freddy, I was so excited to work with Henry and Thalissa – it just feels elevated. I feel like I grew working with everyone,” she said. “Not even a new chapter, but a new book for sure. A darker, new book.”
Ragdoll will premiere on AMC Thursday, November 11. Syborn will serve as the lead writer and executive producer. The series will be executive produced by Sally Woodward Gentle and Lee Morris for Sid Gentle Films. McDermott and Kristin Jones oversee for AMC and Philippa Collie Cousins, Commissioning Editor, Drama for UKTV will be executive producer for Alibi. Lizzie Rusbridger will produce. BBC Studios is distributing the series internationally.
Vertical Entertainment has signed a deal with Mister Smith Entertainment for North American distribution rights to romantic comedy “The Hating Game,” which stars “Pretty Little Liars” actor Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell, who also appeared with her in “Fantasy Island.” Vertical is planning to give it a theatrical release later this year.
“The Hating Game,” which is based on the hit novel by Sally Thorne, tells the story of kind-hearted Lucy Hutton (Hale) and her cold, efficient nemesis Joshua Templeton (Stowell). Resolving to achieve professional success without compromising her ethics, Lucy embarks on a ruthless game of one-upmanship against Josh, a rivalry that is impossibly complicated by her growing attraction to him.
Peter Hutchings (“Then Came You”) directed Christina Mengert’s adaptation of the book.
“The Hating Game” novel was a 2018 USA Today Bestseller and was published in more than 20 countries. It is often identified as one of the key originators of the recent rom-com boom. It ranks seventh in Oprah Magazine’s 20 Best Romance Novels of All-Time.
Claude Dal Farra, Brice Dal Farra and Brian Keady of BCDF Pictures produced along with Convergent Media’s Santosh Govindaraja and Dan Reardon, which is also financing. David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment is handling worldwide sales and also co-financing the film.
The movie is in post-production having wrapped principal photography on Dec. 23 in upstate New York.
As well as “Pretty Little Liars,” Hale is known for the shows “Katy Keene,” “Life Sentence” and “Privileged.” Her film work includes starring roles in “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2,” “Truth or Dare,” “Scream 4” and “Fantasy Island.” She is currently shooting AMC’s crime series “Ragdoll” from Sid Gentle Films, the British production company behind “Killing Eve.”
Stowell starred in the critically acclaimed 2019 independent feature “Swallow,” opposite Haley Bennett, the film “Stratton,” opposite Dominic West and Gemma Chan, as well as Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories” anthology TV series. He previously starred in the film “Fantasy Island” and the mini-series “Catch 22.” His film credits include “Whiplash,” “Bridge of Spies,” “12 Strong,” “Battle of the Sexes,” “Colossal,” and “Dolphin Tale” 1 & 2. His upcoming films include “The Long Home,” based on the acclaimed novel.
Vertical partner Peter Jarowey stated: “We’re excited to be partnering with BCDF Pictures once again to bring this funny and relatable romantic comedy to audiences later this year.”
Mister Smith’s David Garrett commented: “We are absolutely delighted to have found a home in Vertical for this much sought-after romcom. They are the perfect fit and will do us all proud.”
BCDF Pictures’ Claude Dal Farra added: “We are thrilled to be working with Peter, Josh, and the team on our latest romantic comedy.”
MSE is selling another BCDF Pictures adaptation of a NY Times bestseller, “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry,” starring Kunal Nayar, Hale and Christina Hendricks, and BCDF Pictures’ adaptation of the New York Times bestseller “The Language of Flowers,” starring Kiersey Clemons.
Kunal Nayyar, Lucy Hale, Christina Hendricks are set to headline “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry,” a big screen makeover of Gabrielle Zevin’s blockbuster New York Times best-selling novel which has shifted five million copies and been translated into 38 languages.
The film rights to Zevin’s most recent novel, “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” recently sold to Paramount for $2 million upfront after an auction between reportedly over 25 bidders.
Hans Canosa will direct “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” from Zevin’s own adaptation. BCDF Pictures’ Claude Dal Farra and Brian Keady are producing alongside Kelsey Law, Canosa and Zevin.
David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment is launching worldwide sales at next week’s Pre-Cannes Screenings, with principal photography scheduled for this fall.
Exemplifying one major throughline in Mister Smith’s recent sales slate, “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” is not only produced by BCDF Pictures and based on major IP, like the upcoming “The Hating Game” and The Language of Flowers,” but an uplifting story, a “heartwarming, comical love story and homage to the joy of books,” and “wonderfully moving, endearing story of redemption and transformation – charming, comical, and true to life – in Mister Smith’s description.
It turns on the A.J. Fikry, for whom life has not turned out as expected. His wife has died, his bookstore sales hitting new nadirs, and his prized rare edition of Poe’s poem purloined. “Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store, instead of offering solace, are yet another reminder of a world that is changing too rapidly,” the synopsis runs.
Then a strange package arrives at his story, and the cranky A.J. Fikry has the chance to make his life over and start anew.
BCDF’s Brice Dal Farra, Nayyar, Hale, and Hendricks serve as executive producers on the film.
“The reason this is such a wonderful story with such great characters, is that the script is hewn from the most wonderful source material,” Garrett said. “It shines light on those connections which are at the heart of all human relationships in such a joyous and life-affirming fashion.”
A six- time SAG Award nominee, Nayyar is best known to worldwide audiences as Raj on the hit comedy and multiple Emmy Award winning show, The Big Bang Theory.” He is filming this summer on Johan Renck’s Spaceman, starring opposite Adam Sandler, Carey Mulligan, and Paul Dano.
Hale’s big breakthrough came with her starring role in the hit series “Pretty Little Liars,” which ran for seven seasons and 160 episodes. She is currently shooting AMC’s crime series “Ragdoll” from Sid Gentle Films, the British production company behind “Killing Eve.”
Hendricks garnered international recognition starring as Joan in the Emmy winning series “Mad Men” for which she was nominated for six Emmy Awards and won two SAG Awards. Further film credits include Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive,” Sally Potter’s “Ginger & Rosa”, Ryan Gosling’s “Lost River” and “American Woman” opposite Sienna Miller.
Beyond “The Hating Game,” also starring Hale, and “The Language of Flowers,” starring Kiersey Clemons, MSE’s current sales slate is comprised of “Lakewood,” starring Naomi Watts and directed by Phillip Noyce; Michael Morris’ BCDF production “To Leslie” with Andrea Riseborough and Allison Janney; “He Went That Way,” toplining Jacob Elordi and Zachary Quinto; Constantin’s reboot of the “Wrong Turn” franchise, a theatrical hit; and the Berlinale Speciale 2021 selection “Tides.”
“Ragdoll,” the new AMC-Alibi thriller starring Lucy Hale (“Pretty Little Liars”), has started production in London, Variety has learned.
Hale plays DC Lake Edmunds, a new recruit at the London Metropolitan Police, who is tasked with investigating a murderer known as the “Ragdoll Killer”. She is joined by Henry Lloyd-Hughes (“The Irregulars”) as DS Nathan Rose and Thalissa Teixeira (“Anne Boleyn”) as DI Emily Baxter.
As the case develops, the trio come under increasing public scrutiny, especially when the killer — whose modus operandi involves murdering and dismembering his victims before sewing them back together in the shape of one grotesque body — begins taunting Edmunds and her colleagues by sending them a list of his intended victims, which includes Rose.
Shooting started at the end of April and has continued through May in central London.
Based on Daniel Cole’s eponymous novel, the six-part show is scheduled to premiere later this year on cabler AMC in the U.S. and on BBC Studios-backed pay-TV channel Alibi in the U.K.
Freddy Syborn serves as lead writer and executive producer while Toby MacDonald and Niall MacCormick direct. Sally Woodward Gentle and Lee Morris of Sid Gentle Films, the producers behind BBC America series “Killing Eve”, are also executive producing the series, together with Philippa Collie Cousins on behalf of Alibi and Dan McDermott and Kristin Jones, who commissioned “Ragdoll” for AMC. Lizzie Rusbridger is producing.
Cousins commissioned the show for Alibi, alongside Pete Thornton, head of scripted. The show was ordered by Alibi channel director Emma Ayech.
Lucy Hale is set as a lead in Ragdoll, a crime drama series for AMC and Alibi based on the novel by Daniel Cole, Deadline has confirmed. The series hails from Sid Gentle Films, the British production company behind Killing Eve.
Adapted for television by Freddy Syborn, the six-part drama is described as a “modern-day Faustian thriller” centers on the murder of six people whose bodies have been dismembered and sewn into the shape of one grotesque body — nicknamed “The Ragdoll.”
Assigned to the shocking case are DS Nathan Rose, recently reinstated to the London Met; his best friend and boss, DI Emily Baxter; and the unit’s new recruit, DC Lake Edmunds, portrayed by Hale. The “Ragdoll Killer” taunts the police by sending them a list of his next victims, with Rose’s name among them. And with those victims to protect, our heroes soon come under intense public scrutiny.
Filming is slated to begin this spring for a premiere later this year. Ragdoll will air on AMC in the United States and Alibi in the UK.
Syborn will serve as the lead writer and executive producer. Series will be executive produced by Sally Woodward Gentle and Lee Morris for Sid Gentle Films Ltd, one of BBC Studios invested indie production companies. Dan McDermott and Kristin Jones will take the lead for AMC and Philippa Collie Cousins, Commissioning Editor, Drama for UKTV will be executive producer for Alibi. Lizzie Rusbridger will produce.
Best known for her starring role in Pretty Little Liars, Hale recently starred as the titular character in the CW’s Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene, as well as Life Sentence and Privileged. She recently completed filming Borrego, on which she also serves as an executive producer, and will be seen in the upcoming romantic comedy The Hating Game, based on the book by Sally Thorne.
Variety was first to report Hale’s casting.
Lucy Hale will lead the cast of survival thriller Borrego, along with Good Doctor actor Nicholas Gonzalez.
Hale will play a young botanist who relocates to a small desert town to study an invasive plant species. While out on research, she comes to the aid of a downed plane only to find herself taken captive by an inexperienced drug mule who forces her to lead a trek across the sweltering desert to his drop.
Local sheriff (Gonzalez) is drawn into the hunt as his rebellious daughter sets out to find the missing botanist, all the while being pursued by a local drug receiver.
Leynar Gómez, Jorge A. Jimenez and Olivia Trujillo round out the cast.
Jesse Harris will direct from his own script and and produce under his Abcde Pictures banner. Black Magic’s Greg Lauritano, who recently worked with Hale on Brian Petsos’ Big Gold Brick, and Tucci & Company’s Damiano and Tiziano Tucci will also produce. Hale will serve as executive producer.
Hale, repped by ICM Partners and Reel Talent Management, was last in theaters with horror Fantasy Island. Gonzalez is repped by Pakula/King & Associates, Vault Entertainment and Felker Toczek. Gómez is repped by Talent on the Road. Jimenez is repped by McKeon/Myones Entertainment. Trujillo is with CESD Talent.
EXCLUSIVE: We can report that Capone distributor Vertical Entertainment has acquired the North American and UK distribution rights to A Nice Girl Like You starring Pretty Little Liars and Katy Keene star Lucy Hale. The romantic comedy, directed by brothers Chris and Nick Riedell and based on the Ayn Carrillo-Gailey 2007 self-help book Porn-o-logy, is set for a VOD and digital release on July 17.
Pic centers around violinist Lucy Neal (Hale) who is thrown for a loop when her boyfriend accuses her of being too judgmental and inhibited when it comes to sex. In an effort to prove him wrong, Lucy creates a wild to-do list that sends her on a whirlwind journey of self-discovery, friendship and new love.
Pic also stars Mindy Cohn (Facts Of Life), Jackie Cruz (Orange is the New Black, Good Girls), Leonidas Gulaptis (Gala & Godfrey), and Adhir Kalyan (Rules of Engagement). Andrea Marcellus adapted Carrillo-Gailey’s self-help book. The deal was negotiated by Peter Jarowey and Josh Spector at Vertical.
“Bringing this film to life was a dream. More love. More laughter. Bring it on,” said producer, Jina Panebianco.
Panebianco and her CaliWood Pictures produced alongside Nicholas Bogner, and Melanie Greene of Affirmative Entertainment.