Irish actors Domhnall Gleeson and Aisling Bea will both feature in the upcoming Channel 4 series "Alice & Jack."
Gleeson, 40, will star in the titular role opposite Academy Award-nominated English actress Andrea Riseborough, 41. The duo previously starred together in "Never Let Me Go."
Bea, meanwhile, stars as Lynn in the new series that's being billed as "a love story for the ages."
The Channel 4 series, that's being exectuvie produced by Gleeson and Riseborough, is set to have its world premiere at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 9.
Here's how TIFF describes the new series: "Real love is full of volatility, heartbreak, and perseverance. The story of Alice & Jack focuses on these realities, and explores the depths of a relationship across 16 years.
"Andrea Riseborough plays Alex, a young, single woman living in London, who is heavily invested in her career and dealing with the long-term effects of a childhood trauma.
"Domhnall Gleeson plays Jack, a lonely yet charming pathologist. They meet in a bar and, to Jack’s surprise, spend the night together.
"In someone else’s love story, this night of passion might have led to a blossoming romance. Not here. Alice pushes Jack away and leaves him emotionally crushed.
"After Jack finally gives up, tired of his feelings being unrequited, he meets Lynn (Aisling Bea), a pleasant, suitable match. Together, Jack and Lynn start a family, and welcome a daughter to the world.
"All seems to be back on steady ground, until the death of Alice’s mother causes her to reconnect with Jack, believing he’s the only person at the funeral who can help manage her grief.
"What follows is a string of consequences neither Jack nor Alex could have anticipated."
Crazy little thing called love.
Domhnall Gleeson and Andrea Riseborough star in the World Premiere of Victor Levin, Juho Kuosmanen, and Hong Khaou’s ALICE & JACK as imperfect lovers who navigate the highs and lows of a 16-year relationship. #TIFF23 https://t.co/zSqAfLdcHB pic.twitter.com/ePTCuq8U7p— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) August 14, 2023
Ahead of the SAG-AFTRA strike, Gleeson said of the project: “The only work I’ve wanted to watch and do since the pandemic is work about connection and love, and work with a sense of humour.
"Alice & Jack keep coming back to each other because they can’t help themselves - they find in each other something that they don’t have on their own. I think they're soulmates, I think it's bigger than just the two of them.
"Their story centres on connection and love in the most beautiful way and reminds us that we are always allowed to smile - even if it’s through the tears.”
"Alice & Jack" is a collaboration with Channel 4 alongside Fremantle, Groundswell Productions, Me + You Productions, and De Maio Entertainment. It was created by award-winning writer and film director Victor Levin ("Mad Men," "Mad About You").
Juho Kuosmanen is the lead director of the series, while Hong Khaou will direct the second block of the series.
Filming for the series took place in London, south-east England, and Gran Canaria in the summer of 2022, said Channel 4.
Both Riseborough and Gleeson were “directly involved” with Groundswell Productions in the development of the series, Channel 4 said.
“We unite in yearning to see evidence of real love and, too, are soothed to share with one another the ache of its inevitable imperfection," said Riseborough, speaking before the SAG-AFTRA actors' strikes in the US.
“This story is for anyone who could or couldn’t make the sacrifice that love demanded, for anyone who battles and accepts the one who makes their soul soar, for anyone who longs to feel, who has felt, and who feels the tingling anticipation of love’s joy.”
Nick Lee, head of acquisitions and international at Channel 4, said: “The intimacy of Alice & Jack makes it both heart-wrenching and unmissable in equal measure.
"The inventive producing partners, the expert performances, and the overall creative energy has resulted in something quite special; we are delighted to be the UK partner at Channel 4.”
Christian Vesper, CEO of Global Drama, Fremantle, commented: “Very rarely does a TV series pitch love and comedy in such a flawless combination. We’re both proud and humbled to be bringing such a smart and sophisticated drama from a team of world class creatives at the very top of their game.
"Working so closely with these partners of extraordinary value and extensive experience from the very inception of this project seemed the only way to embrace this new and exciting opportunity.”