Julia Stiles has said her latest TV drama is female-led and not just “girls in bikinis”.
The actress said Riviera, a tale of shady characters in the south of France, could easily have sidelined women in favour of more traditional gangster leads.
Stiles, who plays Georgina Clios in the returning Sky series, said the drama is instead driven by its female characters.
The series picks up from a climactic conclusion to the first run, with the follow-up centring on a wealthy British family arriving in the Cote d’Azur.
Stiles has said of the dramatic “heightened reality” storylines in the upcoming series: “If Shakespeare and the ancient Greeks had a love child, it would be the second season of Riviera.”
The actress said that while it deals with crime, corruption and violence, it is not a traditional gangster drama in its treatment of gender.
She said: “One of the things that is really surprising about this is that if you have a show called Riviera, which is set amongst the wealthy and the elite in the south of France, it could so easily be just about businessmen or gangsters and girls in bikinis.
“Most of the central characters are women, and some of the strongest characters in the show are females.
“Unexpectedly, Riviera is not about the male moguls in this world or the girls in bikinis frolicking around them.
“Actually, it’s quite the opposite. It’s the women who are driving this show.”
Riviera will air on May 23 on Sky Atlantic and Now TV.