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Bodkin: The Obama-produced crime series set in West Cork
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Enda Bowe/Netflix © 2024

Bodkin: The Obama-produced crime series set in West Cork


by Sarah Finnan
21st May 2024

Created by Jez Scharf and executive produced by the Obamas (yes really), Bodkin is the new comedic thriller that landed on Netflix earlier this month – and it’s already proving to be a favourite.

As per the official synopsis, the series centres on a “motley crew of podcasters” (Will Forte, Siobhán Cullen, Robyn Cara) who set out to investigate the mysterious disappearance of three strangers in a quaint, coastal town in West Cork. But when they get there and start pulling at threads, they find that the story is much bigger (and darker) than they ever imagined. 

Having already binge-watched the first five episodes (out of seven), I can confirm that it’s funny, intriguing and with enough twists and turns to keep you engaged to the end. I caught up with the cast ahead of its premiere to pick their brains on the Irish preoccupation with death, what they hope audiences will take from this show and the other films/series they’ve been loving. 

Siobhán, my first question is for you… the Irish tend to have quite a morbid fascination with death, and true crime in particular – especially in the last few years. Why do you think that is? Do you have any insight?
Siobhán: Yeah I think the Irish have a really interesting relationship with death. I actually think we do it quite well. I it might be a healthier relationship than some other cultures, we get quite up close and person when it comes to it. The tradition of an Irish wake, I know it can be seen as maybe odd by some other people who aren’t from Ireland but I think it’s kind of a lovely way  to celebrate a life and you’re really facing it – you’re looking down the barrel of it – but I think it leads to maybe a healthier kind of grieving process. But we do, we do have a fascination with this and I think maybe the Irish sensibility can often tend towards the darker, the darker, more morbid side. But I think that kind of sits so closely with comedy as well, it makes for great material. I mean, comedy and tragedy sit so closely together and it’s a fine line, so I think that’s why we often do dark comedies very well. And why the Irish kind of tend towards the darker stuff.

You can see that wit, even in the trailer – there’s kind of a cheerful nihilism throughout. And Will, obviously as the American – your character is an American podcaster with Irish roots… I’m sure many stereotypes exist about such a character. Did you kind of lean into that? Or what was your approach with the role?
Will: When I read this script, I loved it and it was written so well, that it it made it very easy to know what they were looking for, you know. They displayed this just wonderful, wonderful template. So yeah, I start out as the stereotypical American tourist coming over and blown away by Ireland, and then you kind of learn a little bit more about my character as we go along – which I think is kind of the same with all three of us. You maybe think we’re a certain way when you first meet us, and then our personalities open up a little bit, and you learn more and more about us as as the show goes along. 

There’s a hook to keep you going. And Robyn, I’m kind of putting you on the spot here, but every year – obviously this show is produced by the Obamas who are executive producers on the show – and every year Obama comes out with his own kind of roundup of the year, so he comes out with his favourite film, his favourite book and his favourite music. I know we’re only a couple of months into the year but I was wondering, is there anything that kind of springs to mind so far that you’re loving? Irish or otherwise!
Robyn: Oh, I recently watched The Curse with Emma Stone, Nathan Fielder, Benny Safdie. I loved it, blew my mind, it gets so weird… I love shows that get weird. What else? Oh, yeah, Baby Reindeer. They’re probably the two that I’ve been watching at the moment. 

They’re great recommendations. Emma Stone is just killing it. And I suppose, open to anyone to answer but what do you hope audiences will take from the series?
Siobhán: I hope they just have a really good time watching a well-told story. 

Robyn: And that they connect with the characters. I hope they really love the characters and want to see more from them. Just have a good time. 

Excited for it to be out in the world finally?
Siobhán: Oh yeah, big time. Big time. 

I’m sure it will be very gratifying to see the reaction on social media. I think that’s all that I have time for. Really appreciate you chatting with me and I can’t wait to see it.

 

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Bodkin is streaming on Netflix now. You can watch the full interview above.

Imagery courtesy Enda Bowe/Netflix © 2024

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