Barack and Michelle Obama produce their first drama series at Netflix

Barack and Michelle Obama
Barack and Michelle Obama

Higher Ground, founded by Michelle and Barack Obama, and the independent wiip studio announced the cast of Bodkin their first drama series for Netflix, which will start production in Ireland next week.

Will Forte, Siobhan Cullen, Robyn Cara, David Wilmot, and Chris Walley are set to star in the seven-episode, darkly comedic thriller.

Bodkin (working title) is about a motley crew of podcasters who set out to investigate the mysterious disappearance of three strangers in an idyllic, coastal Irish town. Once they start pulling at threads, they discover a story much bigger and weirder than they could have ever imagined. As our heroes try to discern fact from fiction — about the case, about their colleagues, and, most painfully, themselves — the series challenges our perception of truth and exposes the stories we tell ourselves to justify our beliefs or validate our fears.

“We are ecstatic to partner with wiip for this wickedly wry thriller which questions truth, narrative, and the very purpose of each,” said Higher Ground Head of Film and Television, Tonia Davis. “This entire creative team – Jez, Alex, Nash, and the phenomenal cast led by Will Forte and Siobhan Cullen – will bring to life something very special and we can’t wait to share it with audiences around the world.”

Cast includes:

Will Forte who is known for his eight seasons on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and for his starring role in the feature film adaptation of MACGRUBER, plays Gilbert Power, an American podcaster on the hunt for his next big story. Originally from Chicago, Gilbert’s family emigrated from Cork, and is hoping to discover his Irish roots. Gilbert loves his work, and using his undeniable charm and natural warmth to unearth the truth of a story by gaining people’s trust, and then weaving their memories, recollections and theories into an engaging narrative. While his affect is innocent and charming, it’s clear that there’s much more going on underneath the surface — something he hopes to avoid by coming to Ireland in pursuit of material for his next podcast.

Siobhan Cullen who is currently starring alongside Ralph Fiennes in STRAIGHT LINE CRAZY at The Bridge Theatre, plays Dove, a truth-seeking missile, originally from Dublin. She is a hard-nosed investigative journalist with a fine-tuned bullshit detector and a healthy disdain for authority and hypocrisy. People find Dove rude, “difficult.” But she believes she just tells the truth, which makes her completely blind to her own bullshit and hypocrisy. She’s also funny. And brave. And brilliant. She can also be extremely charming and persuasive. Unfortunately, she’s in the middle of the biggest professional crisis of her career — and when you live your life as a lone wolf, your career tends to be all you have.

Robyn Cara who recently wrapped on her third season as JEN in Apple TV series TRYING, plays Emmy, a researcher who has been helping Gilbert organize this podcast. Underneath her competent exterior, Emmy is clearly gnawed at by insecurities which she tries to hide with enthusiasm and comedy. Pulled between the sharp Dove and laconic Gilbert, Emmy’s is struggling to find her own voice.

David Wilmot who recently wrapped on the film EMBERS, plays Seamus Gallagher, He carries the weight and presence of a man who was physically powerful in his younger years. Mercurial and mysterious, Seamus can turn on the charm when it serves his needs, however he can just as quickly snap into outbursts of violence when he feels he is being threatened.

Chris Walley who was most recently seen in BLOODLANDS, plays Sean O’Shea, a local from the village of Bodkin. He is a typical Irish country lad — feckless, up for a laugh, and doesn’t seem to be preoccupied with the obligations or responsibilities that usually accompany adulthood. He also is wrapped up in some pretty shady business, a situation where we come to learn he is completely out of his depth.

• Creator/Co-Showrunner/Executive Producer: Jez Scharf
• Co-Showrunner/Executive Producer: Alex Metcalf
• Executive Producers: David Flynn (wiip), Paul Lee (wiip),  Tonia Davis, Barack and Michelle Obama (Higher Ground), Nne Ebong
• Lead Director: Nash Edgerton

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