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Join us in the Variety Streaming Room for an exclusive premiere presented by AMC of the first episode from the upcoming series, Quiz. Immediately following the show, Variety’s Michael Schneider will conduct a Q&A with stars Matthew Macfadyen (Succession), Sian Clifford (Fleabag) and Michael Sheen (Good Omens) along with Writer / Executive Producer James Graham.
Quiz chronicles the infamous scandal of Charles Ingram, a contestant on ITV quiz show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" While his first night on the show is a disaster, the second night, the unsuspecting Charles Ingram, played by Matthew Macfadyen, has a brand-new strategy and successfully moves all the way up the question ladder. Eventually, an increasingly suspicious production team launches an investigation that leads them to an incriminating pattern of coughs in the studio audience. Charged with fraud and persecuted by the public and press, Charles, his wife Diana and the alleged cougher head to court. At first it seems the trial is an easy decision, but as the case for the defense gets underway, the jury learns there is far more to the story than they realize.
Matthew Macfadyen is one of the UK’s most respected, television, film and stage actors, widely acclaimed for performances in such projects as Pride and Prejudice, Any Human Heart, Criminal Justice and Frost/Nixon.
Macfadyen currently stars in HBO’s Emmy-nominated drama series Succession, directed and executive produced by The Big Short’s Adam McKay. Macfadyen was nominated for a 2019 Critics’ Choice Award in the category of ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for his role. The second season aired on HBO in 2019, and the series was renewed for a third season.
Macfadyen will next star in AMC’s limited series, Quiz opposite Sian Clifford and Michael Sheen. Based on a true story, Macfadyen stars as Charles Ingram, a former British Army major who was accused of cheating on the popular quiz show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” The three-part series will air on May 31st on AMC and premiered on ITV in the UK in early April to phenomenal ratings success.
Upcoming, Macfadyen will next be seen as intelligence officer ‘Charles Cholmondeley’, in John Madden’s upcoming WWII drama, Operation Mincemeat. Macfadyen will star opposite Colin Firth and Kelly Macdonald.
He was most recently seen on the big screen in Kitty Green’s The Assistant, sharing the screen with Julia Garner. In 2019, Macfadyen was seen in The Current War alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Nicholas Hoult, Tom Holland and Katherine Waterston.
Film credits include Joe Wright’s PRIDE & PREJUDICE and ANNA KARENINA, Ron Howard’s FROST/NIXON and Ridley Scott’s ROBIN HOOD. He won the BAFTA for his work in the British miniseries CRIMINAL JUSTICE, directed by Yann Demange; other major television credits include leading roles in RIPPER STREET, SPOOKS, SECRET LIFE (BAFTA nominated), THE ENFIELD HAUNTING, ANY HUMAN HEART, and THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH.
Sian Clifford is an Emmy and Critics Choice Award nominated actress for her role as Claire in the global phenomenon and critically acclaimed Fleabag (Winner of 6 Primetime Emmy Awards including Best Comedy Series; Golden Globe, Critics Choice & SAG Award nominated). Sian has worked extensively in British Theatre on some of the UK's most illustrious stages to great critical acclaim. She was most recently seen in the highly celebrated West End production of Consent, directed by Roger Michell with whom she will make The Duke, starring Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent. She will star in AMC’s hotly anticipated QUIZ later this year, alongside Matthew Macfadyen & Michael Sheen, directed by Stephen Frears. Other upcoming work includes Sky comedy Two Weeks To Live, starring alongside Maisie Williams. She will also guest feature in Hitmen, again for Sky, and in the second series of psychological thriller Liar for Fleabag producers, Two Brothers.
Michael has proved himself equally accomplished on both stage and screen. His many award-winning stage performances include Caligula and Frost/Nixon at the Donmar Warehouse, and Hamlet at the Young Vic. He created, co-directed, and performed in the groundbreaking three-day live event The Passion in Port Talbot for National Theatre Wales.
Sheen has starred in three films nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award: The Queen, directed by Stephen Frears, Frost/Nixon, directed by Ron Howard, and Midnight in Paris, directed by Woody Allen.
He is known to millions as a vampire in The Twilight Saga films and a werewolf in the Underworld franchise. His other feature credits include The Damned United, directed by Tom Hooper; Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland; Tron: Legacy, the critically acclaimed adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel, Far From the Madding Crowd, directed by Thomas Vinterberg; Sony’s Passengers in which he starred alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, Home Again with Reese Witherspoon, Netflix feature film Apostle, and Slaughterhouse Rulez with Simon Pegg. He most recently starred in The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle opposite Robert Downey Jr.
On television, Sheen has earned multiple awards and nominations for his performances in projects such as Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!, directed by Andy De Emmony, Dirty Filthy Love, directed by Adrian Shergold, as Tony Blair in HBO's The Special Relationship, as Dr. Bill Masters in four seasons of the acclaimed Showtime series, Masters of Sex, on which he was also a producer, as Roland Blum in The Good Fight and as Aziraphale in Good Omens opposite David Tennant. He has created memorable characterizations for NBC's 30 Rock, HBO's mockumentary 7 Days In Hell, the IFC miniseries spoof Spoils of Babylon, and Michael Bolton's Big Sexy Valentine's Day Special for Netflix. He will next appear as the lead role in Fox’s Prodigal Son and as Chris Tarrant in ITV and AMC’s Quiz opposite Sian Clifford and Matthew Macfadyen, directed by Stephen Frears about the ITV Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Charles Ingram scandal.
Widely recognized as an equally effective activist, through his role as UNICEF Ambassador, Patron of Social Enterprise UK, President of the Wales Centre for Voluntary Action and many other roles, Michael is now branching out to start his own social movements. In March last year he launched the ‘End High Cost Credit Alliance’, aimed at tackling the unfair targeting of high cost credit to those who can least afford it. Additionally, this July Michael will be bringing the Homeless World Cup to Cardiff, working to create a legacy which has a real impact on people’s lives long after the final whistle is blown. More than 500 players representing over 50 countries will travel to Cardiff to attend the week-long festival of football, in what is to become one of the most inspiring Homeless World Cup tournaments yet.
James Graham is a playwright and screenwriter. James' play This House premiered at the National Theatre's Cottesloe Theatre in September 2012, directed by Jeremy Herrin, and transferred to the Olivier in 2013 where it enjoyed a sell-out run and garnered critical acclaim and a huge amount of interest and admiration from current and former MP's for his rendition of life in the House of Commons. It went on to have an Olivier-nominated sell-out revival in the West End in 2017 and it was chosen by popular vote as the best play of the 2010’s for the major theatre publisher Methuen.
Ink, his play about the early days of Rupert Murdoch, opened to critical acclaim at the Almeida and transferred to the West End in September 2017 where it played in the theatre next door to James’ other new play – political romantic comedy Labour of Love - creating theatre history. Labour of Love went on to win an Olivier Award. Ink went on to transfer to Manhattan Theatre Club on Broadway and be nominated for six Tony Awards.
James wrote the book for Finding Neverland the musical, with music by Gary Barlow. It opened in Boston in Summer 2014 and transferred to Broadway in Spring 2015. His first film for television, Caught in a Trap, was broadcast on ITV1 on Boxing Day 2008. His single film Coalition aired on Channel 4 and won plaudits for its retelling of the 2010 general election and the formation of the coalition government.
His most recent film for Channel 4, Brexit: An Uncivil War, tapped into a national conversation, garnering huge public attention and critical acclaim. It was broadcast on Channel 4 and HBO and starred Benedict Cumberbatch. It coincided with James being featured on the leading arts programme Imagine. The show explored James’s influences and was nominated for an Emmy for Best Single Film.
His film X and Y was produced by Origin Pictures and BBC Films and starred Rafe Spall, Sally Hawkins & Eddie Marsan. He is currently developing films with Lenny Abrahamson, Paul Greengrass and Jeremy Herrin and adapting his play Ink into a screenplay.