Over the course of 2020, with multiple lockdowns and most of our favourite haunts closing (sometimes for good) due to the pandemic, television has taken on a new significance. A lifeline in an otherwise bleak year, the power of the small screen to entertain, inform and, more often than not, provide some necessary escapism can’t be understated.
Providing us a necessary dose of fantasy is Riviera, the outlandish thriller helmed by an all-star cast featuring the likes of Julia Stiles, Rupert Graves and Poppy Delevingne. With the recently released third season shifting from the show’s original setting of the French Riviera, the new series unfolds Argentina where Georgina (Julia Stiles) starts afresh in search of a new, simpler life. Luckily for us, she doesn’t quite find what she’s looking for and the series is as full of deception and drama as we’ve come to expect from the show’s earlier seasons.
Now we’ve had some time to process some of the series’ more explosive moments, we catch up with the show’s stars, Julia Stiles and Poppy Delevingne, to talk life in lockdown, what they’ve learned in 2020 and what’s on their watchlist.
What’s your experience of lockdown been like?
Julia Stiles: Since March, an emotional rollercoaster. Or the stages of grief; Anger, denial, bargaining… trying to find the silver lining or the blessings in it, but that’s annoying. I guess I am at acceptance now.
Poppy Delevingne: When lockdown was first initiated, it was definitely a shock to the system. A lot of my job relies on me travelling and interacting with people and suddenly being told to stay in one place was a challenge, but like everyone else, I adapted to a new way of life in the best way that I could. I’m also an ambassador for Save The Children, and I helped them with their latest initiative Save With Stories, which helped to raise funds for children and families that had been hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis. It certainly kept me busy over those days in isolation.
Have you taken any lessons away from 2020?
Julia: Never take things for granted, travel, open borders, commerce, and health most of all! Also that we are all connected in this world. This is a global pandemic that affects every corner of the globe.
Poppy: Patience. The sun will shine again…
Has your attitude to your life/work balance changed over the course of this year?
Julia: I’ve been more reluctant to go back to work because of a fear of this pandemic, but I also am aware of how much my work life was a community and a way to socialize. So now even an interview with another adult over Zoom is, like, fun.
Poppy: I’ve learnt to value my work, to be grateful for it… and to cherish the opportunities.
On a lighter note, what’s one game-changing beauty item that you discovered this year?
Julia: Herbivore Skin Care.
Poppy: The beauty brand Aurelia. I’ve had pretty bad skin for the last few months from wearing masks and this brand has saved my life.
Let’s talk Riviera. How would you describe this season in three words?
Julia: Global, surprising and big.
Poppy: Bold, ebullient and entertaining.
What’s your favourite fashion moment from this season?
Poppy: I fell in love with this vintage Ralph Lauren gown that I got to wear in a scene in Argentina. It’s navy blue with sequins and I felt so glamorous in it.
How does your character grow this series?
Julia: She’s more front footed. She is disillusioned with the toxicity of wealth and claims she is sick of seeing wealthy people do whatever they want and think they can get away with it just because they are rich.
Poppy: This season, we see Daphne dip her toe into the lies, deceit and corruption. To put it simply, we see her go to the dark side. We witness her demise, which as an actor was such an adventure to play.
What do you want viewers to take away from this season?
Julia: I want them to lose themselves in the travel, to momentarily forget about this scary year and get lost in the conspiracy thriller.
Poppy: I want people to see it as pure escapism. I want people to lose themselves in it; to be compelled and entertained.
Aside from Riviera, what’s on your watchlist?
Julia: Black Monday, Queer Eye and The Social Dilemma.
Poppy: I know I’m late to the party, but currently I’m watching Succession and I’m completely obsessed. Brian Cox is my hero.
Sky original ‘Riviera’ Series 3 is available on Sky and NOW TV