'Unbelievable' filmmakers hope Netflix series brings “a conversation to the table”

Netflix(NEW YORK) — After the Pulitzer Prize-winning article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” captivated readers in 2015, a new limited Netflix series is bringing the incredible true story to the screen.

Unbelievable stars Kaitlyn Dever as Marie, an 18-year-old sexual assault survivor whose story is doubted by police and those closest to her. Emmy winners Toni Collette and Merritt Wever play two detectives hundreds of miles from Marie and her case, who team up to track down a serial rapist. Eventually, their stories converge.

All three actresses bring their A-games to the weighty material, according to the filmmakers: showrunner Susannah Grant, director Lisa Cholodenko and producer Sarah Timberman. Grant explains what it was like to watch Collette and Wever work.

“I have like a guilty director secret which is that we’d shoot a scene and I would just be so loving watching them and I would know that we had it, we did not need to do it again,” she tells ABC Radio. “But I would just say, ‘‘Let’s go again!’ Just because it was so much fun to watch them work.”

As for Dever, Timberman says she imbued Marie was a sense of hope. “[S]he’s completely authentic in how arduous it is and how torturous it is,” she says. “And yet…you’re watching her stay afloat as opposed to watching her drown.”

The result is a captivating series, with a message that runs deep in a post-#MeToo world.

Cholodenko, who directed the series’ first three episodes, says, “It’s compelling but really the point of it is that it’s bringing a point home in a way that’s deeply emotional and brings a conversation to the table.”

All eight episodes of Unbelievable are streaming now on Netflix.

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