Maxine Peake & Brian Gleeson join Desiree Akhavan in The Bisexual
Fresh from winning the Grand Jury prize at Sundance, Iranian-American filmmaker Desiree Akhavan writes, directs and stars in The Bisexual, a painfully funny comedy series that explores the differences between dating men and women from the perspective of a person who finds herself doing both.
BAFTA-nominated Maxine Peake (Red Riding, Three Girls, Funny Cow) and Brian Gleeson (Hellboy, Phantom Thread, Stonemouth) will star alongside acclaimed screenwriter, director and actress Desiree Akhavan (The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Appropriate Behaviour) in her first television project The Bisexual, a 6-part comedy-drama for Channel 4 in association with Hulu in the US. The series is produced by Hootenanny and the creative team behind BAFTA-nominated Flowers. The cast also includes Eva Birthistle (The Last Kingdom, Brooklyn), John Dagliesh (Justice League, Sunny Afternoon, The Monuments Men), Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth, Yardie), Niamh Algar (The Virtues) and newcomers Saskia Chana and Michelle Guillot.
The Bisexual explores the comedic, awkward, nuances of sex, relationships and identity and is penned by Akhavan and co-writer Cecilia Frugiuele, creators of the acclaimed Appropriate Behavior and Grand Jury Prize-winning The Miseducation of Cameron Post (starring Chloe Moretz and Sasha Lane).
New Yorker Leila (Akhavan) is feeling lost in London having just left a ten year relationship with girlfriend and business partner Sadie (Peake). Moving out of their beautiful, shared apartment, Leila ends up renting a room from neurotic novelist Gabe (Gleeson), a man living in constant fear of missing out and dwarfed by the success of his debut novel which came out 13 years ago and has long been forgotten.
Leila finds an unlikely wingman in the form of Gabe. He helps her navigate a new life dating men and women – and Leila, in return, introduces wide-eyed Gabe to the queer scene whilst doing her best to help him decipher his unreadable, sort-of-girlfriend Francisca (Guillot). As Leila comes to lean more and more on Gabe she finds herself struggling to come out as bisexual to her gay friends, most importantly her best mate Deniz (Chana).
Meanwhile Sadie and Leila’s relationship hangs in the balance, inexorably linked both professionally and personally. As Sadie makes some big decisions of her own, both begin to question whether it’s a break, or a break-up…
Taking a candid look at the way people have sex and what that sex reveals about their prejudices however “woke” they think they are, The Bisexual is a raw, funny and unapologetic take on the “last taboo” - bisexuality - and the prejudices, shame and comic misconceptions that surround it.
Desiree Akhavan says; “I'm insanely lucky to be working with Hootenanny, Channel 4, Hulu and an incredible cast. This team couldn't be more intelligent, generous and talented.”
Maxine Peake says: “I’m thrilled? Or am I excited? Maybe I’m both but at the least very happy to be part of The Bisexual. Desiree is a really fresh, original and exciting voice and dead cool to boot. It’s fun, heart-breaking and thought-provoking and I get to ride a scooter, what’s not to like.”
Written by Cecilia Frugiuele and Desiree Akhavan, who also directs and stars, The Bisexual is Executive Produced by Naomi de Pear (Flowers, River) for Hootenanny (a Sister Pictures company), is produced by Katie Carpenter and is commissioned for Channel 4 by Head of Comedy Fiona McDermott and Commissioning Editor Jack Bayles. The series will air in the US on Hulu. Global sales are being handled by all3media International.