Lesley Manville joins the cast of Dominic Savage’s BAFTA-nominated anthology series I AM

Category: News Release

12th January 2021, London: Lesley Manville CBE (Phantom Thread, Another Year) is the latest star to join the cast of Dominic Savage’s critically acclaimed anthology series, I Am. The story was developed in collaboration with the Oscar-nominated actor, who was recently among those in the arts named in Britain’s New Year honours list. Manville will be joined by co-stars Michael Gould (Rogue One, Darkest Hour) and Gershwyn Eustache Jnr (Small Axe, I May Destroy You). 

Production for I Am Maria commences today in London. Created by BAFTA-winning writer-director Dominic Savage for Channel 4, I Am Maria will explore thought provoking, universal issues of identity, doubt and the painful cracks that can slowly form in lifelong relationships. 

Produced by Emmy winning Me+You Productions, the brand new 3 x 60” series entered production last year with I Am Victoria, starring BAFTA-winning actress Suranne Jones, alongside Ashely Walters. I Am Victoria is a powerful meditation on the anxieties that often lie beneath a veneer of happiness and success. Suranne Jones portrays a woman weighed down by life's pressures and in need of help, but unsure of where to seek it.

I Am Danielle also wrapped filming last year, starring BAFTA Rising Star Award-winner Letitia Wright in the lead role. I Am Danielle, which co-stars CJ Beckford and Sophia Brown, is a compelling reflection on the trials of young love and in the age of social media, where trust and betrayal go hand in hand.

In developing each episode of this new three-part series, Dominic Savage collaborated with the respective leading actors, for whom each of the stories holds a deep, personal resonance. The stories are told with improvised dialogue and evoke personal and universal themes, expressed in moments of intimacy, emotion and despair.

I Am Maria takes an unflinching look at a long-term relationship and the unexpected distress and opportunities encountered at life's crossroads.

On joining the cast of I Am Maria, Lesley Manville said: “For me collaboration is everything. To be able to combine different creative minds and produce a work of drama is a thrilling privilege. Dominic and I have spent the past few months developing a character and scenario that will touch many people I know. This kind of work is not new to me and I’m relishing the chance to flex my improvising muscles once again.”

I Am became Channel 4’s most successful new 10pm drama in six years when it debuted in August 2019, with BAFTA-winning Vicky McClure starring in I Am Nicola; Oscar nominated and BAFTA-winning Samantha Morton starring in I Am Kirsty; and Gemma Chan starring in I Am Hannah.

As well as its nomination at this year’s BAFTA Television Awards (Leading Actress for Samantha Morton in I Am Kirsty), I Am was nominated for the Best Original Programme and Best Single Drama at the Broadcast Awards; for Best TV Movie at the C21 International Drama Awards; as Best New Drama in the TV Choice Awards; and for Photography (Drama & Comedy) at the RTS Craft Awards. Samantha Morton also won the WFTV Performance Award for her performance in I Am Kirsty.

Writer, Director and Creator Dominic Savage said: “I am so excited to be working with Lesley Manville. She is such an incredible force of nature and someone who I have always had huge admiration for. With I Am Maria, we will be exploring urgent and prescient themes that show what it is like to completely and dramatically change one’s life in a way that is unthinkable and heart-breaking, yet very empowering. It’s going to be quite a journey, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Caroline Hollick, Head of Drama Channel 4 said: “Lesley Manville is a screen legend, and I’m delighted she’s returning to her improvisatory roots to co-create this powerful, inspirational story. It’s a privilege to have someone of her renown and stature on the channel.”

Krishnendu Majumdar, Producer, co-founder, Me+You said: “We’re excited about continuing our creative relationship with Dominic Savage, one of the most distinctive and powerful filmmakers working today and thrilled to be working with the brilliant Lesley Manville – one of the country’s greatest actors working today. We’re looking forward to seeing the fruits of their collaboration on screen and are grateful for the platform and support Channel 4 have given us.”

I Am is produced by Emmy winning Me+You Productions. Executive Producers are Richard Yee and Dominic Savage, with Channel 4’s Head of Drama Caroline Hollick and Head of Development Gemma Boswell overseeing. The series is produced by Me+You co-founder Krishnendu Majumdar. I Am is co-funded by Sky Studios and distributed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution


Notes to Editors

About Me+You Productions

Me+You Productions is an independent film and television production company founded by Emmy winning producers Richard Yee and Krishnendu Majumdar. They make cinematic, authored drama and comedy with the very best creative talent and have a track record in making global hit series.




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For Channel 4:

Elena Kemp