All 4 - all 10 episodes available from Fri 7 Oct
Carice van Houten and Halina Reijn have been close friends since 1994, when both were pursuing acting careers at the same time as attending mainstream school.
‘We bonded over being outsiders, as our careers took off very fast. That’s how we became friends because we could talk to each other about it. Whereas with our classmates, they would say, “Oh, shut up!”’ recalls Carice, 46.
Dutch/Belgian series Red Light portrays three women with completely different backgrounds. Carice plays sex worker Sylvia, who is in an abusive relationship with her pimp. Halina plays Esther, a singer who’s about to unearth some secrets about her husband, and Belgian actress Maaike Neuville, 39, is Evi, a policewoman trying to combine a major case with her family life.
While Evi struggles with her feelings towards her children, both Sylvia and Esther long to become mums.
‘Esther feels she’s not a real woman if she doesn’t have a child,’ says Halina, also 46. ‘She’s spoiled by her father and her husband and feels safe with these quite dominant men. And she goes on a journey to free herself from those ideas.’
‘Sylvia’s boyfriend Ingmar is obviously also damaged. She wants to have a kid and he doesn’t give a f***,’ adds Carice, who has a six-year-old son, Monte, with Mare Of Easttown star Guy Pearce.
Of the actresses, Carice is the better-known, having played Melisandre in Game Of Thrones. But the pair’s profiles are set to rise, after Red Light attracted rave reviews across Europe last year.
‘The weird thing about the Netherlands is that sex work is legal,’ says Halina. ‘In other countries, it’s much more hidden. But I think the core of this show is so universal – it’s just about three women seeking freedom.’