Wednesday 21 August 2019

Meet the Irish breakout star of Netflix's new mystery series The OA

Patrick Gibson in The OA. Pic: Netflix
Patrick Gibson in The OA. Pic: Netflix

Sasha Brady

Meet the Irish actor making waves in Hollywood thanks to his starring role in Netflix's epic new mystery series, The OA.

The eight-part, mystery, sci-fi series landed on Friday and it's already creating a stir among viewers.

The show follows a young woman named Prairie who disappeared seven years ago. She reappears and returns to her parents in Michigan and then starts confusing people with stories about how she is “the OA.” Nobody knows what that means. Oh, and Prairie used to be blind, but now she can see.

As you can probably guess, The OA can't or won't explain what has happened to her. It takes place in two different time periods and flashes between the American Midwest and Russia. Prepare for some red herrings, plenty of flashbacks and a twist or two or 20. It's a show that flips conventional storytelling on its head.

The OA. Pic: Netflix
The OA. Pic: Netflix

It's been billed as winter's Stranger Things and stars Irish actor Patrick Gibson (The Tudors, What Richard Did) who plays the role of Steve Winchell, a deeply troubled bully who strikes up a friendship with Prairie.

Show creator Brit Marling (who also plays the part of Prairie) said she was deeply impressed by Irish actor Patrick Gibson when he came to New York to discuss the part.  

Bloody hooligans

A photo posted by Paddy Gibson (@paddygibson) on

“He had this notebook in his lap labelled ‘Steve Winchell,’” Marling says. “He opened it and showed me page after page of watercolour drawings he’d done, playlists for the kinds of music he would listen to as Steve. It was the kind of notebook that I would have made to prepare for a part I had gotten already—he had made it just to come audition. The depth of work that he had done on that character was stunning.”

“Steve’s relationship with Prairie is something truly profound,” Patrick Gibson says. “She is, in many ways, Steve’s saviour. She isn’t afraid of him like many others because she is one of the few who sees him for what he really is. Initially, that puts Steve on edge but that quickly changes… Ultimately Steve just wants to fit in, something I think we can all relate to whether we admit it or not.”

A photo posted by Paddy Gibson (@paddygibson) on

It looks like Gibson could be Netflix's new breakout star and he's got plenty of work lined up for 2017. He will star alongside Idris Elba in Sky Atlantic’s Guerrilla, a new political drama from the Oscar-winning writer of 12 Years a Slave, John Ridley.

Other upcoming projects include a leading role in the anticipated follow-up to The White Queen, Starz’s historical drama series, The White Princess and the international release of Lone Scherfig‘s feature, Their Finest.

A photo posted by Paddy Gibson (@paddygibson) on

All eight episodes of The OA are available on Netflix.

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