A transgender contract killer discovers she has a child with her former lover. As fodder for a TV show, it might sound shlocky and salacious, and in the wrong hands it probably would have been, but British drama series Hit & Miss has a gritty, dignified tone that’s struck a chord with audiences. It’s also been praised by trans groups for its empathetic portrayal of the trans experience.
That’s thanks in no small part to the show’s outstanding cast. American indie queen Chloe Sevigny (pictured below) plays Mia, the transwoman killer who finds herself drawn into family life. The handsome Jonas Armstrong (pictured right), best known to audiences for his starring role in the TV show Robin Hood, plays her love interest Ben.
“I take a bit of a shine to her and vice versa and that’s how their relationship starts. There’s an attraction there,” Armstrong said.
Before their relationship progresses too far, Ben discovers Mia’s trans identity – something that hits the simple Yorkshire lad for six.
“When he does find out it throws him a bit, because he’s not that open-minded a soul. He goes off and he tries to assert his sexuality, drinks a lot, kicks off in pubs, sleeps with horrible women. Just to try to get his head around it. But he knows that she’s trans, yet he’s fallen in love with her. That’s what makes their story so compelling.”
“One of the great things about playing this part is that Ben’s totally unaware of anything that’s going on. There’s a scene when he comes round and Eddie, Mia’s handler, arrives. He asks Mia what she does for Eddie and she says, ‘I’m his bookkeeper at the Chinese restaurant.’ Ben doesn’t bat an eyelid. He’s completely unaware of it. Doesn’t have a clue what she does,” Armstrong said.
Having come from the decidedly less complex Robin Hood, Armstrong said the layered nature of writer Sean Conway’s script was what initially drew him to the project.
“When I got the script I thought, this is like nothing I’ve read before. It’s a very bizarre set-up. You get to grips with it and then something will make you go, ‘Is this for real?’ But essentially it’s about the relationships Mia is trying to embark upon with her family. She’s struggling in this closed, blinkered community that she’s found herself in. That’s believable.”
Sevigny’s esoteric, hipper-than-hip tastes are so well-known they’ve even inspired their own YouTube series (google ‘Good evening America, I’m Chloe Sevigny’ if you’re not yet in on the joke). It would be fair to say the public perception is that the actress is hardly a barrel of laughs. What was she like to work with?
“Because of the nature of our relationship within the series you have to get on with each other the best you can – thank God she was lovely to get on with and professional,” Armstrong said.
“She did come over my way in Blackpool for an evening and I took her out with a couple of my mates who own bars. That’s one of the great things about her: she’s open to pretty much anything.”
INFO: Hit & Miss out now on DVD.
Check out the promo for Hit & Miss below: