A new interpretation. Following the critical acclaim of Karin Slaughter’s Pieces of Her novel, Netflix has brought the thrilling characters and story to life with a limited series starring Toni Collette.
“It’s crazy because it’s all happening in Australia,” Slaughter said about the series’ production during a July 2021 interview with the Orange County Register. “They were set up to film in Vancouver, then the pandemic hit. Toni’s from Australia and the producer knows how to get a show done there. It’s so weird seeing photographs of Toni holding the blue Samsonite suitcase I wrote about on my laptop while I was in my pajamas, and suddenly it’s there, realized.”
Slaughter’s original novel — which was first published in August 2021 — follows mysterious Laura Cooper and her daughter Andrea. While Andrea thinks she knows everything about her mother, it turns out their simple life in the beachfront town of Belle Isle has concealed her mother’s previously unknown past. After a typical shopping trip explodes into violence, Andrea sees a whole new side to her mom that changes everything.
After the book’s success, the streaming giant ordered a TV adaptation of Slaughter’s novel in February 2019 from showrunner Charlotte Stoudt and executive producers Bruna Papandrea and Lesli Linka Glatter.
“They haven’t done any casting yet but yesterday I was in the writer’s room which was really surreal,” the False Witness author previously teased about the show’s progress to The Hollywood Reporter in April 2019. “Seeing the character names and their different stories on the board … it’s just a strange moment because it’s all so internal. And to see other people saying, ‘Oh we talked to someone from Witness Security’ and we’re getting background on all this stuff that I had in my head and that I wrote in my pajamas on my laptop trying to keep my cat off of it…. Now there’s 20 people working on it. It’s really crazy. I’m excited.”
The series, which premieres in March 2022, follows the Australia native as Laura, which was a challenging role to tackle.
“Every scene was more emotionally demanding than I anticipated,” Collette told Vogue during an interview published in February 2022. “I had no idea how intense it was going to be and was truly exhausted by the end. I think I let myself get fooled because I might not have done it if I knew where it would take me.”
The Unbelievable alum continued at the time: “I love that [my character is] so complicated and you rarely know what she’s thinking. She appears to be one person until we learn that she is not exactly who or what she seems.” In time, the spotlight suddenly thrust on Laura — who is celebrated as a hero by the press —sets off a violent chain of events, and when some shady figures from her past reappear, she’s forced to confront the ghosts of her former life.”
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Scroll below to find out the biggest differences between the original novel and the new series: