The Girl Before: Trailer for new BBC psychological thriller series

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The Girl Before airs on BBC One and the gripping psychological thriller will be concluding soon. The TV series has revealed plenty about minimalist architect Edward’s (played by David Oyelowo) past and how tragic events changed him as a person. Actor Oyelowo told and other media about how he spoke to a therapist regarding Edward’s nature.

The suspenseful series The Girl Before is an adaptation of JP Delaney’s novel of the same name.

Over the course of the four-part thriller, viewers discover how Jane (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Emma (Jessica Plummer) are connected in a sinister way.

Edward has been luring in women who he believes resemble his dead wife after she died in tragic circumstances.

As these women get to know Edward, he takes them on the same dates and follows the same courtship ritual.

Actor Oyelowo opened up about how he prepared to play such a complex role.

He said: “I spoke to a therapist about it as he has something called repetition compulsion.

“People who have been through a tragedy, to try and fix this broken part of their life, they go back to that moment and try and build from there and create a different narrative.

“Speaking to [the therapist], it’s something we all have to a greater or lesser degree.

“Edward gets a bit of a bad rap because you see him using some of the same pickup lines, taking ladies to some of the same restaurants.

“We have all done that, and you have to remember it’s three years apart [between Emma and Jane].”

He added: “But when you put them together it’s a bit dark and weird, but he has those things to a huge degree.

“And as I read the script and was playing the role, it’s a conversation I started having with my wife because I have a bit of Edward in me.

“Only because I’m anally tidy. The point being that I also have these set things I live by that have been good guides for me.

“Edward takes that to the nth degree, he’s very extra on a lot of fronts.”

In the series, he forms a relationship with Jane, who is looking to make a new life for herself following a heartbreaking loss.

Her daughter was stillborn and she still holds on to some of her treasures, unable to move past the tragic event.

Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw also carried out extensive research in order to make sure she was handling the situation in a sensitive way.

She said: “It was a very heavy subject and even though the show has this slick, psychological thriller and this luxurious world, to still ground these traumas in reality, we were very lucky to have consultants from SANDS.

“I was able to speak to one of their bereavement midwives. Also, I have a friend of mine who had that experience and she was generous enough to speak to me about some very intimate personal emotional moments.”

SANDS, or Stillbirth and neonatal death charity, is an organisation supporting anyone affected by the death of a baby.

Mbatha-Raw continued: “For Jane, that’s the beginning of her journey. It’s life-changing grief but we were also keen to create a journey of catharsis and healing.”

The actress, who was also a producer for the series, suggested her character should dance in the house at the end of the first episode.

Explaining the thought process behind the captivating scene, she said it was because her character is “so contained” and it “shows her loneliness and connection with the house”.

She said: “It was interesting to see how the house is working on her and also a way to release some everything she’s holding.

“So it was something we spoke about and I thought it could be an interesting idea to bring an element of the surreal into the house.”

The Girl Before airs on BBC One at 9pm.

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