The Stay Close showrunner breaks down the thrilling ending to the mystery miniseries

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Warning: This article contains Netflix spoilers. stay close.

Megane Pierce (Jumbo Cushion) reopened the door to his past and nothing will ever be the same again.

In the Netflix limited series stay close, a quick trip down memory lane for Megan, who had a life spent working the Vipers strip club as Cassie Morris, turns into a deadly search for the truth. Over the course of the season, a string of murders and a recent murder are all tied to one person: Vipers employee Lorraine Griggs (Sarah Parish). The journey to uncover his long-hidden murderous secret crushes DS Michael Broome (James Nesbitt), nearly ruins the new life Megan has built with her family, and shows photographer Ray Levine (Richard Armitage) the high price of blind devotion.

We spoke to the showrunner Harlan Coben, who also wrote the book stay close is based on the creation of an exciting story, Lorraine’s motivations, the end of Megan’s story and much more.

stay close

netflix

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Apart from the setting, what else did you change when adapting your book? What has remained the same?

HARLAN COBEN: Most of the story was the same. All that backbone is still mostly from the book. We changed the ending and added another twist. We added some characters, gave teens a bigger role. [Megan’s] the kids didn’t have the same track in the book. We were able to expand the world a bit more and give each character a bit more to do than they had in the book.

Lorraine taking on men who hurt women is a mission people can relate to, and you can see it in the response on social media. What inspired his pattern?

There are a lot of people who consider the serial killer the hero of the story, which was an interesting reaction people got. Lorraine seems to have a pretty sympathetic motive for a lot of people. When I was writing the story, I couldn’t quite see the beginning of [the Me Too movement] yet, but it was starting to come to the fore, just how scummy men can be. I thought I’d do something with that, explore a little and then go overboard, which is part of what I do.

DS Broome and Lorraine have a wonderful relationship which is destroyed when Lorraine confesses. Can you talk about the development of this dynamic?

I like the idea of ​​a romance later in life. They have gone through wars and met each other. I remember when I first met James Nesbitt and Sarah Parish, I said that this show, in many ways, would be about how much we love you both. I want you to cheer them on and fall in love with them as a couple and then have your heart break in the end. Much of the emotional backbone was going to rest on Broome and Lorraine’s relationship.

There was a big response to the Ken and Barbie killers. Can you share what inspired them and what it was like for you to see this unique pair of characters on the show?

They’re quite similar in the book, but the idea came from 80s and 90s America at halftime in NFL games; they used to have this band called “Up With People”, which was kind of a wholesome religious band that sounded like Ken and Barbie. They were doing these dance routines and singing hard rock songs in this kind of choir with these painted smiles, and my mind was like, “what’s behind that?” They can’t be as healthy as they look, then I tweaked them to killer ones.

Also, the second time they appear, when they go after [Harry Sutton (Eddie Izzard)], we intentionally filmed it so you wouldn’t know if they were actually dancing or if Harry, who is a drug addict, was seeing them in his head. We even hear the funny voices, and I leave that to [the audience].

stay close

stay close

James Stack/Netflix

Ray pays a high price for his devotion to Megan or, as he knew her, Cassie. Tell me a bit about how you chose his ending. Where do you imagine it goes from here?

This story is about something that happened 17 years ago, and all the main characters have demons to exorcise. That doesn’t mean their life is better now. I’m not sure Broome, Ray, or Megan’s life is any better, but that demon is gone.

Ray is in a pretty good position, though. He seems to be getting back on track and returning to his old job. I threw it as low as possible, like paparazzi for hire. Ray will be fine, or as fine as Ray can be. He has problems, but I don’t want him to become good all of a sudden. He got his answers, but his heart may still need fixing.

stay close is full of twists. Do you have one that you were most excited to see on the show?

The twist I’ve been dying to see is the last one. When I was watching, I remember the rough cut, and we shot her from the back as everything fell into place at the wedding. I had a shiver. The two twists I like weren’t in the book, but at the end of episode 2, when you see someone pushing the car into the water, then you see it’s Dave. These two twists, in particular, really landed.

Megan’s new secret was a twist you added. Can you share what is behind this choice?

I love twists. I was thinking about the story – and we did it for the stranger too – and I wanted to give the readers of the books one last punch. I like that they stare smugly, thinking they know what’s going on, then throw something new at them. I came up with this idea to make people other than the serial killer guilty.

stay close

stay close

Vishal Sharma/Netflix

Do you know whether or not Megan is telling her family the truth about Carlton’s death?

I would prefer the public to do it, but it’s complicated. Again, it is up to a woman to make the decision to live with this or not. I have a pretty good idea of ​​what’s going on, but I’m determined to raise issues and let the public decide. Ultimately, she has this big weight on her mind and she has to decide what will be best for her and her family.

What do you think of the way people react to stay close?

It’s funny. Some of the answers I don’t quite understand. I don’t know why people think [Megan] lives in the same city, for example. We take them across a long bridge each time, and she stays at the hotel when she goes to this city. The other thing is to ask why [Megan] would run away to a house that was closing 17 years ago, but she didn’t run away to this big house. But it’s always like that, and all the reactions are funny.

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

stay close is currently streaming on Netflix.

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