‘Invitation to a Bonfire’ features Freya Mavor and Pilou Asbæk as protagonists, Ngozi Anyanwu – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Freya Mavor (Skins) and Pilou Asbaek (Borgen, Game of Thrones) should play in Invitation to a bonfire, Serial adaptation by AMC of the novel by Adrienne Celt. Ngozi Anyanwu (Devil) was also cast as a series regular in the project, which received a six-episode direct-to-series order under AMC’s “serial storylines” model to launch on the network and AMC+ in 2023.

Created by Rachel Caris Love, Invitation to a bonfire is a psychological thriller set in the 1930s at a New Jersey girls’ boarding school. Inspired by the codependent marriage of Vladimir and Vera Nabokov, the series follows Zoya (Mavor), a young Russian immigrant and gardener, who is drawn into a deadly love triangle with the school’s newest faculty member – an enigmatic novelist, Leo (Asbæk) – and his lovely wife.

Mavor’s Zoya Andropova is an orphaned refugee and consummate outsider at the posh all-girls school where she works. She is a Soviet among the Americans, a peasant among the silver spoons, an intellectual among the inquisitive. When novelist Leo Orlov joins the faculty, Zoya develops a dangerous obsession with him – and his magnetic wife. Leo of Asbæk, loosely inspired by Vladimir Nabokov, is a literary genius currently in turmoil. When he arrives to teach at this girls’ school in New Jersey, he bristles with resentment, much of it directed at his wife. But then he meets Zoya, a young school gardener, and the trajectory of his writing – and his life – is changed forever. Anyanwu plays Hilda, an ambitious and independent woman who refuses to betray her heart – no matter the cost. After her wealthy family refused to accept her as she is, she left them behind, choosing to start over in the school kitchen.

Love executive produces alongside Robin Schwartz and Kyle Laursen; Carolyn Daucher is a producer. AMC Studios is the studio. Casting directors for the series are Ellen Chenoweth and Susanne Scheel with a European cast of Kate Rhodes James CDG, CSA.

Scottish actor Mavor is replaced by Hamilton Hodell in the UK, UTA in the US and Peikoff Mahan. Danish actor Asbæk is replaced by UTA, Art Management and Untitled Entertainment. The Nigerian-born American actor and playwright Anyanwu is replaced by CAA and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein Lezcano Bobb & Dang.

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