It’s a small town in the Eastern Townships that attracts dark tragedies and mysterious deaths — and one man who is determined to unearth the truth behind the dramas.
It’s called Three Pines and it lives in the imagination of author Louise Penny’s mystery series Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.
Now, Inspector Gamache and his friends are coming to live on the small screen in an Amazon Prime series called Three Pines.
Thursday was the series’ world premiere in Montreal’s Rialto Theatre, host to a star-studded event showcasing some of Canada’s best talent in front and behind the camera.
“It was made clear right off the bat when I was negotiating with Left Bank -the producers- that it be shot in Quebec and that it involve a lot of Canadian and Quebec actors,” Penny said.
Three Pines covers murder investigations over two episodes, where fiction intersects with reality. The plot draws on Canadian and Quebec history, showcasing cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and uncovering a web of corruption within the police system.
Kahnawake’s award-winning director, screenwriter and writer Tracey Deer was enlisted to direct.
Filmed in Montreal and rural Quebec, some of the cast features Rossif Sutherland who plays the “combative and troubled” Sergeant Jean-Guy Beauvoir, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers who plays “the intelligent Indigenous working mother” Sergeant Isabelle Lacoste, and “the accident-prone rookie” Agent Yvette Nichol is played by Sarah Booth.
British actor Alfred Molina portrays lead character Armand Gamache, described as an empathetic and astute police officer who works at the Sûreté du Québec, the province’s police force.
“I was given the chance to really portray the most extraordinary character, I fell in love with Armand Gamache, as I did with the city,” said Molina.
Molina says he lived in Quebec for several months as he filmed the series and was surprised with what he learned.
“The thing I learned most about, particularly about Quebec and Canada in general is that all the clichés are true, these are the nicest people in the world,” Molina said.
Penny lauded Molina’s portrayal of Gamache.
“As the creator of the character it’s really astonishing to see him come to life but also Fred [Molina] makes Armand his own,” Penny said. “He’s taken the DNA of Armand and added his own. It’s an extraordinary performance.”
Three Pines airs Dec. 2 on Amazon Prime.
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