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Yvonne Strahovski, Cate Blanchett to star in new TV drama

By Annie Martin
Yvonne Strahovski, Cate Blanchett to star in new TV drama
Yvonne Strahovski has joined the cast of the Australian series "Stateless." Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 14 (UPI) -- Yvonne Strahovski and Cate Blanchett will star in the new TV drama Stateless.

Variety confirmed Strahovski, 36, Blanchett, 50, and Dominic West, 49, have joined the Australian series, which takes place in an immigrant detention center.

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Stateless is co-created by Blanchett, Tony Ayres and Elise McCredie. The show will feature an all-female writing and directing team, with McCredie and Belinda Chayko as writers and Emma Freeman and Jocelyn Moorhouse as directors.

Blanchett, Ayres and Blanchett's husband, Andrew Upton, will executive produce the TV drama. McCredie will serve as showrunner, with NBCUniversal to handle worldwide distribution.

Stateless centers on four strangers -- a flight attendant escaping a suburban cult, an Afghan refugee fleeing persecution, an Australian father abandoning a dead-end job and a bureaucrat in the midst of a national scandal -- who end up in an immigrant detention center in the Australian desert.

The Hollywood Reporter said Stateless is inspired by the true story of Cornelia Rau, a German-Australian woman who escaped a cult in 2004, only to end up in Australia's Baxter immigration detention center.

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"Whilst this story centers on Australia, the dilemmas that it explores through four absorbing characters will resonate globally: the desire for personal freedom, the need for social stability, an escalating lack of faith in the political process and the deeply unsettling impact this had on individual lives," Blanchett said.

"We have assembled the most extraordinary array of Australian talent to make this show, both in front of and behind the camera," Ayres added. "In each case, people were drawn to Stateless because it asks one of the most vexing questions of our times -- how do we as a nation maintain control of our sovereign borders whilst retaining our own humanity?"

Stateless begins production in Australia in June. Strahovski also stars as Serena Joy Waterford on the Hulu series The Handmaid's Tale, while Blanchett will star in the film Where'd You Go, Bernadette.

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