Meet the cast of HBO’s Industry
A cast of American and British newcomers star as a diverse group of interns who are entering the finance industry during the recession that followed the 2008 financial crisis. They work hard and party harder, all the while getting to grips with the harsh realities of the world of investment, and life as an adult.
The New York Times says that Industry “is a timeless story about ambitious youngsters, learning their limits as they race headlong toward a future they’ve been imagining for themselves”.
Written and created by Mickey Down and Konrad Kay, who left their finance jobs in order to write this script, Industry’s first episode was directed by Lena Dunham (Girls). The Guardian headlined their five-star review: “Lena Dunham directs taut drama you can bank on”.
Here are a few snapshots of the characters you’ll meet when you get stuck into Industry.
Read on for insights from the stars of the show on their characters and the toll that the finance industry takes on London City workers.
Eric, Daria and Harper
“From the get-go the bank undergoes a culture change,” says Ken Leung, who plays Eric, Harper’s (Myha’la Herrold) boss on the FX desk. “Eric comes from the kind of old school, every-man-for-himself, you do whatever works mentality. So he aggressively resists the culture change from the beginning because he feels threatened by it. As the first season progresses he’ll slowly unravel because of those elements.”
At the forefront of that culture change is Harper’s direct mentor Daria, played by Freya Mavor. “She wants to shift the dial, create a culture within this environment that’s not male driven, that’s not about ego and putting each other down. She really believes there’s a space where there can be a more open, feminine approach to things. It doesn’t have to repeat the same cultural patterns.”
Harper finds herself caught between nemeses Daria and Eric while needing both of their approval for her own advancement.
“I think Eric sees a lot of himself in Harper,” says Leung. “She speaks her mind, despite the circumstances and I think he responds to that. He gives her some pokes in the beginning to test her fortitude and she responds – I think she answers questions in ways that most graduates do not. But most of all Eric needs an ally – so he really needs a Harper.”
Yasmin and Kenny
On the desk next to Harper is her friend, RIF competitor and now housemate Yasmin (Marisa Abela). In between trips to the salad bar and general condescension Yasmin has her own alpha male manager to contend with, Kenny (Conor MacNeill).
“How do you describe Kenny without saying that he’s awful?” laughs MacNeill. “He is the epitome of the London City lad. But to me he has an undercurrent of something messed up. He’s a victim of the system and a great portrayal of how that system can have a negative effect on people. He’s what you get at the end of years of working on a desk in the City.”
Gus and Theo
Over on the analysts’ desk the problem for Gus (David Jonsson) is that his mentor Theo (Will Tudor) is also his lover. Gus is out and proud; Theo very much isn’t.
“Theo’s a strategist at Pierpoint and he’s been there for a couple of years now,” says Tudor. “All of a sudden along comes Gus who was a school friend of his; they had a slightly experimental relationship back at Eton and it throws everything up in the air.”
Both Theo and Gus come from a background of privilege where they had their lives mapped out from school onwards. The difference is that Theo’s life plan didn’t involve – and can barely comprehend – falling in love with a man.
“He starts off as the archetype of the privileged banker,” says Tudor, “But as the series progresses we see this perfect world – the house in Clapham, the girlfriend, the job – being threatened. His idea of what life could be is endangered by this secret he has and we see him scrabbling to maintain this veneer. But it can’t be kept at bay for long.”
Where to watch HBO’s Industry in South Africa
The first five episodes of Industry are currently available to binge-watch, with each of the following three episodes landing every Wednesday.