The Hypnotist’s Love Story Casts Juliet Rylance as Lead


“How do you make a man do something without nagging? That is the billion-dollar question,” Liane Moriarty wrote in her novel The Hypnotist’s Love Story. This may be more problematic when your husband is a Russian mob prince. Juliet Rylance (McMafia, The Knick) will play the title role in The Hypnotist’s Love StoryABC‘s TV series adaptation of the novel, according to Variety.

The series is being executive produced by Heather Graham, who wrote, directed and starred in the romantic comedy Half MagicABC Studios and David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Laurie Zaks of Mandeville Television will produce. Graham will play the co-lead, the hypnotist’s boyfriend’s stalker. Adan Canto plays the boyfriend. Jane Seymour and Liza Lapira co-star. The Hypnotist’s Love Story will be written by Katie Wech (Star) and directed by Francesca Gregorini.

“After a string of failed romances, successful hypnotherapist Ellen (Rylance) is optimistic about her current boyfriend (Adan Canto),” reads the official synopsis. “But then he reveals a disturbing truth: a stalker ex-girlfriend (Heather Graham) has been following him for years. Ellen finds herself intrigued – and oddly thrilled by the stalker, entirely unaware that they’ve already met.

Moriarty wrote the best-selling novel Big Little Lies, which was turned into an Emmy-winning series starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman for HBO, as well as the best-sellers The Husband’s SecretTruly Madly Guilty. Rylance co-starred in the 2012 horror film Sinister. In AMC’s McMafia, she plays Rebecca Harper, who is engaged to a banker sliding into his crime family’s ways. She also starred on Steven Soderbergh’s HBO drama series, The Knick, and in CBS’s cult serial killer drama American Gothic, as Alison Hawthrone-Price. 

The Hypnotist’s Love Story adaptation is the first pilot season order for ABC’s new entertainment president Karey Burke, as well as her first pilot order. 

Rylance will play Ellen O’Farrell, a “professional hypnotherapist who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents,” according to the book’s official synopsis. “It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. She’s stoic about it, but at this point, Ellen wouldn’t mind a lasting one. When she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back. Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk. It turns out that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen thinks, Actually, that’s kind of interesting. She’s dating someone worth stalking. She’s intrigued by the woman’s motives. In fact, she’d even love to meet her.”

Graham has come a long way since she got her License to Drive in her debut film in 1988. Graham is best known for her roles the films Drugstore Cowboy, Boogie Nights, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Fire Walk with Me, The Hangover and Bowfinger. She appeared on the TV series Get Shorty, Twin Peaks, Scrubs, Californication, Law & Order: True Crime, Angie Tribeca and Flaked. Graham starred in the 2006 ABC romantic comedy series Emily’s Reasons Why Not, which was cancelled after one episode. She wrote, directed, and starred in the romantic comedy feature Half Magic, which came out on February 23, 2018. Graham was one of the women to speak out against Harvey Weinstein.

There is no word yet on when The Hypnotist’s Love Story will premiere.

Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City’s Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.

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