The best family films to watch in the BT TV PlayerJul 21 | 2 min read
Hanna, the TV series inspired by the 2011 movie starring Saoirse Ronan in the title role, returns to Amazon Prime Video for season two on Friday, July 8.
Leading the cast of eight more action-packed episodes is rising star Esme Creed-Miles.
The daughter of Samantha Morton (The Walking Dead, Fantastic Beasts) and Peaky Blinders actor Charlie Creed-Miles, Esme won critical acclaim for bringing David Farr’s character to TV screens.
"We looked all over Europe for this role. All over Germany, Denmark, Sweden and goodness knows where and then we saw this video of this girl from Bethnal Green and she just blew us away," writer David Farr told BT TV in 2019 .
"[Her performance] had this amazing truthfulness. It felt very special."
Esme was only 11 when the original film came out, but she was a big fan of Ronan's performance in the original movie.
The TV series takes a very different slant on the character, shifting the fairytale tone of the movie into darker and grittier territory.
The Londoner won the role for her acting skills, but was by no means prepared for the jaw-dropping action sequences and had to tackle an intense regime of martial arts, cardio and strength training to be prepared to play the wild youngster, who is on the run from the CIA.
Her co-star Joel Kinnaman (The Killing, Altered Carbon) expected that he might have to carry some of the scenes with his young co-star or that some serious editing might be required after filming. But he was shocked to discover that someone so young could always be so "switched on" when the cameras started rolling.
Kinnaman described working with Esme as "exhilarating" – the perfect description for the rising star’s performance in Prime Video's must-watch drama.
What happened in season one?
At the beginning of season one, Hanna was being raised in a remote forest by her father Erik, who was training her to fight and survive.
When discovered by Utrax, a top-secret organisation intent on capturing her, she was forced to use her training to escape. While running for her life, it is revealed that Hanna was born at the Utrax facility – the product of a clandestine programme to create genetically perfect assassins - and that others just like her were still being held at the facility.
She returns to Utrax to rescue the other girls, but only one, Clara (Yasmin Monet Prince), is willing to leave. After her father is killed in the battle, Hanna returns to the forest with Clara. She knows that Utrax will come looking for them.
What will happen in season two?
In season two, Hanna risks her freedom to rescue her friend Clara from the clutches of the Utrax programme, now run by John Carmichael (Dermot Mulroney) and his second in command, Leo Garner (Anthony Welsh).
Hanna finds help in the unlikely form of her previous nemesis, CIA agent Marissa Wiegler (Mireille Enos), who must protect both herself and Hanna from the ruthless organisation she once trusted.
Yet as Hanna delves deeper into the elusive world of The Meadows and meets others like herself, including Sandy (Áine Rose Daly) and Jules (Gianna Kiehl), she begins to question her role in the larger context of Utrax’s assassin programme.
Where have you seen Esme Creed-Miles before?
Esme Creed-Miles was selected by Screen International as one of their highly prestigious Stars of Tomorrow in 2018.
As well as being a successful young actress, Creed-Miles has also tried her hand behind the camera. Between seasons 1 and 2 of Hanna, she wrote, directed and starred in short film Jamie, which was nominated for ‘Best International Short’ at Palm Springs.
In 2017, Esme starred as a younger version of Ruth Wilson’s Alice in Clio Barnard’s mystery drama Dark River. The film follows the journey of Alice, who returns to her home village for the first time in 15 years to claim the tenancy of the family farm she believes is rightfully hers. Produced by the BFI and distributed by FilmRise, the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to critical acclaim and received multiple award nominations.
In the same year, Creed-Miles was seen as Pogo in Bill Buckhurst’s Pond Life. Set in a 1994 world of broken families, cassette tapes and parliamentary angst, the film is an exploration of Britain’s post-industrial communities and concerns a group of friends who share a moment of harmony amidst rumbling political fever. The film also stars Tom Varey (Game of Thrones).
Esme’s breakout role saw her portray Shirley Temple in Mister Lonely, a comedy from Harmony Korine. Receiving its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007, the film follows a disillusioned Michael Jackson impersonator who finds faith and love when he meets a Marilyn Monroe impersonator, who takes him to a remote Scottish island where impersonators are free to live their lives.
The film also features Diego Luna (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Samantha Morton (Minority Report) and James Fox (Sherlock Holmes).
When is Hanna season two released?
Esme Creed-Miles will be back kicking butt this summer on Friday, July 3.
There will be eight episodes, all released at once on Prime Video.
Season one is available on Prime Video now.