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Technically, Characters In Stateless Are Only Inspired By Real People

A German flight attendant, an Afghan father, a security guard, and a bureaucrat all cross paths at an Australian immigration detention centre in Stateless, which premiered on Netflix July 8. The Australian series focuses on the horrors that can occur for refugees, for immigrants, and in detention centres. While the miniseries already aired in Australia, it’s a topic that will certainly be compelling for audiences around the world now that Stateless is on Netflix.

The six-episode series, created by Cate Blanchett, Tony Ayres, and Elise McCredie, is inspired by the true story of Cornelia Rau. Rau is a German woman and Australian permanent resident who was wrongly detained at an Australian prison and a detention center for 10 months in 2004. Rau’s schizophrenia and bipolar disorder diagnoses played a role in her detainment. The character based on Rau, Sofie, is played by The Handmaid’s Tale star Yvonne Strahovski.

Even though the story is centred around Sofie, it also explores other people detained in the camp who actually are refugees. And while they may be held legally, unlike Sofie, that doesn’t make the fact that they’re detained any less harrowing. Especially through characters like a security guard and a woman running operations at the centre, viewers are left to ponder where the morals lie in the story.

Yvonne Strahovski Plays Sofie Werner


Who Is The Real Sofie?
Werner, a German former flight attendant and Australian resident, who escaped from a cult and ended up at the detention centre after lying about her identity. Her character is inspired by the story of Cornelia Rau.

Strahovski Essential Viewing
Strahovski is known for her roles on the TV series Chuck and Dexter, and for her current role as Serena Joy Waterford on The Handmaid’s Tale. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Jai Courtney Plays Cam


Who Is Cam?
He’s a man who recently started working as a guard at the detention centre. He walks a moral line when it comes to what he is participating in by working there and also feeling disapproval. He’s not directly based on any one person.

Jai Courtney Essential Viewing
The actor is known for playing Captain Boomerang in Suicide Squad and for his role as Eric in the Divergent franchise. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Asher Keddie Plays Clare Kowitz


Is Clare Kowitz A Real Person?
The bureaucrat whose job involves managing the detention centre and dealing with scrutiny from the media technically isn’t a real person, but she represents real people from Rau’s story.

Best known for: Keddie is best known for the Australian TV series Offspring, in which she starred for seven years. American audiences may recognise her for her role as Dr. Carol Frost in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Fayssal Bazzi Plays Ameer


Who is Ameer?
He’s an Afghan refugee who ends up in the detention centre after being separated from his family while trying to get to Australia. He represents many refugees, rather than one specific person’s story.

Bazzi Essential Viewing
Bazzi has had roles on a number of Australian TV shows and movies, including The Commons and Mr. Inbetween. He also voiced Mr. Tod in Peter Rabbit. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Marta Dusseldorp Plays Sofie’s Sister Margot


Is Margot A Real Person?
Sofie’s sister tries to track her down following her disappearance. While the show is only inspired by the story of Cornelia Rau and does not follow her exact story, in real life, she does have a sister named Chris Rau. Chris is a journalist, who wrote a piece for the Sydney Morning Herald in light of Stateless‘ release.

Dusseldorp Essential Viewing
Dusseldorp is known for the Australian TV series Crownies, Janet King, and BlackJack.Photo: Don Arnold/WireImage.

Dominic West Plays Gordon Masters


Who Is The Real Gordon Masters?
Masters is one of the leaders of the dance studio/cult that Sofie is involved with. Put into the context of Rau’s story, this character would be a stand-in for Ken Dyers, the co-founder of Kenja, a “personal development organization,” which has been “branded a cult”, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Kenja denies this designation.

West Essential Viewing
The English actor starred in The Wire for six years as Jimmy McNulty, and is also known for The Affair, Chicago, and 300.Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Cate Blanchett Plays Pat Masters


Is Pat Masters A Real Person?
Pat is the other cult leader is played by Blanchett, who also one of Stateless‘ creators and producers. In real life, the co-founder of Kenja was Dyers’ wife, Janice Hamilton. Again, the inspiration was Rau, but these characters aren’t direct stand-ins for the real people.

Blanchett Essential Viewing
You know who Blanchett is, but her best works include the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Carol, Elizabeth, and her Academy Award-winning role in The Aviator. She also recently starred in another miniseries, Mrs. America.Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

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Credit: Original article published here.

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