Elisabeth Moss and Gwendoline Christie, who star as the detective duo in the miniseries, attended the premiere of Top of the Lake: China Girl in New York on Thursday night. Their co-star Alice Englert was also in attendance at the event at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, as was creator Campion, co-writer Gerald Lee and director Ariel Kleiman.
The show follows Detective Robin Griffin (Moss) after her return to Sydney to rebuild her life, but things quickly take a dark turn when the body of an Asian woman washes up on Bondi Beach.
Christie joined China Girl as Moss’ character’s eager new employee and much taller counterpart.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet, Moss talked about the bond she forged with Christie.
“As opposed to the first [series], I’m very much surrounded by women in this one, which is really cool,” Moss said. “I got to work with Gwen, and we became good friends — I had her as this counterpart. It really is a two-hander in some ways. We became very close and became a little gang. We were formidable and loved to bully our directors!”
But unfortunately for Campion, three was company in their squad: “They used to carry on about being married, and I was getting quite jealous. They would say, ‘This is my wife, this is my wife.’ They didn’t seem to want me,” she joked.
Campion explained that Christie wrote her a letter, and she got the idea of having partners of different heights.
“[Christie] wrote to me out of nowhere and said we have a friend in common, who passed along the letter,” Campion said. “She introduced herself and said ‘I’ve actually loved you forever and just wanted you to know that [if being part of the series] is something you want me to do, I’m in.’ It was a lovely letter — I felt quite flattered. I looked her up and she was amazing. I was trying to think of a police friend for Robin’s character and I didn’t have the right person; it wasn’t working for me. Then I imagined it with Gwendoline — having a really short detective and a really tall one — and suddenly went, ‘Wow.’ ”
Top of the Lake: China Girl will premiere as a three-night special on Sundance TV beginning this Sunday at 9 p.m.