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The stars of Netflix’s ‘3 Body Problem’ on adapting a science fiction classic

L-R: González, Hong – Netflix/Ed Miller

Netflix’s epic science fiction series 3 Body Problem is now streaming. An adaptation of Liu Cixin‘s book, the show broadly centers on a group of scientists and a detective teaming up to unravel our first contact with alien life.

The show flows back and forth from 1960s China to the present day, with Zine Tseng playing the younger version of scientist Ye Wenjie and Rosalind Chao playing her in the present.

“This is what happens when a young woman makes a fateful decision that changes the course of and the future of humanity,” Chau teases to ABC Audio, with Tseng adding, “And it crosse[s] time and space into the present day, and we see how humanity make their choices to survive the biggest threat [to] the entire universe.”

The show was developed by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and features many stars from that show, including John BradleyGOT‘s Samwell Tarley. He offers, “I know that they know how to write to my strengths. And without even knowing what the show was, it was pretty much a yes.”

“I owe them everything, and I would have probably been on board no matter what it was,” Bradley adds, but he says he was “delighted” it was this project.

Playing Jin Cheng, “supposedly the genius of her generation,” Jess Hong says she had to wrap her brain around “a lot of physics lingo.” However, the producers knew the material cold, and there was an Oxford physics professor acting as a consultant “any time we needed [it].”

Eiza González plays physicist Auggie Salazar, and she admits to being intimidated by the role. She explains of 3 Body Problem, “I don’t say this because I’m in the show … I’ve never seen a show like this, ever.”  

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