If you haven’t already seen it on Netflix, French thriller Witnesses arrives on Channel 4 this week.

Set in the coastal town of Le Treport in north-west France, the drama follows 
police lieutenant Sandra Winckler
 as she investigates the case of recently buried bodies that have been dug up and posed in show houses.

C’est grisly, non?

French actress Marie Dompnier, who plays Sandra, says it was the many sides of her character’s personality that drew her to the role. 

“Sandra is a character that’s frightened to death by the fact that things end and people die. To counter her fear she wants to control everything, which is obviously impossible,” she explained.

“It was very interesting for me to play someone with different sides to her character. Moreover, what is interesting about Sandra is that her two lives keep colliding into each other – this creates a struggle within her, which was interesting to play.”

Thierry Lhermitte as Paul Maisonneuve, Marie Dompnier as Sandra Winckler and Jan Hammenecker as JustinThierry Lhermitte as Paul Maisonneuve, Marie Dompnier as Sandra Winckler and Jan Hammenecker as Justin (Newen Distribution/Channel 4)

Marie added: “I was attracted by the story and the character written by Herve Hadmar and Marc Herpoux, and with the opportunity to work with Herve as a director.”

She said being on set felt natural: “It is true that before Witnesses I had little experience with cameras but on the set I found myself in the right place. After that, being on stage or on a set is the same job.”

Witnesses begins on Channel 4 from 22 July at 10.00pm.