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Watch: Ashley Madekwe is anxious in the first trailer for thriller 'The Strays'

By Tonya Pendleton,


Jan. 26 (UPI) -- It's hard to tell just what is going on in the trailer for the new Netflix film The Strays -- not to be confused with Strays, also coming out in 2023, the live-action animated film starring Jamie Foxx , Isla Fisher and Will Ferrell .
Ashley Madekwe arrives at the Elton John Aids Foundation's 24th Annual Academy Awards viewing party in Los Angeles in 2016. She's starring in a new Netflix film "The Strays," which just released its first trailer. File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI

The Strays was written and directed by director/actor/playwright Nathaniel Martello-White known mostly for his acting in Red Tails, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, and Silent Night. This is his first feature film after making his award-winning short film Cla'am in 2017.

In the trailer, British actress Ashley Madekwe is shown as what at first seems to be a Stepford-kind of dutiful wife living in an affluent white community that prizes conformity.

"You're almost one of us," a woman says to her at lunch in the first part of the trailer. There's a wig closet, a spotless house and a "perfect" family.

Although Madekwe is biracial in real life, in the trailer, all traces of ethnicity have been absorbed into her sterile, but apparently happy life.

But then, Madekwe's character starts seeing two Black people -- a man and a woman who might be siblings, or maybe a couple. Whether they are relatives, strangers, people from her past or in her imagination is never made clear, but whoever they are, from the character's point of view, they are unsettling. And no one else is seeing them.

Madekwe, a BAFTA nominee in 2019 for County Lines, is best known to American audiences as Ashley Davenport in Revenge and Tituba in Salem. Jordan Myrie, the mysterious man haunting Madekwe's character, is currently on the series Mood on AMC+. And Bukky Bakray, the 2021 BAFTA EE Rising Star who had a leading role in Rocks, is the woman in the trailer who accompanies Myrie's character.

The Strays , filmed on location in London, Suffolk and Berkshire in 2021, is available on Netflix on Feb. 22.

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