Red Widow: Radha Mitchell, Melissa Rosenberg Talk New Russian-Mob Themed Drama

Australian film star Radha Mitchell heads to American television this Sunday with the premiere of ABC’s eight-part new drama “Red Widow.”

The show finds the actress playing Marta Walraven, the grownup daughter of a Russian mob boss, and the wife of Evan (played by “Hell on Wheels” hunk Anson Mount), who is involved in dirty dealings of his own.

After an incident with the couple’s youngest child at school, Marta tells Evan that she wants him to get out of the drug trade, like it’s something he can do fairly easily.

“She has lived a life of somewhat denial,” the show’s Executive Producer, Melissa Rosenberg, told, when ABC flew us up to the Vancouver set of the show. “She thinks that she extricated herself form her father and the Bratva [the Russian mob] of San Francisco, and her husband is just peripherally involved. He exports pot and that keeps it very separate. So, in her mind, they’re not the same, they’re not connected. What she comes to realize is that they’re actually very intricately connected.”

Radha said certain events in the premiere episode, will quickly snap her character out of the haze of denial.

“[Marta] and her best friend have sort of been turning a blind eye to the reality and I guess their eyes are ripped wide open and they’re forced to kind of deal with the truth,” Radha told Access. “So there’s been, certainly, an avoidance going on, and as the story goes on, Marta really has to deal with a lot of truth. That’s definitely part of the character’s evolution.”

While she may have turned a blind eye to Evan and her own father’s organized crime involvement for years, Marta – as she’s dragged into the game – finds out that she has a few special skills.

“She’s not gonna be a superhero, she’s gonna be a soccer mom, but she’s gonna have talents,” Radha explained of how things will change for Marta as she gets involved in some illegal operations thanks to another man in the mix – Christian Schiller, played by former “ER” star Goran Visnjic.

“She can shoot, she’s actually really good at sort of espionage, undercover kind of stuff, she’s got skills,” Radha continued. “She’s smart, she’s savvy, she deals with Schiller who’s kind of one of the toughest, scariest guys out there and she can hold her own with characters like him.”

With just eight episodes in its first season, Melissa said television viewers will get plenty of drama.

“Each one of them is jam packed with a lot of story, a lot of drama, some major action moments, definitely some suspense. Some interesting romantic elements,” she said. “There’s a lot going on. It’s amazing how much you can pack into an hour of television.”

“Red Widow” premieres March 3 at 9/8c.

-- Jolie Lash

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