Are Liaison’s Alison and Gabriel Based on Real Spies?

Apple TV+’s ‘Liaison’ follows the story of Alison and Gabriel, two secret agents who parted ways a long time ago due to a complication in their personal relationship. Years later, they are brought back together by a danger that threatens to tear apart the cyber security of the UK. With the elements of a whodunit, the miniseries is a political thriller with undertones of the political and social issues concerning today’s world. In between this, Gabriel and Alison’s relationship becomes a crucial element in defining how the events shape up. Given the realistic nature of the story, if you are wondering whether two lead characters are inspired by real-life people, then here’s what you need to know about them.

Are Alison and Gabriel Based on Real Secret Agents?

No. ‘Liaison’ is a fictional series, which means that the characters in it are also made-up, and their relationships and circumstances are used to infuse the story with more thrill and suspense. It isn’t clear whether these characters were based on any specific spies or secret agents or people who work in such offices that they come face to face with the threats to national security on a daily basis. However, because the miniseries uses a very real danger to extrapolate and create the plot for itself, it can be assumed that the writers researched the people who are tasked with the responsibility of saving the day, and focused on the protocols they’d have to follow and the risks they’d have to take to do their job right.

In talking about his character, Vincent Cassel, who plays Gabriel, revealed that their characters were made to be as realistic as possible as opposed to the hyped-up versions of spies and mercenaries that are usually portrayed in such stories. In researching for his role, Cassel met with real-life mercenaries, who have worked for everyone from Americans and the British to Russians and the Saudis. He revealed that their line of work keeps them working closely with such political powers and “they’re really seeing what’s behind the curtain. They know all the secrets. They know what runs the world. The real dirty politics. Not the mainstream ideas that we see on the news to make us react like sheep, you know?”

It was meeting them that made him realize that they don’t look the part. “They don’t look dangerous. They have to appear as wimps at some points. You might think that you can overpower him, but you can’t. It’s another way of showing what it is to be a man. You know, being a man is not trying to be a pumped man; it’s just taking your responsibility,” the ‘Black Swan’ actor said. Describing them to be “lonely, dark, and cynical”, Cassel said that that this what he wanted for his character in ‘Liaison’. He wanted to shed “the distorted idea of masculinity” as is generally portrayed in Hollywood and present his character with a realistic lens.

The actor also revealed that efforts have been made in inducing realistic details in the action scenes as well. Referencing the scene where his character gets tasered and then drives away in a car, he explained: “I’ve been studying this thing for a while. Some people even – you can check it out on the net – get shot by a Taser and they stand up and they fight again. I mean, I keep on driving, but I have an accident a few meters later and I’m super tired afterward. So yeah, this is realistic.” Considering all this, it is clear that while Alison and Gabriel might not be based on real people, the writers and the actors have done their best to keep them rooted in reality.

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