Netflix’s latest spy adventure, The Recruit, debuted on the platform on December 16 and is already getting rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. The show sees Noah Centineo stepping into the shoes of a freshly graduated lawyer, Owen Hendricks, who starts working for the CIA.
The Recruit revolves around Hendricks getting involved in international conflicts after an asset threatens to reveal the CIA’s deep dark secrets. The setting of the show has left many fans wondering if it is based on a true story. Read on to find out.
Is The Recruit Based on a Real Story?
The Recruit is not based on a real story. The premise of the show is fictional, and the concept is an original one, developed by Alexi Hawley. However, the show shares its name with the 2003 spy thriller film, The Recruit, which starred Al Pacino as the lead. But the show and the film are unrelated.
Hawley, who has also created many procedural dramas, including The Rookie, said in an interview that he wanted to have a new take on the CIA and its operations and hence decided to base the story around a lawyer instead of the traditional spy agent.
“The Recruit enters the world of espionage through fresh eyes — Owen Hendricks — a twenty-four-year-old, fresh out of law school, who doesn’t even have time to figure out where the bathrooms are before he’s pulled into a high-stakes case,” said Hawley.
The creator further added, “None of us can realistically dream of being James Bond, but all of us have had a first job — with co-workers we can’t trust and agendas we don’t understand. Only at the CIA, those hidden agendas can get you killed.”
The Show’s Connection to Ex-CIA Lawyer Adam Ciralsky
While the story of The Recruit is entirely fictional, Noah Centineo has revealed that his character was inspired by CIA lawyer-turned-journalist Adam Ciralsky. “The idea was created by Adam Ciralsky; he’s now a journalist, but he was a lawyer at the CIA. I think he ended up suing the CIA and winning,” the actor said in an interview.
Ciralsky is a journalist, television and film producer, and attorney. He started his career as a lawyer with the CIA, where he took care of a number of sensitive cases. During that time, he was also honored with the Exceptional Performance Award from Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet.
The Recruit is a Fresh Take on CIA Operations
As Hawley revealed, The Recruit feels more grounded and real as it focuses on the first job taken up by a graduate, something almost all college students go through in their life.
The official synopsis of the show reads, “Fledgling lawyer Owen Hendricks, who has just started working for the CIA, has his life turned upside down when he encounters an asset who demands exoneration from the agency.”
“Once she tries to expose her long-term relationship with the agency, he becomes entangled in convoluted international politics. As Hendricks negotiates with the asset, he finds himself at odds with menacing individuals and groups, risking his life as he tries to fulfill his duties,” it reads further.
Apart from Centineo, the eight-episode series stars Aarti Mann as Violet, Daniel Quincy Annoh as Terence, Vondie Curtis-Hall as Walter Nyland, Kristian Bruun as Janus Ferber, Laura Haddock as Max Meladze, Colton Dunn as Lester and Fivel Stewart as Hannah.
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