The HBO Max miniseries The Staircase is based on a true story, and its all-star cast looks uncannily similar when compared to their characters' real-life counterparts.

The four-part series is a dramatic retelling of the 2001 death of Kathleen Peterson and the emotional legal aftermath that followed.

In one of the longest trials in the history of North Carolina, Kathleen's husband, Michael Peterson, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for her murder.

Michael and Kathleen Peterson seemed to live a normal life in Durham, North Carolina, but when she was found dead at the bottom of their staircase on the evening of December 9, 2001

the tragedy turned their family upside down. The incident and its subsequent murder trial drew media attention as Michael was eventually convicted of killing his wife.

As is portrayed in the HBO Max miniseries, the story was first chronicled in a French documentary, also called The Staircase

The series was updated again when the documentary was released on Netflix, with another three episodes tacked on in 2018.

Known for his roles in such movies as A Single Man, The King's Speech, and his recent role in Operation Mincemeat, Firth is very familiar with dramatic roles.