By Samantha Highfill
June 17, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT
Credit: Amanda Searle/HBO

The simple click of a computer mouse has never been so stressful. On HBO’s upcoming series Industry, viewers are taken inside the high-stakes world of investment banking, where one mistake — or one click— can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Or is it sterling?

The drama, which was created by Mickey Down and Konrad Kay and has Lena Dunham (Girls) on board as an executive producer and director, is set in London and follows a group of recent college grads forced to deal with the realities of adult life. (Think Grey’s Anatomy’s intern class meets the finance world, but on HBO so it has an edge.)

"They are at probably the most pivotal part in a young person’s life where they’re going from being in college to this very niche finance world where they’re suddenly being asked to move and participate like adults would — but they’re not that yet, so it’s like a child in an old man’s suit," star Myha’la Herrold tells EW. "On the inside, they’re scared to death because the environment is not anything they’ve ever experienced before."

Those new surroundings are most intense for Herrold’s character, Harper, the sole American among her peers. The actress felt similar pressure when she arrived in London. "I didn’t fully understand the culture shock until I got there," she says. "I was experiencing it at the same time Harper was." But for Harper, a new country is just one obstacle. Combine that with the pressures of the job and quite a few drugs — remember that edge? — and "adulting" becomes even more complicated.

"Most finance dramas are dealing with adults who are 30 and it’s all about the money," Herrold says. “But this show isn’t really about finance. It’s about these young people trying to figure out who they are and all these strange, incredibly personal relationships that they form with each other in this dangerous, intimidating environment."

For outsider Harper, she'll find friendship in her roommate, Yasmin (Marisa Abela). "They know how to hold each other's hand through being in this ultra masculine, ultra high-pressured environment," Abela says of Harper and Yasmin. "And then at the same time, they have to make the decision about whether or not to stick by each other's side or throw each other under the bus. It's that whole thing about: Is there enough space at the top for everyone, especially when you're talking about young women."

But those decisions won't be made right away. When the series begins, the characters are just getting to know the world of investment banking. "Episode one is day one, so the audience and the characters come in to this crazy institution together," Abela says. "It's overwhelming for the characters the audience at the same time."

Get an exclusive first look at Industry, coming this fall, below.

Credit: Amanda Searle/HBO
Credit: Amanda Searle/HBO
Credit: Amanda Searle/HBO
Credit: Amanda Searle/HBO

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