THE LAST WORD... ‘“It’s un­com­fort­able to watch it back ques­tions’ … it brings up very deep

WITH FELIC­ITY HUFF­MAN, CROSS­WORD

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - TV -

THE ig­nit­ing in­ci­dents in the first sea­son of Amer­i­can Crime – drugs, mur­der, that sort of stuff – were only in­tel­lec­tual [themes] for most of us, hope­fully. But the se­cond sea­son is a new story. (A stu­dent at an elite pri­vate school ac­cuses mem­bers of the bas­ket­ball team of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing him.) It’s about things close to our hearts – com­mu­nity, education, fam­ily loy­alty, so­cioe­co­nomic di­ver­sity, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion … those things are more tan­gi­ble. We un­der­stand and re­late to them.

Film­ing some sto­ry­lines, it wasn’t con­fronting. But it’s oddly un­com­fort­able to watch it back now … it brings up very deep political and so­cial ques­tions. I guess I think of my kids when it comes to the [sex­ual as­sault] theme. I have two girls. They’re 13 and 15, and un­for­tu­nately, in the US, sex­ual as­sault is some­thing that’s with us a lot.

All th­ese sta­tis­tics of rape and sex­ual as­sault … I think about that and how I pro­tect them from it. How do we do some­thing about it? As is said in the show, so many peo­ple don’t go to the po­lice.

I would say [my char­ac­ter] Les­lie is a Type-A per­son­al­ity. She would suc­ceed in any cor­po­rate set­ting, whether it was a For­tune 500 com­pany or a pri­vate school, or a not-for-profit. Her purview is the school.

With most of the other char­ac­ters, their purviews are their kids. But Les­lie is there to take care of the school. It’s the job she’s been given. It means she doesn’t make pop­u­lar de­ci­sions all the time.

But she needs to be political, in the best sense of the word – in the sense great politi­cians take many, many dis­parate points of views, goals and per­son­al­i­ties, and co­a­lesce them into an an­swer for the higher good.

It’s funny, I un­der­stand [some view­ers don’t like her]. She’s do­ing ex­actly what she’s been hired to do. It’s in­ter­est­ing the take­away is peo­ple don’t trust her.

Maybe it’s be­cause we im­me­di­ately be­lieve a vic­tim and so any­one who isn’t like, 28 David Car­ra­dine starred in this western ( Kung ––) 30 Hope­fuls show their best moves in this ( SoYouThinkYou Can –––––) 31 An­ar­chic com­edy ( TheY­oung ––––) 32 TV per­son­al­ity who hosted his own show (–––– McManus) 35 Friend of the Ba­nanas in Py­ja­mas (––– in a Hat) ‘Oh my God, let me take care of you’, you won­der if that per­son has a hid­den agenda.

She’s not driven by emo­tion, though. I think she has a job … to look out for the whole. That makes her un­pop­u­lar.

The an­thol­ogy model of tele­vi­sion is an ac­tor’s par­adise. You get a whole new char­ac­ter, you get to change your­self … and you get to go back and work with peo­ple you know are great.

I think we’re in a golden era. There are won­der­ful di­rec­tors, writ­ers and ac­tors in­volved in TV. It used to be seen as a step down … but I think the best work is be­ing done on TV.”

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