Will Chloë Sevigny Hit or Miss?
Paul Abbott has been at it again, with a new show about to hit the air in the UK. He has written gems like Cracker and created Touching Evil and both versions of Shameless, that is some resume. The new show was commissioned by Sky Atlantic, a channel most of us on this side of the pond associate with playing hit US dramas, however, the channel’s director, Naomi Gibney, has said they want to make a “conscious investment in British drama” and good for them. Abbott’s show Hit & Miss is first out of the block and its premise is an interesting one in which Chloë Sevigny will play a “transgender assassin”.
At first glance you may be nervous about a negative portrayal of a trans person on TV, but lets hold off on judging to quickly, after all Abbott is known for creating wonderfully deep characters and the shows writer, Sean Conway, says he
thought it was unique and challenging and went away and wrote the pilot
So lets hold out some hope that this is a show that will try to represent a trans character with some dignity and depth. So what’s it all about?
Sevigny will play Mia, a pre-op transgendered woman who is left in the position of having to care for her exes kids who are not exactly well behaved. The show is billed as a thriller and to see a strong female lead in a big networks latest prime time show is welcome indeed. Abbott has spoken on the subject of female characters saying
Every time you see [a female protagonist] work or see one be as special as The Killing was or as special as this is, it just automatically inspires writers to be more confident with outspoken female roles. Male and female writers should just aim higher with their female characters.
I couldn’t agree more. It’s a tough call for Sevigny, the makers toyed with the idea of casting a male actor in the lead but ultimately she landed the role and has understandably said that she
was afraid of the pressure from the gay community or the transgender community and how they would feel, and wanting to be respectful
I hear ye, it’s not easy, however Chloë is not exactly known for taking the easy road, with great performances throughout her career, not least her award winning role in Big Love and of course her Oscar nominated turn in Boys Don’t Cry. She is an actor not afraid to take on diverse characters and has a track record of doing them justice. On that the actress stresses that she was worried about people thinking it was the same old thing from her
I do have reservations about how people might say: “Oh, here’s Chloë in another shocking piece, blah blah blah, boring boring boring.” But I hope it’ll transcend that. Mia’s so complicated: where she’s come from, her family, her sociopathic behaviour. To play someone like that and believe what they’re doing is right, when it’s so wrong, was different for me
That is exactly the kind of thing we want to hear and makes me feel that her desire is indeed to transcend the stupid headlines we see when we read about the show. If I read once more that Sevigny had to wear a prosthetic penis to play the part I’ll scream, not exactly getting what’s important here people. We have a TV show on a major network with a strong female lead who is transgender. Surely that’s the important thing.
I would ask the question “why not get a trans actress to play the part” but I don’t want to be negative about the show, I want to hope for the best. I hope the plot and characters are a rich as Abbott’s other work and that this show becomes another positive light in mainstream TV which is usually full on white, straight men trying to out do each other.