So I was supposed to leave in the Santa Fe episode, (season 1, episode 7) that was the end of my moment. And then there just kept on being these little steps towards revisions. It just kept on tweaking and tweaking and getting closer and closer to her staying. And then I stayed. And then I was like, “Well, when is she going to leave?” And she just kept on staying. So my guess is that they just felt well maybe we could try keeping her here and seeing where this goes. And then… Stuck and I was very happy to be!
Remarkably, Willa’s relationship with Connor seems to be one of the most successful on the show. What do you think that is?
I think that Willa really understands Connor and she really sees him. She sees what’s happening with him, how he is the man that he is, what’s happening with this family, what’s happening with this dynamic. And I think that when you understand someone, you bind to them in some way.
In this situation, it feels like she’s become a bit of a, I would say even a protector. She feels what he needs and she’s been there for him. And he gave her something in terms of… She’s clearly ambitious and she has an agenda, and she wants to be an artist, and she wants to be a writer and he’s enabled that. And there was this power dynamic where he was her provider. And now you feel like her stepping into her power a little bit in this dynamic. And there’s some scenes in the last season where you feel her really coming to his aid in times where he needs a little bit of a defender. He’s been stomped on by this family for a while, or looked over or passed over in terms of responsibility and there’s a few cool moments where she goes, ‘Well, what about Connor?’ Or, ‘Leave him alone’. So I think that that allows this relationship to work is they both help each other. You can see that she understands that he’s a kook and that he’s crazy.
Do you think there’s any element of Willa’s character that’s feminist?
100%. I do. I do because I feel like she’s always had a real self-assuredness and she’s always been very in touch with her femininity and also in touch with her power and I think that in itself is… I think that she’s a feminist. And I think that we’re exploring sex workers. As a culture, we’re questioning the tabooness of it or our assumptions about it, or the way that we have judged it. It’s like we’re moving into a new awareness about these women and what they’re doing. Willa has moved on past that, now she’s just in a relationship. But that’s where she started. And I always felt like there was no shame with her in regards to that. You never really felt like that was something to be looked down on at all in this narrative. She always owned it. And there was no weird energy around it from the very beginning with Willa. And I think that in itself is an act of feminism.
Often she and Connor would be the butt of family jokes because she was a sex worker. How do you think that reflected on the industry?
Well, it’s funny, I didn’t even feel sorry for Willa. I was like, ‘You know what? She’s fine. They’re doing their own thing. And you see that this is just a vicious family, they’re vicious to everyone. No one’s safe here.’ From the very beginning. I was like, ‘You know what? She’s the fucking best date, she’s the one who’s able to deflect all of this, she can carry herself with such composure and ease.’ I just felt like these guys are just dicks and it’s toxic, and they will make fun of anyone and anything. And she’s standing there in her power and unrelenting about just like, ‘Say whatever you want. I really don’t care.’ You never see it get to her. I feel like she’s really self-assured, and that’s one of the things I really love about her, is that she is one of the few people that can float through this world that they are living in and you don’t really feel her crumple aside from when she gets bad reviews from the theatre critic.
Oh yeah. I don’t know a woman who hasn’t. And I’m sure there’s more than I even know. I’m sure there’s things that I don’t even identify as this being related to my sex. That might be, or that they’re unintentionally, there’s an undercurrent or a subconscious element, the person, the interaction that might be sexist that isn’t as obvious, but is inherently there. Normally, I feel like I haven’t had anything that feels like a traumatic episode in this career. But I think that sexism, it’s like there’s just no way around it in this industry or in many industries there. It’s there. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t run up against it. And I think it’s obviously it’s getting much better… now that there’s the light shining on top of everything, but that takes a lot of time.
What are you going to miss most about working with Alan?
Alan’s just a dream partner. I really didn’t take for granted how professional he is. Just kind, friendly, supportive, available, incredibly talented…