Last week, the Paris Theatre in New York City welcomed the cast of STARZ®’ latest show, The Girlfriend Experience, for a red carpet event and special screening. We were there to catch all the action, and spoke with co-writer/director Lodge Kerrigan about his provocative new show. Check out the red carpet interview below, and don’t miss the series premiere tonight, April 10 at 8/7c (Ch. 525) on STARZ®.
This isn’t your first time dealing with strong female leads. You’ve done it before with Carrie Matthews (Homeland) and Sarah Linden (The Killing), but Christine operates in a very different world—one in which women are often vilified. How did you and your co-writer/director Amy [Seimetz] navigate this and push back on those stereotypes?
You know, I think what helped was that I have tremendous respect for the character. I think Christine is really intelligent, driven, ambitious, manipulative, selfish, secretive, hard working and independent. I think all those qualities are qualities I actually admire, even the manipulative side of her. Those qualities are traditionally reserved for male characters, not female ones, so Amy and I thought it’s about time—we should write a character that’s really multi-faceted and interesting.
You’ve worked with Amy Seimetz before on The Killing, and you go way back with Steven Soderbergh.
Yes, we met at Sundance about 22 years ago!
Was The Girlfriend Experience a project that you had discussed working on together?
Steven had executive produced a number of my films in the past, and in 2013 he called me up and said “You know I have this idea to make a television show out of The Girlfriend Experience. I want one male filmmaker and one female filmmaker—are you interested?” And I said absolutely! He’s an incredible collaborator, and between Amy, myself, and Steven it was really just three filmmakers having a conversation.
It feels like each of you have your own unique stamp—did you feel like you had the freedom to do your own thing on this project?
Well it’s definitely a collaboration between the three of us—and really between Amy and myself because we co-wrote the whole thing. I think there are challenges. I didn’t know Amy that well when we first started and television is so fast-paced—and when an actor does an amazing job like Amy always does, it tends to move even faster. There were certain challenges in working together so intimately, but we found a way to overcome any of those obstacles and really found an efficient way of making decisions together. If there was something that either of us didn’t like we each had the veto power to find another idea. As mature filmmakers, as long as a director understands how to direct a scene, it doesn’t matter where the idea came from. The idea doesn’t have to be mine, I don’t need to have ownership of it to make it come to life.
Don’t miss the series premiere tonight, April 10 at 8/7c (Ch. 525) on STARZ®. Don’t have STARZ? Upgrade your package now!