MASHABLE – WGN America’s Underground wants to show you slavery as you’ve never seen it before.
The thrilling new historical drama about the Underground Railroad isn’t your typical period piece, the cast and creators said at New York Comic Con on Sunday.
“There are hard moments, but it’s not hard to watch because it’s such an adventure,” star Aldis Hodge told Mashable. “We get to laugh, we get to love, we get to play, we get to dance.”
Hodge plays Noah, a slave who’s tried to escape numerous times from his plantation. One day, he learns of the Underground Railroad — a new way to freedom.
“It’s the new hot thing happening ’round these parts,” Hodge joked.
Since the journey is too treacherous to make alone — hundreds of blistering miles through unforgivable terrain, being hunted by slave catchers night and day — Noah decides to recruit a group of slaves from his plantation. Rosalee, played by Jurnee Smollett-Bell, is one of those people.
Rosalee is a house slave, brainwashed into thinking that that’s her only place in life, Smollett-Bell explains. It’s not until she meets Noah that she starts thinking seriously about freedom. For the actress, the show was a chance to play an amazingly “complex” character, and dig deeper into a fascinating part of American history.
Slaves trying to find their way to freedom “would use the moss hanging on a tree, or the stars, or printings in the ground,” Smollett-Bell said. “It’s fascinating that they had that kind of knowledge of the earth.”Continue Reading
MATCHBOX – She may be playing a fictional character in Foxtel’s epic two-part war drama Deadline Gallipoli but for WA actress Jessica De Gouw being part of the SA- shot project was a big honour.
“The story has always been of interest to me,” De Gouw says by phone from Louisiana in the US, where she is filming her latest TV project, the 10-part civil war drama Underground.
“We were taught about it in school and commemorate it every year so I expected that there would be projects with the centenary that would do it justice and tell the story well but I thought Deadline Gallipoli has such a different take on it.
“It was a very interesting approach to a popular narrative and the creators behind it were the ones that really drew me to this project.”
The Curtin University graduate, 27, stars as nurse Vera Grant, who is stationed in Egypt during WWI.
As she tends to wounded soldiers, Vera develops a connection with Australian photographer Phillip Schuler, played by WA’s Sam Worthington, also executive producer of the mini-series.
“My character is an amalgamation of a couple of different people but Shaun Grant, one of the writers, did tell me that Vera was based a bit on his grandmother,” she says. “When you think about the women of that time, they weren’t permitted under normal circumstances to co-exist with men in that kind of way.
“So for these women, as well as dealing with the gruelling day-to-day of war, they were completely out of their element socially. The whole experience must have been so overwhelming yet they’re so tough. But they were right there with the men as well, so they were seeing what the men were seeing.”Continue Reading
WHO – When Jessica De Gouw landed in Los Angeles in 2012 she’d barely left the tarmac before winning the role of The Huntress in Arrow, the TV series based on DC Comics’ Green Arrow, shot in Vancouver. Next she filmed thriller These Final Hours in her hometown Perth, before spending seven months in Budapest on NBC’s Dracula. As she readies for a six-month move to Louisiana (for pre Civil War drama Underground), the 27-year-old talks to Alison Boleyn about Foxtel’s Deadline Gallipoli, growing up barefoot, and the strange, new allure of creature comforts.
After so much moving, where’s home?
London. I finally unpacked the suitcases I’ve had for four years. I’ve always considered myself a bit of a gypsy and enjoyed the fact I could fit my whole life into two suitcases. Then suddenly I was like, ‘Actually I’d like to have some nice towels and cushions.’
Why not Los Angeles?
London is quieter. I don’t ever feel settled in LA. There’s always a bunch of Australians there and they’re always a good laugh but people come and go. It’s a transient city.
What was it like growing up in Kalamunda?
Very Australian. I grew up on 16 acres and we had horses and I was always covered in dirt and running around barefoot. If I ever have kids, that’s what I would want for them, that running around and being called in for dinner when the sun goes down.Continue Reading
MARIE CLAIRE – There’s a well-worn path that Australian actresses tend to tread en route to stardom. A sun-drenched prime-time soap opera stint, a turn in a local indie film and then straight on a plane to Hollywood and, hopefully, fame and fortune.
Not so for Jessica De Gouw. With only a handful of local performances to her name (including Underbelly and the Kath & Kim movie), the 27-year-old starlet got her big break in 2012 after being cast in the action-packed American TV series Arrow. Over the course of three seasons, the big-budget production built up a cult following. “I get loads of really great drawings and stories [from fans],” laughs De Gouw. “[It] is unlike anything I have ever experienced before.”
Now, following the success of Arrow and a bodice-ripping rendition of Dracula opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers, De Gouw is returning to local screens in Foxtel’s Deadline Gallipoli. The miniseries, commemorating 100 years since the Anzacs landed on the Turkish peninsula, follows four war correspondents (Sam Worthington plays Phillip Schuler).
De Gouw is Vera, a nurse who strikes up a friendship with Worthington’s charming journo. “When I first read the script I was in tears,” says De Gouw. “Vera was such a strong character that I begged to be a part of the project. Thankfully, they said ‘yes’ straightaway!”
Deadline Gallipoli airs on Foxtel’s Showcase in April.