INTERVIEW: Connie Britton Has Mastered Playing the Television Wife
Connie Britton is America’s favorite wife and mother. She’s played Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights, we saw her try to keep her family somewhat together in White Lotus season one, and now she’s struggling with the loss of her husband in Dear Edward on Apple TV+.
In preparation for the new series that takes us into the lives of those who lost family due to a plane crash with a small boy named Edward (Colin O’Brien) being the only one to survive, I got to sit down with Britton at a virtual roundtable. There, I asked her about her characters and specifically how she makes all of these women so vastly different from one another while still having that universal feel to them.
“For me, every character that I play, I really want to explore a woman’s experience,” she said. And it’s almost like I want to play every woman, even though each character that I play is so unique and so specific, and yet somehow using that specificity and that detail, you can almost tap into the qualities that we kind of share as human beings. My hope is to always kind of maybe hold up a reflection of who we are and so that fellow women can maybe see themselves in a way that they didn’t see themselves before, weren’t allowing themselves to see themselves or just to know themselves better. And fellow human beings.”
Britton went on. “I mean I really do believe that watching, creating empathy and understanding in terms of our own human experience can profoundly change audiences and cultures. And I think we can do that through storytelling. So, I have been really, really fortunate to play characters who I really try to approach in that way and so that they can demonstrate the fragility of life, the difficulty of life, the complexity of life, but also the ways in which we can know ourselves better and discover our own power.”
It’s all about the character
Dear Edward lends itself to the conversation about Lost, simply because its a show about a plane crash. In the same way that we kind of think of Lost when we think of Yellowjackets. It just comes with the territory. But this show is very character driven and a drama and so I asked Britton about her choice in shows that are more drama heavy and character heavy versus a genre series.
“It always starts with character and that’s just where I kind of live as an actor,” she said. “And so, I think you can have very amazing character based genre movies and television shows. But you know, for me, it’s not so much about it has to be this kind of drama, in fact, I love comedy a lot. But again, for me, comedy starts in the character too. So it’s really just about being able to dive into and make characters as complex and sort of as interesting as possible.”
Dear Edward airs on Apple TV+. You can see our interviews with Taylor Schilling, Colin O’Brien, and Anna Uzele on our YouTube page!
(Featured image: Apple TV+)
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