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EMPIRE: Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)


Anti-heroines take center stage in race for Emmys

By WITW Staff on June 3, 2016

Roles for multifaceted, ambiguous female characters are on the rise in TV, and it’s precisely these anti-heroines that are the dominant contenders for this year’s Emmy for best actress. TV wives, such as Taraji Henson’s Cookie Lyon from Empire and Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood on House of Cards, are no longer ditzy and childish, but ambitious, clever, and determined to seize the reigns of control from their husbands. On Showtime’s Homeland, Claire Danes’ Carrie Mathison takes on what would once have been an exclusively male role — the reckless government agent, completely dedicated to her job, who willingly compromises her own safety and even sends away her daughter.

Women are getting opportunities behind the camera as well, if not quite as many as one would expect “at this point in 2016,” according to director Lesli Linka Glatter. Shiri Appleby, who plays Rachel Goldberg on Unreal, will be directing her first episode for the series’ second season. And Melissa James Gibson has been named co-showrunner for upcoming season of House of Cards, a series for which Wright has directed several episodes.

Glatter, who has served as an executive producer of Homeland for three seasons, says she expects the trend of nuanced female characters to continue. “The characters who interest me are always complicated, deep human beings,” said Glatter. “I don’t think before there were uninteresting women characters, but I think now its OK to be multifaceted. You can be multileveled. Their behavior shows us something about the human condition.”

Read the full story at Variety.


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