“I was so close to it — I didn’t have the answers to the questions that Emily was asking, personally,” Hailee Steinfeld says of the conundrum at the heart of Dickinson’s second season. “And it made me think a lot more about fame than I ever have in my whole life.”
Steinfeld, the Oscar nominee who portrays the great American poet Emily Dickinson in the 19th century-set Apple TV+ comedy-drama (and who certainly knows a thing or two about fame), was speaking during Deadline’s Contenders Television awards-season event. She was joined by Alena Smith, fellow Dickinson executive producer and the series’ creator.
“Whereas Season 1 was really all about Emily declaring to her father and mother that she was a writer and that there was nothing that they could do to stop her, Season 2 has her having won that right from her parents to have a voice and to express herself,” Smith said. “But now confronting the issues of: Do I step into the spotlight? Do I try to publish? Do I seek fame?”
The first season of Dickinson debuted along with Apple TV+ itself on November 1, 2019 and was an instant breakout for the new streamer. Or, as Dickinson herself once wrote: “forever is composed of nows.”
Back with Steinfeld as well as castmates Jane Krakowski, Anna Baryshnikov, Ella Hunt, Toby Huss and Adrian Blake Enscoe, the second season launched January 8 this year, with more to come with Season 3 in the works.
Peeling off the narrative layers on fame, fortune, family, love and more, the 10-episode second season also featured Wiz Khalifa, who returned in the role of Death, plus guest stars Nick Kroll as Edgar Allan Poe, Timothy Simons as Frederick Law Olmsted, Ayo Edebiri as Hattie, and Will Pullen as Nobody.
Check out the conversation in the video above.
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