Uzo Aduba calls HBO’s In Treatment “huge” for her – a first lead performance and one she hopes will widen the path for diverse actors in highly complex roles. Aduba stars as psychotherapist Dr. Brooke Taylor, who leads four wounded patients towards self-realization and a degree of peace even as she battles her own demons in a densely worded series where she presides over every scene.
It was “great to sit in a seat with that level of complexity going on in [Brooke’s] life, while also being excellent in her job. But it’s not a seat that I have seen often occupied by someone like myself. So that was exciting, and I hope it encourages people to see that there is space for you in this conversation,” Aduba, nominated for a Lead Actress in a Drama Series Emmy, said during a panel conversation at Deadline’s Contenders Television: The Nominees awards-season event.
HBO rebooted the series that had a three-year run starting in 2008 with Gabriel Byrne in the title role as Dr. Paul Weston. Aduba said when she realized “it was a different character altogether, a different setting and a different world,” she chose not to watch earlier seasons until hers had wrapped.
“It was important to bring Brooke’s experience and abilities as a therapist into a world that is entirely different than the perspective of Paul,” she said.
Her season comes as mental health issues triggered a national conversation during the pandemic in a way they never had before. “I believe in therapy for sure. I was in therapy when I was doing the show,” she said. “I would be on my lunch break and would be in a session. Super meta.”
She said shooting during Covid was odd (running lines with castmates without being able to see the bottom half of their faces, for one). But her remarked-on array of stunning, impeccable outfits bucked the Covid sweatpants-fashion lexicon. “Brooke’s hair, makeup, her clothes are her armor and it said so much about who this woman is. This woman is in full hair and makeup, full dress every day.”
Check out the panel video above.
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