Gentleman Jack on OCS: the feminist and sexual identity, “topical themes that…

Gentleman Jack on OCS: Meet the creator and the main actresses of the “Gentleman Jack” series, adapted from the autobiographical stories of Anne Lister, to be found every week in US + 24 broadcast on OCS City!

It took almost three years of waiting to discover season 2 of GentlemanJack, broadcast US+24 on OCS City from this Tuesday, April 26. Adapted from the autobiographical works of author Anne Lister, the series follows the love story between two women in rural America in the 1830s.

In order to better understand the challenges of this second season, we went to meet the creator and showrunner of the program Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley), accompanied by the two main actresses, Suranne Jones and Sophie Rundle.

How did you get into the skin of the characters?

Suranne Jones (“Anne Lister”): Sally is an incredibly talented screenwriter and the characters are very well written. Anne Lister wrote over five million words in her diary. Her diary was therefore a great source of inspiration to better understand and identify her. She describes everything with startling precision; what time she gets up, what she eats, what time she goes to church, what the weather is like, etc…

There was this whole universe on paper that guided our every step. We also have a fantastic team of costumers, make-up artists, and hairstylists to help us get into the shoes of our characters.

Gentleman jack on ocs
HBO

What is the main theme of this second season?

Sally Wainwright (creator/showrunner): This season is really focused on the relationship between Anne Lister and Ann Walker. How their relationship will cope with a hostile society. They will feel the pressure of this society which constantly judges them and also of their families who do not accept this union. Ann Walker must learn to keep this relationship alive against all odds. She will therefore have to find a way to live in harmony with Anne Lister, which is not always easy.

Sophie Rundle (“Ann Walker”): Yes, this season explores more of my character’s relationship with Anne Lister. I think the first season was a fable about the beginning of the romance between these two women. Their “wedding night” has passed and they must now face new obstacles. Season 2 explores the difficulty these two women have in publicly displaying their love.

Suranne Jones: I totally agree with Sophie. In this season, Anne Lister questions what it really means to live with another woman. It’s amazing to see how unthinkable it was in the 19th century for many people to accept marriage for all! This season allows us to pay tribute to the courage and success of these women who were ahead of their time.

Gentleman jack on ocs: the feminist and sexual identity, "topical themes that...
HBO

How does this series address a contemporary subject?

Sally Wainwright: I know it’s a modern story because I get so many emails written by women from all over the world. This series shows all the richness that love stories between two women can have.

This story takes place two centuries ago and it is fabulous to see how these women lived at the time. I think they are an example for women today. What is modern is also the way we film this series, in particular with the character of Anne who speaks directly to the camera. This idea came to me when reading the diary because when I read it I really had the impression that Anne was speaking directly to me. It is for this reason that we wanted to create a direct connection between the character and the viewers of the series.

Suranne Jones: For me this series is really a modern day punk-rock drama! The series is not a simple portrait of 19th century women, they are shown to us as they really were: they drop their corsets, they swear, they fart, they are both authentic and modern. All the themes addressed by this series such as the question of sexual identity, the role of women in society, are subjects that also concern our time. Interestingly, these were already hot topics in the 19th century.

Sophie Rundle: The quest for identity, which is the main theme of this series, is really a topic that speaks to our times. More than ever, everyone is looking for themselves, finding themselves and asserting themselves in a society that shows more open-mindedness, tolerance and inclusion.

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