The Girlfriend Experience Starz
Courtesy of Starz

Starz is taking a provocative look at the world of ultra high-end escorts known as “GFEs” in the new series “The Girlfriend Experience,” based on the 2009 Steven Soderbergh pic of the same name.

“Girlfriend Experience,” which bows April 10, stars Riley Keough as law student Christine Reade, an ambitious woman who makes no apologies for making big bucks as an escort who provides the “girlfriend experience” of companionship and intimacy with her clients in addition to sex.

“Christine is intoxicated by her life as a GFE. She is drawn to the rush of walking into a room and meeting somebody for the first time. The rush of taking control of the situation. The rush of being intimate with somebody yet feeling in control, feeling the power of being able to manipulate the other person or to provide them with what they want and on her terms,” said exec producer-director Lodge Kerrigan. “Everything is really on her terms, and she becomes addicted to that power.”


The Girlfriend Experience

Steven Soderbergh: No ‘Editorializing’ in Starz’s ‘The Girlfriend Experience’

“Girlfriend Experience” is an unusual example of a half-hour drama series. It’s also one of a growing number of shows written and directly entirely by its showrunner — in this case Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz. Soderbergh is also an exec producer.

“There’s a real continuity to the vision of the show,” Kerrigan says. “One of the advantages of a television series is that you can explore characters much more deeply than one would in a 90-minute or two-hour film. I think of the TV arena now as the old studios, where directors were given assignments, and you go off and you direct. And so if I can direct six episodes a year, I’m getting six hours of experience, whereas in the film world, you spend two or three years trying to raise more money. And in order to be really good at something, you have to practice your craft. I think the emergence of director-driven television, with writers and directors occupying the same role, is really interesting. It offers a greater unity of vision and the process becomes much more efficient — you are able to communicate clearly to the actors who their characters are, and you aren’t forced to get excess coverage.”

Here’s an exclusive sneak peek at “The Girlfriend Experience.”

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