×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jill Soloway’s ‘I Love Dick’ Brings the ‘Female Gaze’ to Emmy Voters

“Transparent” creator Jill Soloway has referred to her latest Amazon series “I Love Dick” as “a tool of the Matriarchal Revolution.” At an Emmy event and screening of the first two episodes Wednesday night in Hollywood, she and other principals on the show spoke further to that over-arching theme.

“Some people think of this book as the invention of the female gaze in literature,” Soloway said of feminist author Chris Kraus’ novel, on which the show is based.

The comedy, premiering May 12, stars Kathryn Hahn as a version of Kraus, a New York filmmaker who travels to Marfa, Texas with her academic husband (Griffin Dunne) for an artist’s residency, only to be tractor-beamed into the charismatic, enigmatic orbit of local art instructor and cowboy sprite Dick (Kevin Bacon).

It’s source material that allows for some interesting dissection of the female artist experience. At one point in the second episode, Hahn’s character even slags off on female directors like Sofia Coppola, taking particularly hilarious aim at her highlights.

“I think as recently as five years ago I was seething at people like Sofia Coppola and Lena Dunham,” Soloway confessed. “It’s because it feels like there are not enough spots. It feels like there only gets to be one at a time. There’s Sofia Coppola, then there’s Miranda July, then there’s Lena Dunham — all these people, I would never say anything horrible about them, but I’ve felt that feeling of, ‘Why them and not me?'”

She continued: “I think that happens either for women or for queer people or people of color. If you’re a straight white man, it’s kind of assumed that there’s work for you out there. And everybody else, we’re sort of reaching for our moments. And then yeah, you see somebody else get it, you can’t help but go, ‘That’s my moment that person got.'”

Co-creator Sarah Gubbins said Kraus’ book was exciting for a prospective adaptation because “there’s nothing else like it. It’s so ferocious and honest and you can’t look away from the way in which it’s narrated by a woman who is coming into her own. The journey she has to take to do that is not a pretty one, but it allows the audience to want to be a part of it and root for her.”

It was a bit like Richard Dreyfus in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” for Hahn. “She just sees that mountain and she has to keep making it and making it and trying to define it,” the actress said. “There is something about trying to define what that all-encompassing draw is.”

The creative approach to the show is bold and at times almost free-associative, totally singular in the television fray. That sense of something fresh, both on the page and in the making of it, is what attracted self-professed “jaded” star Bacon to join up.

“It’s something I love but something that’s hard to do in this current film market, to be able to do something that feels truly experimental and weird and challenging and edgy and off-beat,” Bacon said. “To have a place to do that is amazing as an actor.”

Soloway and Gubbins assembled an all-female writers room for the show as well, a historic footnote in all of this. “A lot of them had been the only woman in the room [on other projects] and had tried to play the role of, ‘Be game. Be funny. Don’t offend. Be careful what you say,'” Soloway said. “So everyone got really loose really fast.”

Added Bacon: “Leave it to a female writers room to create two of the best, most well-rounded male characters that I’ve read in a long time. Both of these guys end up being definitely male and definitely complex and definitely interesting. The idea that somehow [women are] not going to be able to deliver that is astounding to me.”

More Scene

  • First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban

    First Look at SAG Awards' Cuban-Inspired After-Party (EXCLUSIVE)

    Celebrities at this year’s SAG Awards won’t have to go far for some tropical fun. Sunday’s annual post-show gala, hosted by People magazine for the 23rd year, is set to feature a Cuban-themed party space adjacent to the Shrine Auditorium. “We’re kind of going back to more of a thematic element. I have some close [...]

  • DF-10956_R – Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer Confirms Bryan Singer's Reason for Leaving, Says 'No One' Was Attached to Play Mercury

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King provided insight into some of the events surrounding the Golden Globe-winning film Saturday at the Producers Guild Awards Nominees Breakfast, including director Bryan Singer’s departure from the film partway through production. “It’s an unfortunate situation, with like 16, 17 days to go and Bryan Singer just had some issues, his [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream hosted by AT&T and from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized [...]

  • Emile Hirsch, Matt SmileyEmile Hirsch hosts

    Emile Hirsch Hosts Smiley Face Art Opening at Mondrian Hotel

    Despite the rain on Wednesday night in West Hollywood, there were plenty of smiles inside the Mondrian hotel thanks to artist Matt Smiley‘s Refresh exhibition. Not only is Smiley his real last name, but several of his paintings and other pieces in the exhibit feature smiley faces. “I’ve seen more smiley symbolism lately, and I’ve [...]

  • Randall Park, left, and Constance Wu

    Constance Wu Wants Her 'Fresh Off the Boat' Co-Star Randall Park to Host the Oscars

    While the Academy may have decided to go hostless for this year’s Oscars, that doesn’t mean the rest of Hollywood has stopped thinking about who would be a good choice for the emceeing gig. Former host Whoopi Goldberg recently suggested Ken Jeong. Jeong said, when he was a guest on “The View,” Goldberg told him [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bundchen

    Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen to Be Honored at UCLA Science Gala

    Science can be very glamorous. It certainly will be during Oscar week on Feb. 21 when the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability (IoES) honors Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen for environmental activism at its annual Hollywood for Science Gala. “When I moved to LA, the air was unbreathable. Rivers were catching fire in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content