Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.
In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum talks with the cast and creator of “Jessica Jones” about the show’s second season, which star Krysten Ritter explained that for lead character Jones, “Season 1 was so in her head and I feel like Season 2 is really in her heart and in her past and in the trauma she carries around.”
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The Netflix show, which follows Jessica Jones after the end of her brief superhero career and in the process of rebuilding her life as a private investigator, had all 13 of its Season 2 episodes directed by women, something that creator Melissa Rosenberg said came together naturally.
“We were talking about Season 2 really wanting to be at least 50/50 men and women, people of color, really wanting to fill those slots,” Rosenberg said. “As we began searching for those female directors we realized there’s such a deep bench of so many seasoned pros and we just kind of kept going. In terms of how it affected what was on the screen, a great director is a great director, so it’s not as much about what’s on the screen, it’s more about the environment on the set, so it felt very normalized.”
Ritter added that for her, working with female directors all season created an additional level of understanding and comfortability, joking that, “We deal with sensitive subjects on our show, and when you can get just really quick and to the point with another woman, ‘Okay you want to see this much of my butt, okay fine,’ having that conversation with a man might take 35 minutes.”
Rachael Taylor, who plays Trish on the show, also discussed her character having a #MeToo plot line this season, though they shot the scenes dealing with sexual harassment a year before the movement began. “I’m proud to be on a show that puts real social issues that affect women front and center, and our show has kind of always had that in its DNA,” she said. “I also love that the way Melissa writes is never putting the issue before the story, the story is the vehicle and the character’s experiences are the most important thing.”
Looking ahead to Season 3, Ritter said that after looking backward the last two seasons and exploring Jessica Jones’ origin story, she now wants to dive into what’s next.
“I think that all of us at some point in our lives have to look back at something to learn how to move forward and I’m so excited to see what Jessica does now that she’s faced a lot of things,” she said. “I think for Jessica, if she could hate herself a little bit less, what can she do with that?”