You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lilly Wachowski Discusses ‘Revolutionary Act’ of Creating Queer TV Characters

Lilly Wachowski discussed her upcoming Showtime comedy series “Work In Progress” at the network’s Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, alongside the show’s creators Abby McEnany and Tim Mason, and tackling the series’ central themes of mental illness and depression.

“I think comedy and humor are essential ingredients in trying to overcome mental illness and depression,” Wachowski said after being asked about the show’s central character (played by McEnany). “I certainly have had my own journey and being able to laugh requires engaging in a conversation with yourself and with the world around you and to try to look at things in a different way. I think that’s hugely important in the dialogue.”

Wachowski went on to discuss her transition a little and expressed her belief that putting a trans person or a queer character in TV is a “revolutionary act,” simply because “you don’t see characters like this on TV.”

“Being able to engage in this dialogue about queerness and transness and all of these issues like fat phobia and ageism and mental illness, it’s super important to get these messages out there,” the “Matrix” director added.

The series, which Wachowski is co-writing and executive producing, was created by comedian McEnany and Tim Mason, and premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

McEnany revealed how personal the series is to her and how similar the main character and she are.

“I have had times of massive depression and I want to be very clear the it’s not just the person suffering from the depression that’s suffering…it’s the people around her that love her and want to help her too,” McEnany said.

Work In Progress” is described as a funny and “uniquely human” comedy, which features McEnany as a 45-year-old self-identified “fat, queer” woman from Chicago whose misfortune and despair unexpectedly lead her to a vibrantly transformative relationship. Chicago-based performers Theo Germaine and Karin Anglin co-star alongside Celeste Pechous, with “SNL” alumna Julia Sweeney also appearing as herself.

McEnany, a mainstay of the Chicago improv scene, based the series on her one-woman shows. She serves as an EP on the show alongside Mason, Lawrence Mattis, Ashley Berns and Josh Adler of Circle of Confusion, as well as Tony Hernandez of JAX Media.

More TV

  • Supergirl -- "Crisis on Infinite Earths:

    'Crisis on Infinite Earths' Recap: A 'Titans' Cameo and a Fallen Hero

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part One,” the premiere of the 2019 “Arrowverse” crossover. Bringing “Crisis on Infinite Earths” to the small screen has been years in the making, so it’s no surprise the epic five-part crossover kicked off with plenty of action on Sunday night [...]

  • Supergirl -- "Crisis on Infinite Earths:

    'Arrowverse' Team on 'Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part One' Loss and Crossover Stakes (SPOILERS)

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part One,” the premiere of the 2019 “Arrowverse” crossover event on the CW. The “Arrowverse” “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover kicked off with a bang: Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow’s (Stephen Amell) death. With “Crisis” finally here, Harbinger (Audrey Marie [...]

  • Caroll Spinney & The Grouch36th Annual

    Caroll Spinney: Henson Family, 'Sesame Street' Colleagues Salute Muppet Performer

    Caroll Spinney, the puppet performer behind “Sesame Street’s” indelible Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, was remembered by friends and colleagues as a gifted artist who dedicated his professional life to the show’s mission of educating pre-schoolers. Spinney died Sunday at his home in Connecticut at the age of 85. He limned the Big Bird [...]

  • Rene Auberjonois at the International Myeloma

    René Auberjonois, 'Star Trek' and 'Boston Legal' Actor, Dies at 79

    René Auberjonois, best known for his roles in “Boston Legal” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” died at his home in Los Angeles due to metastatic lung cancer. He was 79. His son Rèmy-Luc confirmed the news to the Associated Press. Auberjonois was a prolific television actor, appearing as Paul Lewiston in 71 episodes of [...]

  • Caroll Spinney, with "Oscar the Grouch,"

    Caroll Spinney, Puppeteer Behind Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, Dies at 85

    Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch for 49 years at “Sesame Street,” died Sunday in Connecticut after living with dystonia. He was 85. Sesame Workshop announced his death, calling him an “artistic genius” whose “legacy here at Sesame Workshop and in the cultural firmament will be unending.” Spinney’s death [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content