×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Listen: Anna Paquin on Starring in ‘Flack,’ Plus TV Reviews and TCA Recap

Welcome to “TV Take,” Variety’s television podcast. In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Daniel Holloway, talks with Anna Paquin, who stars in a new U.K.-based limited series “Flack” on the cable channel Pop.

Paquin plays Robin, an American living in London working as a PR rep who’s known as the “go-to gal for mega crises management.” Her character’s quirk is that, despite being an expert at cleaning up other people’s messes, “her own personal life and private life is an unmitigated disaster.”

The show’s hallmark is its “dark and twisted” sense of humor, featuring characters with a troubled family life that leads them to struggle with their own neuroses and addictive vices. In a Thursday at 10 p.m. time slot, it’s not exactly a family show, Paquin says — but it’s sharp British wit and tasty dialogue will keep audiences hooked.

“There’s something delicious about getting to dip into the motherland of humor,” Paquin says of getting to work with a script written by a non-American writer. “There’s certain kinds of jokes and humor and language that you just can’t have on an American show, because that’s not how Americans speak.”

Paquin herself was born a Canadian but moved to England when she was 4. On top of starring in the show, she also serves as executive producer alongside her husband Stephen Moyer. The pair also own and operate a production company together called CASM.

One of Paquin’s favorite parts about playing Robin is that she’s “A kind of character that we don’t normally see as getting to be female as far as the flawed protagonist,” she says, compared to typically male leads in shows like Breaking Bad and Dexter. “I’m not sure that it was the fault of any of the shows that happened to have really amazing male protagonists, as much as there is more of an appetite to see humanity for all of its ugliness and reality in general, not only telling stories about white men.”

From the business perspective of an executive producer, “People like business models that are proven, and I guess its always scary to be the first to do something, and that’s changing” she says of the infrequency of seeing women playing these flawed lead roles. The show’s success hinged on its birth in the UK with a smaller network like Pop, who were “willing to take that risk…to make the more interesting and less conventional and darker subject matter and give you the creative freedom to tell that story exactly the way you want to tell it.”

As far as darker subject matter goes, her character’s tragic backstory and close sibling bond with her sister gave her a lot to work with. “It explains a lot of the choices she makes when you understand where someone comes from,” Paquin says. As for the future of “Flack,”  Paquin says its a “limited series and it plays really beautifully as such, but you never know.”

Later in the podcast, Variety‘s TV critics Daniel D’Addario and Caroline Framke discuss TBS’ “Miracle Workers” and Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy.” Then, senior television reporter Elaine Low provides the play by play on takeaways from this week’s Television Critics Association gathering in Pasadena, Calif.

More TV

  • Game of Thrones Fan Theories

    Best Fan Theories for the Final Season of 'Game of Thrones'

    [pmc=related] After eight seasons, “Game of Thrones” fans will finally see if their long-held theories will pay off. Dozens of important characters and a complex plot have made diehard viewers try to foresee plot twists for years. With the original R+L=J theory confirmed, meaning that Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark were the real parents of [...]

  • Abigail Disney on Bob Iger

    Abigail Disney Calls Bob Iger's $65 Million Compensation 'Insane'

    Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger’s total compensation for Disney’s fiscal 2018 was a whopping $65.6 million. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney co-founder Roy Disney, calls that sum “insane.”  While speaking at the Fast Company Impact Council, the filmmaker and philanthropist insisted that this level of corporate payout has a “corrosive effect on society.” Disney took [...]

  • Tryion Lannister Game of Thrones Episode

    'Game of Thrones' Season 8 Episode 2 Leaks

    The second episode of “Game of Thrones'” final season has leaked online ahead of its Sunday night debut. Fear not, “Thrones” fans: though the internet is dark and full of spoilers, this post is free of any details from Season 8 episode 2. Rumblings of a leak began on the “Game of Thrones” Reddit and [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Signs of Solidarity and Strain Emerge as Week 2 of WGA-Talent Agency Standoff Begins

    Hundreds of WGA members rallied solidly behind their union last week as the industry grappled with uncertainties spurred by the sudden break between writers and their talent agency representatives. But as the standoff heads into its second week, signs of strain among some WGA members are beginning to emerge. Shalom Auslander, author and creator of [...]

  • Jon Snow Arya Stark Game of

    'Game of Thrones' Final Season Vegas Odds Reveal Wild Theories

    With “Game of Thrones” hype at an all-time high, Las Vegas may be raking in as much money as the Iron Bank. HBO’s fantasy masterpiece has seized the gambling world’s attention nearly as much as the Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby. Fans spew countless theories on social media, such as which characters will be axed [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • Adam Lambert, of Queen, performs at

    Adam Lambert Back to 'Idol' to Mentor Finalists Through Queen's Catalog

    Adam Lambert famously launched his career on “American Idol” a decade ago performing a brilliant audition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He wrapped that amazing eighth season performing with the band on the season finale, and years later earned his current spot as the front man touring as Queen + Adam Lambert. On April 28, Lambert comes full circle as he steps [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content