Actress Betty Gilpin not only embraced the wild tonal changes of Peacock’s totally unique series “Mrs. Davis,” she says that she finds the show’s ability to vacillate between comedy, drama, sci-fi, and even absurdity much more true to reality than the confines of a single-genre box.
“The show cuts across genres every other page,” says Gilpin on the latest episode of TheWrap’s “How She Did It,” hosted by Peacock. “I find that much more true to life than when a show is one tone, one color. Throughout any given day, how many different genres do you cycle through in your life? Things can feel like a sham, and then you get a phone call and you’re in for a bigger drama. That’s much more true to life. It’s 10 different worlds and 30 different stories and 11 different thesis statements intertwined.”
Boiling the plot of “Mrs. Davis” in a simple tagline isn’t that easy, but the show begins as the story of a nun (played by Davis) who has a vendetta against an all-powerful AI that the entire world depends on. After conversing with the AI (named Mrs. Davis), she agrees to go offline if Davis can do one thing: find the Holy Grail.
And that’s just in the first episode.
“I worked with Damon Lindelof on ‘The Hunt,’ drawn to his writing style, strange and original but so specific and it felt so real to me even though it was so strange and fantastic,” Gilpin said of her attraction to the project. which was created by Lindelof and Tara Hernandez. “That was the kind of world I wanted to be in for seven months.”
Gilpin said the passion for the show’s unique storytelling seeped into every department.
“It felt really special to be a part of a very original, weird, ridiculous, prickly, wonderful world that was so specific,” she said. “You could really feel that all the departments wanted to be a very important part of that. It was kind of everyone’s passion project. Everyone really got it.”
Regarding the imminent threat of AI in the real world, Gilpin was drawn to the show’s unique version of AI.
“Part of the show’s thesis statement is that Ms. Davis is not a HAL supercomputer, another evil. In reality, she is just a robot puppy that fulfills our wants and our needs, which we are in charge of and at the wheel of. And whether that is more comforting or more terrifying is the question we should be asking ourselves.”
“Mrs. Davis” is broadcasting on Peacock.