Mrs. Davis has to be seen to be believed. Peacock’s offbeat new series from Tara Hernandez (The Big Bang Theory) and Damon Lindelof (The Leftovers) is a totally singular creation: the story of a nun, Sister Simone, played by Betty Gilpin, who takes on the fight of her life against a seemingly all-powerful artificial intelligence app. It’s a funky premise brought to fantastic life by Gilpin and the rest of the cast and creative team, whose total commitment turns the series into one of this year’s best debuts yet.
The show’s unexpectedness starts with Simone herself, a woman who colors outside pop culture’s usual nun lines. “I think we’re used to seeing nuns as horror movie nuns or ‘Climb Every Mountain,'” Gilpin told TV Guide. “[They’re] either these perfect, stoic people, or [there’s] blood coming out of their eyes, and they’re transparent and, like, wheeling across the floor at you.”
In preparation for the role, Gilpin spoke with real-life nuns, who, obviously, fit neither box. “They dispelled all the clichés that I had about nuns,” she said. “These are women who, yes, have cut themselves off from certain aspects of life and society, but in order to hyper-connect and be almost living meditations. The work that the women who I spoke to are doing is far more important than memorizing and squinting in a tight dress, which is what I do. So I felt very moved by them.”
“They’re all themselves and different,” Gilpin continued. “And I think that [initially] I was like, ‘Well, I’m playing a nun. She has to be a certain way.’ But actually, she is herself. She just happens to have had this experience that also makes her a person of faith.”
That gives Simone and the show something in common: Neither one is solely defined by any one thing. Mrs. Davis juggles, as Gilpin put it, “11 different genres on every page.”
“I remember filming, sometimes we’d be like, ‘Is this all going to come together as one show?'” she recalled. “To me, it completely does, and is more like life than when a show just sticks to one color or one tone. Life changes genre every five seconds.”
Gilpin isn’t losing sight of how rare a role — and a show — like this one is. “It’s my favorite part I’ve ever played,” she said.
“And it is never, ever, ever boring.”
Source: TV Guide