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Toni Collette has described working on new drama series The Power as "cathartic", "empowering" and "important".
Based on Naomi Alderman's hit feminist novel, The Power is set in a world just like our own but with one twist of nature – teenage girls have developed the power to electrocute people at will.
The Prime Video show, which releases its first three episodes on Friday, 31 March, features different characters and storylines across the globe. Collette stars as Mayor Margot Cleary-Lopez, whose private life and career is transformed by the new power.
Mayor Margot is a progressive politician who has continually battled misogyny throughout her career.
Collette said she felt pressure to capture Margot's spirit and do justice to her passionate speeches because everything the character talks about on the show "aligns with reality".
"I felt like, 'don't screw this up!'" Collette told BT TV. "Because what I'm saying is actually really powerful and really meaningful and people will hear it and feel it in a real way."
Talking about the everyday sexism that The Power skewers, she added: "Those moments are alive and well in the real world.
"I play a woman who has an incredible job, so many responsibilities, she acts for many, she has such purpose and responsibility as the mayor of Seattle and yet we have this chief of staff who is focusing on putting the right shoes on me, so I’m judged the right way.
"This is the wrong focus, people. And that s**t really happens. Female politicians especially are judged by what they’re wearing, their makeup, their hair. They’re of no significance whatsoever. Focus on the job being done."
The Knives Out star added: "Women have always been objectified… and so it continues."
Collette stars opposite John Leguizamo (When They See Us), who plays Margo’s husband John.
Leguizamo supported Collette’s frustration at the treatment of women in politics.
"I've seen it with AOC [US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez], Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris – do they smile too much, do they smile enough, are they likable enough", said Leguizamo.
"A man never has to be judged by those qualities of how they look and what they wear."
Commenting on the differing atmosphere of a show written, directed and produced by women, he added: "I thought it was the best run show I’ve ever been on.
"These scenes were so well written, deep and granular and there was an emotional intelligence to the dialogue.
"It felt more like real life than anything I’ve ever done, and yet, it’s about this bigger subject of women’s bodies evolving and having a higher power."
Watch episode 1-3 of The Power on Prime Video from Friday, 31 March on Prime Video.
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