Rachael Taylor is talking the ins and outs of female friendship. It's a topic that Tasmania-born actor is passionate about -- not only, obviously, as a female herself -- but in terms of her latest project, the Netflix original series, Marvel's 'Jessica Jones'.
Based on the 'Alias' comics, the series follows Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), a former superhero who, after a personal tragedy, is trying to rebuild her life as a private detective in New York City. Taylor plays her best friend, Trish Walker, an ex-child-star who now runs her own radio show.
Though Taylor describes the relationship between the two as "almost sisterly" she says it's unlike many other female friendships she's seen depicted on screen before -- a premise she was attracted to when approached by showrunner and executive producer Melissa Rosenberg. (We're going to hazard a guess the terms 'Netflix' and 'Marvel' didn't hurt, either.)
"This is not the perfect version of how females are friends," Taylor told The Huffington Post Australia. "It's so not 'we love each other forever, we're BFFs’ -- it’s a nuanced version of female friendship.
"There's jealousy, co-dependence, some abandonment issues -- it's a very real and fully realised picture of a relationship, be it a female relationship or otherwise.
"You'll never see us on-screen talking about shoes and boyfriends, which is really cool. Because the implication there is astonishing, isn’t it? That women are usually seen on screen talking about a boyfriend or a man, which communicates to the audience that women alone aren’t interesting enough to carry a drama, and it's just not true.
"Women have a bunch of things to offer. We are lots of things to lots of people and not just ourselves. It's not about wanting to get a man or please a man. There are lots of different things we want to be and see and do, things we think about. We have flaws, we make mistakes. Immediately, when I heard all this [from Rosenberg],I thought 'I just have to be involved in this show.' It's so refreshing and cool."
The second of four epic live-action adventure series (Marvel’s 'Daredevil', currently streaming, with 'Luke Cage' and 'Iron Fist' to come), Taylor claims 'Jessica Jones' is "not like anything Marvel has done before".
"It's dark in tone and tackles some really dark issues," Taylor said. "Plus, the main character is a woman, which I think is fantastic."
A self-proclaimed "feminist with a capital F," Taylor is not one who is shy of voicing her opinion. Ever since leaving an abusive relationship with then-partner Matthew Newton in 2010, she has been vocal of her personal experience with domestic violence and has openly encouraged other victims to seek help.
She notes the "dark" story line of 'Jessica Jones' has parallels to her own experiences -- but it's something she is keen to embrace rather than avoid.
"The show does have synchronicity in terms of things happening in my life and things I care about," Taylor said. "I care about gender equality, I care about violence against women.
"So yes, there is a nice sense of synchronicity between this show and me.
"While I don’t set out for the alignment between my work and the character I am playing, it is nice when it happens."
So who is this Trisha Walker character? Fans of the 'Alias' comics will know Walker doesn't make an appearance -- she is actually based on the title character in Marvel's 'Patsy Walker' comic series but has been appropriated for the show -- a move Taylor attributes to Rosenberg's "genius."
"On the surface, she seems very healthy and intact," Taylor said.
"She has come from a past where she had a very abusive stage mother and as a result, spiraled into drugs and alcohol, but has since spent the past 10 years -- and this all happens before the series starts -- rebuilding her life.
"She has gone to college and really become a very accomplished woman, and a healthy woman in some respects.
"But one of the things Melissa [Rosenberg] has tried to do is explore the concept of aliases in a psycho dynamic sense -- I mean, the show is based on 'Alias' and at once stage it was actually called 'AKA Jessica Jones.
"All the characters, in some respect, have their own alias or 'aka.' It's about exploring who we present to the world and a shadow personality underneath -- I guess, who we present to the world and who we really, truly are."
'Jessica Jones' will premiere on November 20, 2015 at 12:01am PT in all territories where Netflix is available.Suggest a correction