tv

The Bold Type's Aisha Dee on the one scene that left her "devastated and crying".

Just a warning, this article contains minor spoilers for season two of The Bold Type on Stan. 

Aisha Dee knows what it’s like to be a book always judged by its cover.

The Australian actress, who first caught our attention with a role in the iconic children’s TV series The Saddle Club, now stars as Kat Edison on dramedy series The Bold Type, a show that quickly became one of the most talked about series in Australia after it dropped on Stan in November.

But from the moment teaser clips and promotional posters for the series began to appear across Australia, people were quick to label the show as nothing more than a reheated version of Gossip Girl or a spin on The Devil Wears Prada, all for the simple fact that it featured a young group of women living and working in New York City.

The fact that the show was immediately written off as frothy and light entertainment is a sentiment Aisha is very familiar with. In fact, even she was ready to write off The Bold Type after hearing about the initial premise of the show.

Want to debrief about The Bold Type? Wrap your ears around our podcast The Recap below… Post continues after audio

“I remember when our show first came out in America and the title for almost every article about The Bold Type was along the lines of ‘I can’t believe I actually like this show…’ I think people were really surprised after they watched it,” the 25-year-old actress told Mamamia. “I have to say I was very reluctant to read the script at first because I thought it was just going to be some watered down version of how I see the world.

“But our show is very much about women empowering women while also talking about a lot of relevant social issues that rarely ever get discussed on mainstream TV.”

The Bold Type, which was inspired by the life of former Cosmopolitan Editor-In-Chief Joanna Coles, follows three 20-something women who work at the glossy Scarlet magazine.

The story of Aisha’s Kat, who is the Social Media Director of Scarlet and the first black department head for her company, plays out alongside Katie Stevens’ Jane, a former assistant who has just landed her dream job as a writer. The third ‘work wife’ of their group is Meghann Fahy’s Sutton, a young woman from a small town who is making her way up the Scarlet fashion ladder.

Together, the three women live their lives against the glamorous backdrop of New York’s publishing world, a world that sees them through breakups, the questioning of sexual identity, looming infertility, racism, unemployment, fraught relationships with their parents, online harassment and even a very clever episode devoted to the need for gun reform.

Meghann Fahy as Sutton, Aisha Dee as Kat and Katie Stevens as Jane in The Bold Type, available now on Stan. Source: Stan.
ADVERTISEMENT

For Aisha, having a TV show about women living enviable and fashionable lives in New York is nothing groundbreaking, but seeing a realistic depiction of female friendship on screen is still an idea she sees as a rare commodity.

"So often you see TV shows and movies depict young women as catty people, especially to each other, and that has never been my experience of the world," she said. "I don’t know what I would do without my girlfriends and I think the depiction of friendship that we have on the show is still groundbreaking to see.

"It's always very flattering when we get compared to a show like Sex and the City, even though we can all see now that it's a show that's very problematic, but also we have our own identity as a show.

"The stories I’ve been able to tell on The Bold Type are ones I feel very passionate about and there is a lot of responsibility on me to represent so many different people through just one character. Telling so many different stories can be challenging."

During the first two seasons of The Bold Type (season three has already been filmed and will air in 2019 on Stan in Australia, the same day as the US), an immense and dedicated fanbase has built up around the series and its trio of leading ladies. From their tendency to hole up in their office fashion closet to their relationship and career fails, The Bold Type has provided women across the world with a TV touchstone that reflects their own lives

Even if it is in a more glossy and made-for-TV way.

"It's so funny, every fan of the show who comes up to me, the very first thing they always reference is our characters hiding out in the fashion closet," she laughed. "All women who work together have their own version of a 'fashion closet' and it doesn’t even have to a closet. It can be a bathroom or the office kitchen, but all women need a space in their workplace where they can have their therapy sessions."

While some elements of the show are incredibly relatable to young women, with storylines that depict everything from scoring your dream job and then not being able to pay your rent to bad sexual experiences and strained relationships with family, Aisha says there is still a level of "wish-fulfilment" to The Bold Type that even her own life cannot live up to.

"Our characters definitely re-wear pieces on the show but when it comes to our costumes being affordable... I don’t know about that," she said, in response to a question about whether or not the character's clothes and lives are in any way realistic.

It's a topic surrounding the series that has been hotly debated between fans. "Sometime I’ll see a pair of pants that I might like, pants my character is going to wear and I'll say, 'Oooh, I might buy these, where can I get them?' and then someone on set will say, 'They’re just $700…'. So then I have to backtrack and say 'OK, I will not be purchasing those pants'.”

ADVERTISEMENT

"But I think the reason we do that with the costumes is part of this show is all about wish fulfilment. There is an element of fantasy to all this and it’s just fun to watch people dress in clothes that, and I don't know about anybody else, but dress in clothes that I myself could never afford."

The trio solve all of their problems in the magazine's fashion closet. Source: Stan.

One storyline that does stray away from frothy wish fulfilment and into a much more realistic and diverse storytelling realm is the relationship between Kat, a biracial woman who is exploring her sexual identity and just beginning to identify as queer, and her girlfriend Adena El Amin (Nikohl Boosheri).

Adena is a Muslim woman, an immigrant who is working in New York as a photographer, and identifies as a proud lesbian. Her burgeoning relationship with Kat proved to be one of the most interesting elements of The Bold Type, but a happily ever after was sadly not in their future.

The fan favourite couple, nicknamed "Kadena" by viewers of the show, came to an end in season two and Aisha is quick to say that she did not agree with the decision.

"I know that people were very devastated with the end of season two, and obviously I was too," she said. "I just cried and cried when I read that script, I kept saying to everyone ‘wait, where is this coming from, this makes no sense!’ because I just loved them as a couple. But Kat and Adina are not done, season two is very much the middle of their story in my mind.

"Look I don’t even know if I'm allowed to say this next part but, whatever, spoilers ahead! But this will not be the last you see of Adina, season three will very much be a new chapter for these characters." 

Want more from Laura Brodnik? Visit our newsletter page and sign up to "TV and Movies"  for a backstage pass to the best movies, TV shows and celebrity interviews (see one of her newsletters here). 

FROM OUR NETWORK
00:00 / ???