Totally worth checking out: Jennifer Beals and Troian Bellisario star in Lauren, a made-for-YouTube three-episode series for WIGS (Where It Gets Interesting), a channel dedicated to scripted video featuring complex, compelling characters played by female leads. The channel’s the brainchild of Jon Avnet (Fried Green Tomatoes) and Rodrigo Garcia (In Treatment).
This web series tackles a tough topic: Lauren (Bellisario) is a member of the United States military who reports sexual assault by three fellow American soldiers. In the first episode, Major Stone (Beals) reviews the report and warns Lauren about the impact of filing a contentious charge.
Good writing – on YouTube
In a conference call about the series, Beals shares that it is the writing that attracted her to the role: “Major Stone thinks within the parameters of the institution and all the kind of acculturated patriarchy that that implies. And then…this other character, the younger character, the Staff Sergeant played by Troian who just really thinks in terms of justice and plain and simple.”
The interplay between the actors is strong on the (very) small screen, and carries the first episode. That’s no surprise for fans of Beals. As we shared in our profile of her in our February/March 2011 issue, she’s an actor who brings fire and intelligence to her roles.
Roles for women over a certain age: Why not sexy?
When I ask her about how she’s finding the options for roles for women over 40, she shares: “One thing I think that needs to be addressed is how roles for older women — which is basically anybody over 30 — become desexualized, because that’s not the case. I’d like to fix that.”
She’s certainly an actor to take that on: She’s a swimmer and a runner, comfortable in her skin. She recently swam Lake Louise: “Man is that cold. But it was so beautiful to be surrounded by that color and to turn and look up at the glaciers. It just knocked me out but I had to grease my face and my hands and my feet and I had a full wet suit…it was really cold ”
But it’s Beals’ performance that brings depth and warmth to her role in Lauren. Check it out:
Premiers on YouTube today, with new episodes to launch Wednesday and Friday.
Photo: Kayt Jones