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Dickinson Star Hailee Steinfeld on Why Emily Could Be a Hero for the Millennial Generation

Hailee Steinfeld portrays literary icon Emily Dickinson in the new series from Apple TV + (Photo courtesy of Apple TV +)

While most of us think of the iconic poet Emily Dickinson as a rather eccentric under-appreciated reclusive spinster, Hailee Steinfeld and Dickinson are turning many preconceived notions of this literary genius on their head.

Steinfeld, now 22, began her career with the movie True Grit at age 14, where she beat out 15,000 actresses and received an Academy Award nomination. This was followed by Bumblebee, The Homesmen, and Enders Game. Currently, she is making her mark in movies, music, and now as the leading lady and executive producer in Dickinson, now streaming on the new Apple TV +.

The fresh new half-hour dark comedy series audaciously explores the life of rebellious young poet Emily Dickinson. Set in the 19th century, this coming-of-age story portrays Emily as an unexpected hero for the Millennial generation.

While completely underestimated by her parents, played by Jane Krakowski and Toby Huss, she rejects the conventions of her society, sex, and family and instead fills volumes of notebooks with her poetry that details her vibrant fantasy life.

Steinfeld takes viewers into the world of the brilliant poet, whose irrepressible spirit, defiant attitude, bold vision, and daring love life resonate more than ever, especially at a time when many of us feel like outsiders in our generation. “I feel like we have come a very long way. But in the grand scheme of things, not much has changed,” Steinfeld exclusively told “Women are still very much fighting to be understood, considered equal, and respected. My big hope is that women feel that they are seen and heard.”

What attracted you to Dickinson? I’m sure you get choices and you’re not only acting in the series, but you are producing the show as well.
I wanted to do this because this series felt so different than anything I had really ever come across. This show tackles so many conversations and so many themes that are somehow still relevant today as they are in the 1850s. The minute I met writer-creator Alena Smith (Newsroom) her and I had a conversation, I knew I wanted to be involved in Dickinson.

Please talk about the acting part of the show and the producing aspect of it.
As far as acting in it, I read this and felt like I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play this literary icon. And as far as producing, this is my first-time executive producing and I have always been interested in that, and of course, I wanted it to be something that I felt was truly special. So, this was that. It’s been really exciting to be a part of the conversation and certain decision-making processes that I’ve never been a part of in the past. So, to be a part of that on the project that I feel so connected to is extremely exciting. Continue reading “Dickinson Star Hailee Steinfeld on Why Emily Could Be a Hero for the Millennial Generation”