April 14, 2023

‘Mrs. Davis’ Star Betty Gilpin’s Dad Introduced Her to Three Nuns to Prepare for Role


Betty Gilpin turned to her actor dad, Jack Gilpin, for help when she was preparing for her new Peacock series “Mrs. Davis.”

“He introduced me to three nuns,” Betty told me at the show’s premiere Thursday night in Los Angeles.

Papa Gilpin is not only a veteran actor (he currently plays Church the Butler on HBO’s “The Gilded Age“), but he’s also an Episcopalian priest. “He did connect me with nuns to talk to,” Betty said. “They are these incredible feminist warriors in their own right.”

Have the sisters seen the show? “I’d be interested to know what they think about it, but I don’t think they have Peacock,” Betty said, laughing.

MRS. DAVIS — “Mrs. Davis Premiere Event” — Pictured: (center l-r) Betty Gilpin, Jake McDorman, Andy McQueen at The Britely on April 13, 2023 — (Photo by: Randy Shropshire/Peacock)
Randy Shropshire/Peacock

In the series, created by Tara Hernandez and Damon Lindelof, Gilpin plays a nun in search of the Holy Grail in her quest to defeat a mysterious AI power. The show is more than just genre-bending – it’s a totally bonkers action dramedy that addresses both religion and AI.

“It’s crazy!” Gilpin said of the show. “I feel like, oftentimes, TV is either divided into joyful but mindless junk food or topical but depressing. This is topical and joyful and inventive. Just when you think it’s a cartoon, it breaks your heart and gets really serious but then it turns back into something you’ve never seen before. It’s Coen Brothers, it’s Looney tunes, it’s madness.”

It’s also going to be submitted in the drama category for Emmys consideration. “It’s hard to categorize this as drama or comedy,” Gilpin said. “It’s like, I literally just slipped on a banana peel, but then in the next scene it’s crazy intense drama.”

MRS. DAVIS — ÒMrs. Davis Premiere EventÓ — Pictured: (l-r) Channing Dungey, Chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group; Lisa Katz, President, Scripted Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming; Susan Rovner, Chairman, Entertainment Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming; Jake McDorman, Damon Lindelof, Executive Producer; Betty Gilpin, Tara Hernandez, Showrunner, Executive Producer; Andy McQueen, Alex Sepiol, Executive Vice President, Scripted Development; Brett Paul, President, Warner Bros. Television and Warner Horizon Scripted Television at the DGA on April 13, 2023 — (Photo by: Randy Shropshire/Peacock)
Randy Shropshire/Peacock

Gilpin first teased her character’s wardrobe during an episode of the “Just for Variety” podcast in September.

“The costume designer is very much British and put me in a wool habit, and we are shooting in the absolute desert, and it’s so hot,” she said at the time. “I don’t know how these nuns do it. I hope that when they’re at the convent and they have no visitors, they’re like, ‘Should we just wear boxers today?’ Because this is insane.”

Hernandez told me at the premiere, “It was wool in the middle of the desert. We shot for 100 days in 100-degree weather and then we went to Spain and it was cold and rainy weather. Hopefully, it’s iconic enough that we all forgot about how uncomfortable it was.”

“Mrs. Davis” premieres on Peacock April 20.


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