Abigail Spencer's Reprisal seeks to redefine what it means to be a femme fatale
Get ready for a new kind of female antihero.
Hulu’s Reprisal, a revenge tale that follows a relentless woman on a mission who — after being left for dead — leads a vengeful campaign against a bombastic gang of gearheads, is seeking to redefine the idea of what it means to be a femme fatale. The stars of the upcoming drama — Abigail Spencer, Rodrigo Santoro, Mena Massoud, Rhys Wakefield, Madison Davenport, Gilbert Owuor, and David Dastmalchian — plus showrunners Josh Corbin and Warren Littlefield stopped by EW’s video suite at New York Comic Con on Saturday to give us the scoop on their new series. And Spencer was eager to point out that her protagonist Katherine Harlow is forging a new path for the well-tread trope.
“We’re generating a new idea of it, hopefully,” she says. “Sometimes I think it can be related to hypersexual or sexualizing. I would say we’re just staying in the full womanness of who she is instead of attaching that part of it. It’s turning it on its head. We’ve phrased it as she’s the Tony Soprano of this endeavor… It’s a new way of looking at it.”
Spencer then teased a little bit about why Katherine becomes a femme fatale at the beginning of the series, reinventing herself with a new name and identity as Doris. “When she was younger, [she] stands up to the men in her life who have this gang, the Banish Brawlers, and when she stands up to them they chain her to a truck, drag her though a field, and leave her for dead,” says Spencer. “She has recreated herself. Now she is coming back to right the wrongs against her.”
“I believe it was Shakespeare who said hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” Littlefield adds. “We have hell, we have fury.”
“It’s like a crash derby,” Dastmalchian adds. “There’s like 16 cars and each one is souped up in its own style. Tarantino painted this one, and David Lynch designed this one, Hitchcock built that one. And they’re all driving at 100 miles per hour towards the middle and there is Doris/Katherine in the middle. It’s really something you’ve never seen before.”
Reprisal premieres in December on Hulu.