In Naomi Watts’ tantalizing Netflix drama Gypsy, teenage drug addict Allison often finds herself in a pill-popping state of disarray, but the actress who brings her to life is offering resounding clarity on the streaming service’s dedication to fostering characters cut from a dark cloth.
Appearing on Entertainment Weekly: The Show, Lucy Boynton tells EW executive editor Carla Sosenko that she values Netflix’s sustained championing of unique projects like Gypsy, Stranger Things, and The OA, noting the platform has forged new territory for alternative voices in the entertainment industry.
“Netflix gives way to a kind of middle ground rather than [focusing on] huge, high-budget films and the very small indies,” she says. “Netflix is the middle road, which gives much more power to the creative heads. It’s exciting to have a series where you get to follow these characters for much longer periods than just the short amount that you see in a film. Especially as an actor, getting to explore the character much longer is so exciting.”
Boynton appears in Gypsy opposite an ensemble cast that, in addition to Watts as a therapist who precariously meddles in the lives of her patients, includes Billy Crudup, Sophie Cookson, Karl Glusman, and Blythe Danner. While Watts and Danner have dabbled in lighter fare in the past, Boynton says she feels more at home on the set of a twisted tale as told by series creator Lisa Rubin.
“Comedy kind of terrifies me. I feel pretty intimidated,” she explains. “I love the darker material. I feel like it’s much more immersive and it’s an exploration of the extremes of human existence.”
Boynton also says legendary singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks added an extra layer of complexity to the show when she re-recorded the classic Fleetwood Mac song “Gypsy,” which Rubin listened to while writing the pilot, for its namesake program’s opening credits.
“When we did the read-through, we just took a minute before reading the first episode and all sat around and listened to that song,” Boynton remembers. “It was so moving. To find out she’s re-recorded it is a huge honor.”
Gypsy‘s first season is streaming now on Netflix. Watch Entertainment Weekly: The Show‘s full interview with Boynton above, during which she discusses working with Watts, why being on set with Judi Dench is the ideal substitute for drama school, and her thoughts on the facial hair of her Murder on the Orient Express costar Kenneth Branagh.