Freeform’s latest show, The Bold Type, follows three twentysomethings who work at Scarlet magazine in New York City. Inspired by Joanna Coles’ time at Cosmopolitan, the show is as much about friendship and female empowerment as it is about relationship advice and what not to wear.
The three women at the center of it all — and doing their best to keep it all together — are Jane (Katie Stevens), the up-and-coming writer, Kat (Aisha Dee), the social media director, and Sutton (Meghann Fahy), the assistant. They’re co-workers, best friends, and just generally driven women.
“I’ve always been attracted to strong female characters and female characters that don’t necessarily fit into a box,” Dee says. “I loved that it wasn’t just one character like that in this show, it’s every character. It’s all the male characters, the female characters, even the Sutton and Richard relationship, which could be something so cookie cutter.” Remember Sutton, the assistant? Well, she’s kind of sleeping with one of the top executives at the magazine.
“That’s what attracted me to it was that they were actively going against what you would expect that situation to be: A young girl in an office who’s engaging in a relationship with an older, more powerful man,” Fahy jumps in. “And I’ve read those scripts and been a part of those scripts before, but [this show is] going against that on purpose and that’s exciting to me.”
Stevens adds, “It’s cool to see these characters that are unafraid to ask for what they want at such a young age.”
Individually, all the women have their own paths, but what makes the show is the relationship between the three, which is to say, the chemistry among the actors. Although none of them had met before filming, Stevens organized a night out in New York for them to get to know one another. “My boyfriend is in a rock-ish band and they were doing a concert in New York and I was like, ‘Do you guys want to come?’ It was the weekend that we were all leaving to go to Toronto to shoot the pilot,” Stevens says. “So I was like, ‘Why don’t we all just have a night in New York together; the show’s set in New York, might as well get the vibes,’ And so I met them and we fell in love.”
Dee adds, “They’re both in relationships but I keep telling their boyfriends, like, ‘I’m coming for your woman. Just so you know.’ I am obsessed with them. It happened pretty naturally and effortlessly. I feel like I can say anything to them. It feels like we’re siblings almost.”
Fahy chimes in, “And we haven’t even known each other for a year yet.”
That chemistry is the foundation for the show, which then branches out to explore just about any issue you’d, well, read about in an issue of Cosmo. “To me, the show is most like reading this month’s Cosmo,” Dee says. “You’re getting advice from the show, but in a really easy-to-digest way, and you’re also realizing that you’re not so alone. Some things that you might be embarrassed about feeling, you’re seeing someone else feel them too.”
The Bold Type premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.