Kyra Sedgwick does not like the term “unlikable female character.”

The actress, soon returning to television in Ten Days in the Valley, vastly prefers calling them “authentic and real” female characters. She sat down with EW to talk about her new ABC drama and the character of Jane Sadler, who she says falls into this category.

“With a male character, they never talk about that,” she says. “I also balk at, ‘Is she a good mother?’ Well, she’s a real mother, she’s an authentic mother. We never said, ‘Is Walter White a good father?’ That was never part of the conversation. We can be part of the shaming mothers and shaming women mentality or we can say ‘yay!’ to these real humans that we’re seeing because this is what we really want to see when we go to see a movie or TV show.”

Sedgwick also teased the story of Ten Days in the Valley and her character’s complex narrative as a mother with a kidnapped child, a writer who draws from her own life, and a very practiced liar. She says the prospect of playing a writer was one of the main things that drew her to the role.

“They’re the type of people who are most at home alone and being with people is actually an effort for them, and it feels really uncomfortable, but they pretend really well,” she says. “But they really just want to be alone. And then they do this thing where they sort of cannibalize their life for their stories, so I was interested in that aspect because we really do a lot of that in the story. She gets in trouble for the things that she’s written about.”

Watch the video above for more from Sedgwick.

Ten Days in the Valley premieres Oct. 1 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

Reporting by Robyn Ross

Episode Recaps

Ten Days in the Valley
  • TV Show