Dakota Fanning, who stars as a police secretary in TNT’s 1890s crime drama “The Alienist,” says her character’s storylines disappointingly reflect much of modern-day women’s experiences.
Fanning’s Sara Howard, secretary to the police commissioner, is often the butt of the mistreatment from her co-workers, but by the end of the series, she’s also the one pushing them to solve the case of a serial killer murdering young children.
“You see Sara’s involvement evolve, and we see her kind of come into her power in her position at the police department,” Fanning said in an interview with TheWrap. “We see her in this position of power, wanting to continue this case when everyone else is thinking it’s hopeless … and maybe not worth it.”
But it’s a careful balancing act for a woman who’s suffering harassment and abuses from her co-workers.
“Society was always looking for you to fail in some way,” she said. “For Sara, being too outwardly emotional or hysterical or portraying any emotion that can be perceived in that way, she keeps that all inside.”
“It’s weirdly similar to stories that we’ve read this past year,” Fanning noted, leading her to wonder why women are still facing the same mistreatment in modern-day society.
“I do hope that Sara’s story can start some sort of conversation about the reasons why an 1890s show is reflecting a 2018 society,” she said.