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‘Girlboss’ Producer Charlize Theron On Netflix Comedy: “The Days Of The Madonna/Whore Complex? Gone”

Deadline logo Deadline 2/8/2017 Denise Petski
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Netflix has set April 21 for the premiere of Girlboss, its new 13-episode comedy series inspired by Sophia Amoruso’s popular autobiography, starring Britt Robertson and Ellie Reed.

Written/executive produced by Pitch Perfect scribe Kay Cannon and to be directed by Christian Ditter, Girlboss hails from Charlize Theron’s Denver & Delilah production company. It centers on Sophia (Robertson), a rebellious, broke anarchist who refuses to grow up. She stumbles upon her passion of selling vintage clothes online and becomes an unlikely businesswoman. As she builds her retail fashion empire, she realizes the value and the difficulty of being the boss of her own life. Reed plays Annie, Sophia’s best friend, who is a bit of a wild woman and the life of any party.

At a panel on series creatives that Netflix ran in New York, Cannon said that she had tried to sell to broadcast networks but “there wasn’t a consideration for the young female demographic.

“We’re creating a show in which the lead is maybe unlikeable,” she added, saying that Netflix had backed the idea that it was OK to have a female lead as complex as any male lead. Cannon said that when the show began shooting and she appeared dressed in overalls, she’d made a point of introducing herself to everyone on set. Asked why, she had responded, “because I looked like an extra and crews aren’t used to seeing a woman in charge.”

At a second panel exclusively about Girlboss, Theron said: “Something really grabbed me about it. I’ve built a whole career playing flawed and f**ked up characters.

“We pitched the show elsewhere and the feedback was absolutely shocking,” she continued. She and Cannon were told to change the title and make it more appealing to men. “I had a real sense of if we didn’t find the right home for this project it would become nothing. Audiences are connecting with what women are, in all our complexities. The days of living in the Madonna/Whore complex? Gone.”

Cannon, who serves as showrunner, executive produces alongside Theron and Laverne McKinnon of D&D as well as Ditter and Amoruso.

Check out a teaser for Girlboss above.

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