VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Yael Stone Reveals Political Meaning Behind AMC’s ‘Firebite’
Yael Stone discusses the political meaning behind the new AMC+ show Firebite and her favorite memory from set in her new uInterview.
“The show in a way is a really beautiful metaphor for colonial Australia and its impact on the people that have been here since time immemorial on this land,” Stone told uInterview Founder Erik Meers, “and so it’s an incredible story telling device that uses vampires as a kind of colonial weapon against the indigenous people. And of course they are, you know, the most at risk of it and they are also the strongest against it. And when I understood that concept when I read that first script I was like ‘Woah this is unlike anything I’ve ever read before,’ and for that reason I was pretty excited to be a part of it.
“And that bait was right there,” she continued, “it proved to be fruitful and it flowered beautifully and I think we’ve stayed true to that metaphor and really gone deep in a way that’s like both really fun and impactful. And to kind of bring joy and comedy and a kind of cowboy spirit to telling this story means it’s incredibly palatable and digestible, but you can’t ignore the bigger metaphor that’s going on.”
Stone said that she is often attracted to roles in stories with a “political edge.”
“I guess I come from, originally from, a theatre background,” she said “and that’s what I did for all my working life, you know, before Orange Is the New Black primarily. And I guess that the theatre that I made and that I was involved with always had a political edge and obviously Orange Is the New Black had a strong political edge, but again that show had a lot of comedy as well, and a lot of heartbreak, and a lot of political stuff and that is probably my favorite mix. And this show uniquely has that as well.”
In the show, Stone plays Ellie, a single woman who’s “got a past that she’s running from.”
“We don’t see a lot of Ellie in the beginning of the show and that’s kind of important as part of her character set up. She’s a very independent woman, and she’s very much alone in this really rough and ready town. It’s hard to describe these kind of towns, I’m sure there’s really good comparisons in the states, but it is kind of like a no rules place, and I felt that when we were shooting out in Coober Pedy. It would be a challenging place to be a single woman.”
Stone called Coober Pedy a “wild place:” “You fly in in this tiny little plane and there’s just holes everywhere on this flat, red earth. And you can’t understand what it is, you know, you’re like ‘Are these giant ant hills? What’s going on?’ And then of course it clicks, they’re all opal mines. I think there’s 240,000 abandoned holes in that place. I mean it’s just like Swiss cheese. It is in the middle of nowhere. The expanse of the Australian continent is hard to really get your head around. You look at a map, you’re like ‘Oh yeah, that’s Australia, but it is enormous. And Coober Pedy is just sat right in the middle.”
“The first time I was on set in Coober Pedy, I wasn’t actually in the scene, but Warwick [Thornton] was directing,” Stone remembered. “We had the character Old Nana strapped to the front of the WRX like speeding through the desert, not on road, just on a random kind of path that they’d chosen, winding amongst these opal mines. The open opal mines, just kind of dust everywhere, Old Nana screaming and Tyson [Rob Collins] and Shanika [Shantae Barnes Cowan] are in the car. And I was just like ‘This is bananas. We’re making a bananas show. This is wild.'”
Episode one of Firebite premiered December 16 on AMC+. Check out the trailer below!
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