A class act: an interview with Julie Hesmondhalgh on casting, representation and inclusion in British television drama

Hogg, C. 2020. A class act: an interview with Julie Hesmondhalgh on casting, representation and inclusion in British television drama. Critical Studies in Television: The International Journal of Television Studies. 15 (3), p. 302–311. https://doi.org/10.1177/1749602020934670

TitleA class act: an interview with Julie Hesmondhalgh on casting, representation and inclusion in British television drama
TypeJournal article
AuthorsHogg, C.
Abstract

In this interview, actor Julie Hesmondhalgh reflects on her rich body of work in British TV drama, connecting her own career narrative to a consideration of wider industry developments in casting and representation, diversity and inclusion. Julie became a household name as Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street (1960- ) from 1998 to 2014. Hayley was the first recurring transgender character in a UK continuing TV drama. Julie has since appeared in a number of critically-acclaimed TV dramas addressing important social concerns ranging from the devastating effects of sexual violence to the experiences of autistic children and their families. Throughout her career, Julie has harnessed her public profile to support social and political activism of various kinds, remaining committed to a belief in the power of TV storytelling to bring about positive change. With extended reference to Coronation Street and Doctor Who (1963-1989, 2005- ), Julie discusses how far UK TV drama production has come in tackling systemic inequalities and exclusions, whilst also stressing the progress still required, especially in relation to capturing the complexities of class identity. More broadly, the insights offered within this piece illustrate the value of industry interviews as a methodological approach for TV studies, in revealing the experiences and perspectives of key creative agents within the production process.

Keywordsacting, casting, transgender, class, regionality, diversity, inclusion, representation, Coronation Street, Doctor Who
JournalCritical Studies in Television: The International Journal of Television Studies
Journal citation15 (3), p. 302–311
ISSN1749-6020
Year2020
PublisherSage
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/1749602020934670
Publication dates
Published30 Sep 2020

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