'The Carrie Diaries': Freema Agyeman on Larissa, Carrie's Secret and Andy Warhol
"She's a representative of the city with all of its danger, fun and glamour, and takes Carrie along for this ride," the British actress told THR of her alter ego.
Carrie Bradshaw is embarking on a journey of firsts in The Carrie Diaries, and a lot of that has to do with international fashion editor Larissa Loughton, with whom she has a chance encounter at a Century 21 department store.
But there's something about Carrie, whose teenage years remain secret (for now) on The CW drama, that makes Larissa want to keep her around. For one thing, "she's funny, smart and talented," British actress Freema Agyeman, a Doctor Who alum, told The Hollywood Reporter. That may not last long, as Carrie's true age will come to light sooner rather than later. "It does get addressed and it goes one of two ways," she said.
Agyeman jumped on the phone with THR to shed more light on Carrie's mentor, why Larissa keeps her around and whether she'd like to see the character, Andy Warhol, make an appearance.
The Hollywood Reporter: It's fair to say Larissa is on the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Carrie. What does she see in Carrie that makes her want to keep her around?
Freema Agyeman: Initially it's Carrie's fashion sense that attracts her, being a fashion editor. She is intrigued by Carrie and she admits to her that she collects people, so she's already open to fast-tracking people into her world. You get the impression that she would very easily drop people as quickly as she picks them up. But there is something about Carrie that makes her a keeper and she's enamored with her. It's either one of three things: It's a maternal beginning because she's seen it all, done it all, maybe she feels she wants to take her under her wing; or she recognizes herself in Carrie; or she she clicks with her as a person. It's probably a little bit of all three. We do have a mother-daughter thing going on, where Carrie looks up to Larissa and Larissa in turn wants to look after her.
THR: Carrie is keeping a secret from her New York City life, that she isn't as old as people may have thought she was. Will situations arise that will cause Larissa to view her differently?
Agyeman: It does come to light and it is addressed as the series goes on. [Executive producer] Amy B. Harris mentioned that there are these jokes about Carrie being fresh-faced, so it maybe occurs to Larissa that she does look young. But the fact that Carrie's there working in the city means that she must be old enough to do so. But it does get addressed and it goes one of two ways.
THR: Were you surprised by how Larissa reacted when she does find out about Carrie's truth?
Agyeman: The more I get to know Larissa I now think it makes sense the way she reacts but initially I might not have. We do start to see more layers to Larissa. She is the eternal party girl and perpetual child, who just wants to have fun, but we do get to know her a bit more and what makes her tick. I think her reaction is suitable.
THR: Will we see Larissa's home life at all or outside of the fashion world?
Agyeman: With Larissa's function, if you like, she's a representative of the city with all of its danger, fun and glamour, and takes Carrie along for this ride. But yes, we do go back to Larissa's home; she does have a party there. We see the way she lives, but primarily, throughout the series, she's there to expose Carrie to a different world.
THR: Can you offer an example of what Larissa introduces Carrie to?
Agyeman: Most obviously it's venues. There is the party scene, art exhibitions. She introduces Carrie to art, designers. We see her literally learn about the designers who she's really fond of in Sex and the City; we see the beginnings of that. Pretty much from when she gets to New York, she's learning for the first time.
THR: Since Larissa works at Interview, will there be mentions of Andy Warhol and would you like to see him? (He was still alive in 1984 and founded the fashion magazine in '69.)
Agyeman: He is going to be mentioned and talked about, because he was so prevalent at the time. Whether we actually see him in person is yet to be determined, but his influences and his presence are definitely talked about.
THR: What's one outrageous outfit that we'll see you in?
Agyeman: There is a pair of purple, what I describe as the M.C. Hammer trousers and the crotch is mid-calf, and it was really high-waisted. We do a lot of laughing in the fittings. [Laughs] Her outfits look like walking pieces of art.
The Carrie Diaries airs 8 p.m. Mondays on The CW.