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“The story always leads you where it’s supposed to go. Sometimes you want to buck that. Sometimes you don’t want that character to die,” Kemp said during the Drama Showrunner Roundtable.
Kemp also went on to discuss the biggest debates that go into creating certain aspects of the series, primarily, fighting for diversity in casting. “When we were casting parts that were Dominican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, [we were always] looking for actors who were actually Dominican, Cuban, Puerto Rican,” she said.
Kemp then explained that shooting locations can dictate the diversity she’s aiming to have. “In terms of New York, it’s there. We can’t shoot in Toronto, because we’re never going to get this diversity of Latinos, and then having dialect coaches who can give you Mexican slang, Cuban slang, Dominican slang, and then try to explain to the network that that’s super important, because people at home know the difference, even if you don’t.”
The other biggest challenge for Kemp was the lack of female execs in her surrounding. “I didn’t have any female execs when I was developing the show,” she said, further reiterating that she consistently found herself having to constantly explain her creative direction. “Women don’t act like that.”
Starz eventually came around to Kemp, telling her, “None of us are women. We’re going to have to trust you.”
Kemp has one Emmy nomination for outstanding drama series for The Good Wife.
The full Emmy Roundtables will air every Sunday on SundanceTV beginning June 24 and on THR.com the following Monday. The Drama Showrunner Roundtable starring Lena Waithe, Bruce Miller, Peter Morgan, Dan Futterman, David Shore and Courtney Kemp will air Sunday, July 15, on SundanceTV. Tune in to THR.com/roundtables for more roundtables featuring talent from the year’s top shows.
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