1:00pm PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
Starz' 'The Girlfriend Experience' Sets Trio for Season 2
The Girlfriend Experience has found its new leading ladies.
The second season of the Starz limited series from Steven Soderbergh and Philip Fleishman will star Anna Friel, Louisa Krause and Carmen Ejogo in two parallel storylines. Each one will be written, directed and executive produced by Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz, the duo responsible for the first season starring Riley Keough.
Breaking with last year's single-story format, the new season will focus on entirely new characters, relationships and plotlines while still exploring the price of intimacy and its emotional consequences. One storyline for the 14-episode scripted anthology series will be set in Washington, D.C., while the other will be located in New Mexico. Jeff Cuban, Andrew Fierberg and Adele Romanski (Moonlight) will also executive produce the series, which is a reimagining of Soderbergh’s 2009 movie of the same name.
"It was always our intention to change the universe every season, but Amy and Lodge have cranked up the ambition, scope, and complexity of the show by creating two storylines even more provocative and confrontational than last year's. I'm as excited as a Swedish person is allowed to get," Soderbergh said in a statement.
Kerrigan’s storyline is set against the backdrop of the corrupting influence of dark money in the upcoming 2018 U.S. mid-term elections, where everything and everyone has a price. It tracks an unexpected and complex relationship between Erica Myles (Friel), a commanding and strong-willed finance director of a Republican super PAC, and Anna Greenwald (Krause), a confident and intelligent GFE provider at the top of her game.
Erica, who is under intense pressure to deliver on her super PAC fundraising goals, meets Anna and enlists her help in blackmailing a high-powered dark-money fundraiser. After their initial exchange, the pair fall into a complicated sexual relationship, marked by an exploration of vulnerability, dominance and submission, which also draws in Erica’s manipulative ex-girlfriend. The mix of personal instability and career pressure mount and lead Erica down a path, both professionally and personally, that she struggles to navigate.
Seimetz‘ storyline follows Bria Jones (Ejogo). After discovering disturbing information about a regular client, Jones is forced to relocate to a remote location in New Mexico. Unable to shake her desire for risky relationships and the finer things in life, Bria navigates her new penniless and surreal existence by forming eerily intimate transactional relationships. While Bria's ghosts from the past continue to haunt, her new connections with men redefine the meaning of the Girlfriend Experience.
Friel has had TV roles on Broken, Marcella and Pushing Daisies, while Krause has appeared on Billions and Blue Bloods and in the play The Flick. Ejogo, for her part, was recently seen on the big screen in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and previously appeared in Selma and on Zero Hour.