AMC’s forthcoming Dispatches From Elsewhere is an interesting series. The 10-episode anthology created by and starring Jason Segel is a self-reflective, transcendental series about a group of ordinary people who stumble onto a puzzle hiding just behind the veil of everyday life. The series also stars Outkast’s Andre Benjamin, Oscar-winning actress Sally Field and breakout Eve Lindley. All were on hand at TCA to talk about the new series.
Through its nuanced, Michel Gondry-esque storytelling, Segel aimed to do an “artistic check-in”. For almost a decade, he said “Who I was was dictated to me for the longest time — and I wanted to explore that.” While doing so, he created his show and, in turn, subtly created an inclusive space for trans characters and women.
In Dispatches From Elsewhere, Lindley plays his love interest, Simone and for the first time in her career, she connected deeply with the character who, like her, is trans. “I read the script and I was so moved,” she said. “It was one of the best depictions of a trans character I ever read. I felt close to her. Jason allowed me to interject a lot of myself into her.”
She added that this was the first time she had seen a trans woman played as a love interest and loveable. “It was a full, well-rounded character,” she said.
Segel points out that his mentor Judd Apatow taught him that it’s all about the casting and who you can explore the scenes with. In one scene, he was improving with Lindley and he said she made the character more nuanced than he wrote it. “She’s so much more complicated than I realized,” he said.
Lindley responded slyly, “She always is, Jason.”
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Field, who is a veteran of film and TV later talked about how she got involved in the series but then went into opportunities for women in the industry, talking about how difficult it is for older women to find roles. “You go to where the work is…I am fine with the level of work,” she admits. “Do I want big and complicated roles for older women? Sure — but then I wish for a lot of things. I wish we weren’t in this horrible climate change and I wish we had another president. You do what you do when you can.”
Since it is an anthology, there’s an expectation that there will be a new story and new roster of characters in the second season. However, Segel is keeping things under wraps when it comes to the future of Dispatches From Elsewhere.
“I actually don’t want to give too much away if we are lucky enough to continue,” he said. “It’s an exciting experience — we’ll see where it goes.”
Segel directed the first episode and serves as executive producer alongside Scott Rudin, showrunner Mark Friedman, Garrett Basch, Eli Bush, Jeff Freilich and Alethea Jones. The series also stars Richard E. Grant. The series premieres March 1 with a second episode airing the following evening on its regular timeslot of Monday, March 2.
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