Former “Hamilton” Actress Renée Goldsberry Talks The Importance Of Representation In Netflix Sci-Fi Series “Altered Carbon”
We’ve seen black women come to the country’s rescue in one way or another in recent years, but a new Netflix series takes that idea to another level: into a dystopian future.
Renée Elise Goldsberry stars in Netflix’s “Altered Carbon,” a show set 700 years into the future, where consciousness is digitized, allowing people to change bodies, or “sleeves” like they change clothes – and some are living for hundreds of years. The thespian plays powerhouse femme fatale “Quell,” a revolutionary interstellar warrior who aims to overthrow the “Protectorate” government that is pushing this technology, allowing people to die with dignity their bodies not be reused by someone else.
“I feel very strongly, that we need those kinds of role models,” Goldsberry told BOSSIP. “We are waiting for them and looking for them, and doing a better job of getting them. What’s special about this is that this is not a black world – this is just a world.”
She added: “For her to be the heroine, is what I’m starving to see.”
Goldsberry’s Quell is also the lover and guide of co-star Joel Kinnaman, who plays the troubled Takeshi Kovacs, an envoy whose mind was brought back from being “on ice” in a new body, in order to solve the murder of a mega-rich Methuselah like character, Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy).
Goldsberry’s Quell is no run of the mill hero – she is just about as bad ass as they come. Employing the Afro-Brazilian capoeira fighting style, she helps Kovacs navigate this dark and disturbing world, teaching him everything she knows. She is his conscience, cheerleader and is the only one who can rescue him from the show’s version of the sunken place. But she’s also the love of his life, something Goldsberry said can be an anomaly on TV and in films.
“I think what’s unique is that she could just be this powerful matriarch on his shoulder, but she’s more than that,” Goldsberry said. “It was validating the black woman as more than powerful and strong, but the destination for the satisfaction of my soul. Seeing her, with all the options in the world that he could have…Those things are healing and necessary for us to see. I think we are worthy of that, we just don’t see it enough.”
Goldsberry said she hopes viewers will take away that powerful black roles can exist across the board and don’t have to be pigeonholed in one place or another.
“I absolutely want them to be excited about women telling stories and I want them to think beyond certain genres of entertainment,” she said. “We can own sci-fi and action as well. ‘Girls Trip’ was amazing – but so is ‘Black Panther.’ And we can exist in all of those spaces.”