It’s amazing when an actor gets to work on a project that’s deeply meaningful for them. During the Disney/ABC Television Group’s Winter 2017 TCA Press Tour, Mary-Louise Parker noted that AIDS and the LGBT community, both relevant in her new miniseries When We Rise, are both topics that she’s very familiar with.
While it’s so amazing to know that Parker is an advocate for the LGBT community, hearing more about why it’s so dear to her heart will make you a little emotional.
When We Rise is about the LGBT movement in America, and it focuses on the true stories of pioneers who made the movement so successful. Partially inspired by a book by activist Cleve Jones, it’s safe to say that the AIDS epidemic will have a significant mention in the overall story.
While anyone can catch this disease regardless of sexual preference and orientation, it was quite often linked with the community decades ago.
After an audience member asked if Hollywood would be “out of touch” about these issues, Parker stepped forward and got personal.
“I don’t live in Hollywood, and I’ve never lived in Hollywood,” Parker said. “I’ve lived in New York for 26 years, something like that. I think people see an actor, and they have an idea of something, and it all falls under the umbrella of something really shiny and inauthentic called Hollywood, and I don’t think that’s always the case.”
“This show is resonant to me on so many levels because not only did, you know, both my college roommates died from AIDS — people dropped dead left to right,” she said. “It wiped out an entire population of an audience in New York City. As Fran Lebowitz said once so beautifully, ‘Where went the audience for the opera and the ballet and the theater?’ There’s so many things that have been lost that, for me, this story really resonates on that level.”
We had no clue that Parker suffered such tragic events on such a personal level, but it definitely explains why this project was so important to her.
“I think that no story is more dramatically interesting than to see someone fight a battle that is seemingly unwinnable,” she concluded.
The series creator, Dustin Lance Black, is really hoping that his miniseries helps bring people together. It definitely sounds like it’ll be incredible — and you can check it out and see for yourself on February 27th, on ABC.