When “The Girlfriend Experience” arrived in 2009, it was part of Steven Soderbergh‘s run of low budget, “experimental” movies. While it boasted the attention-grabbing casting of porn actress Sasha Grey in the lead role,the movie stuck with Soderbergh’s approach in every other regard, which didn’t involve holding the audiences hand, so to speak. However, in adapting the show for TV, Soderbergh changed up how to tackle the material.
“The series is tightly scripted. It’s very different than what I did on the movie, but the approach is very much an auteur approach,” he told THR last month. “We’re used to the writer-producer being the ultimate Oz figure on a show, but not here. Here it’s the directors’ vision. You feel it right away, in the choices with the writing and directing, the difference between this and regular television. No fucking executive would [normally] ever let this pass. I am as proud of having my name on this as of anything I’ve done.”
Taking on the wrote of executive producer, Soderbergh has turned the directorial duties over to Amy Seimetz and Lodge Kerrigan. The story follows a young law student who is introduced into the world of high end sex work. “It’s a very emotional issue, because sex is a very emotional issue, a very primal issue. But for us, in making the show, the morality of sex work was kind of irrelevant. In the end, it is happening and this is a show about what is happening right now,” Soderbergh said about the potentially controversial subject matter. “Our goal —based on the research we have done— is to be as accurate as we can about this one person’s experience.”
Starring Riley Keough, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Paul Sparks and Kate Lyn Sheil, “The Girlfriend Experience” debuts on Starz next eyar. Watch the first trailer below.