This past Friday, Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij released a “surprise” Netflix series entitled “The OA,” about a young woman named Prairie Johnson (played by Marling), who resurfaces after having been missing for seven years, calls herself The OA, and can see, even though she was blind prior to her disappearance. In a new interview with the New York Times, Marling discusses several influences on “The OA” and the character of Prairie, including Hayao Miyazaki’s “Princess Mononoke.”
“Hayao Miyazaki’s female characters are always very developed and layered,” she says. “San, the wolf princess, and Lady Eboshi, the ruler of Irontown, are vivid portraits of women. They have a ferocity and complexity to them that I often see in women in the real world but not as often onscreen.”
Marling also cited other influences, including Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector’s novel “The Passion According to G.H,” (“The metaphysical journey that character goes through and the way it nearly tears her to pieces and ultimately rebuilds her was inspiring to me.”) and the Perfume Genius song “Queen” off his latest album “Too Bright” (“I like the sense of sharp-edged mystery in this song, and the feeling of a character who is broken but has a certain shine because of that brokenness.”).
The entire first season of “The OA” is currently available on Netflix.