Juliet Rylance (‘Perry Mason’) discusses reboot’s lesbian twist for Della Street [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“She’s a very solitary character because she’s carrying this secret — a huge part of who she is,” muses Juliet Rylance about Della Street, the iconic “Perry Mason” character that she plays in the reboot for HBO starring Matthew Rhys as the eponymous defense attorney. Della is Perry’s secretary and the new 1933-set series created by Ron Fitzgerald and Rolin Jones eschews their will-they-won’t-they dynamic by making Della a lesbian.

“I really love that Ron and Rolin made this choice for a number of different reasons,” reveals Rylance in her exclusive interview with Gold Derby (watch the video above) about taking on the role that won Barbara Hale the 1959 Emmy Award for Best Drama Supporting Actress. She continues, “It immediately kind of makes it very interesting. It makes her as a character quite an enigma at the beginning of the series.”

Jack Amiel and Michael Begler are replacing Fitzgerald and Jones as showrunners for the next season. The pair previously created the 1900-set “The Knick,” on which Rylance starred across its two seasons in 2014 and 2015. She says about their arrival, “There’s such wonderful writers and they work so well together and they write so quickly and the dialogue that they write is so witty and sharp and quick — light on its feet.”

Rylance anticipates that future installments will continue to move away from the “gritty and dirty” feel of the initial episodes. She explains, “It’s pretty exciting to think that maybe it’s a bit lighter that there’s a lighter energy and something we played with a lot last year was the speed, the rhythm, like how do they speak; how did these characters speak to each other? And I think we want to push that further next year, so lighter and brighter and and probably just those rhythms of the period to be allowed to come through a bit more.”

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