During the press tour for Brave New World, her new series on Peacock, the just-launched streaming service from NBCUniversal, series star Jessica Brown Findlay has been saying that she knew almost immediately after seeing the script that she wanted to play Lenina, the passionate rule-breaker who serves as one of the primary protagonists in the story. Based on a book by Aldous Huxley, Brave New World is set in a near-future dystopia where "happiness" -- synonymous with complacency -- is valued above more or less everything else. It's a world of cheap thrills, and the thing that first gets her in trouble is being in a monogamous sexual relationship with a person she cares about.
A vacation to the untamed North American continent is shortly in order, but when she takes it, things get crazy. Ultimately she ends up heading back to New London, with a "savage" named John (played by Alden Ehrenreich) in tow. The relationship between Lenina, John, and Bernard (Harry Lloyd) is the core of much of the story, but first, fans (and Findlay) had to get a sense for who Lenina is on her own.
"There's something about Lenina that, I think she's where we first meet her -- she's already been living and existing lightly outside of the rules," Findlay told ComicBook.com. "I think when you do that, we all push the boundaries and try and find where they are and when you do you feel safer. And I think she's kind of explored that already at the beginning. And so she has a bravery to her and when things get really intense or tough or unpredictable, she suddenly has this survival instinct that kicks in. Where so many people from New London would freeze and go on pause, she just trusts herself, which is an amazing thing to play."
Besides that sense of adaptability, her passion and adventurous nature allow her some of the series' best moments of innocence and fun.
"We really wanted to bring a childlike quality out of her," Findlay explained. "There's something so adult and unquestioning about New London, and that's sort of the opposite of who Lenina is. And so experiencing zero gravity, or seeing real humanity in people for the first time, she just has a million questions, just like a child. She wants to engage and understand. And the way we understand is ask questions and listen. She loves that.
Brave New World is currently streaming on Peacock TV.
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