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Interview: April Bowlby on Playing Actress and Superhero Rita Farr in ‘Doom Patrol’

There are few shows that regularly employ completely wild, off-the-wall plot points and manage to remain coherent and incredibly watchable. For HBO Max’s Doom Patrol, now in its fourth season, weird is the name of the game, and the superhero team facing an army of zombie butts somehow doesn’t feel all that strange. The fantastic group of unwilling heroes includes Rita Farr (April Bowlby), a former actress whose unique super-abilities are difficult to control and often lead to her “blobbing out.”

Awards Radar had the chance to speak to Bowlby, who was warm and energetic, eager to discuss the appeal of getting to play an actress:

“An actress playing an actress. It’s fantastic, because everything you get to do is exaggerated, and for performance, so there’s no overacting, which I really enjoy. You can go as big as you want, because she’s an actress, and that’s what we do. But of course she would go to her own retrospective, which is so funny, because the townies are not a fan of her, but she does not believe that anyone could not be a fan of herself.”

On Rita’s changing relationship with Michelle Gomez’s Madame Rouge:

“She realizes that she has to lean on her, and there’s something really beautiful about how Michelle Gomez is so feisty. You’ll see, her hand turns into the knife, and she’s really trying to take Rita’s shit, and then she’ll be very honest and like, I need you. Things turn and she doesn’t want to be team leader. She comes to Rita and she’s very vulnerable and humble, and then Rita opens up her heart a little bit. I think Rita just wants to be recognized and seen and not be manipulated. There are moments where Madame Rouge can come to her and not manipulate her, and then there’s this beautiful friendship that starts to form again throughout the season, which is very unexpected.”

Watch the full conversation below.

The midseason finale of Doom Patrol is now streaming on HBO Max.

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Written by Abe Friedtanzer

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