Madam Secretary: Stories of Powerful Women | TV

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Borgen, Scandal, Veep, House of Cards… Series of different genders and even different nationalities, but with a common bond: they have politics as their central issue and women with power among their protagonists. Even, The Good Wife it has politics as one of its plot keys. To this list, increasingly long, was added last season Madam Secretary. In it, Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA adviser and university professor, becomes US Secretary of State, a position she must combine with her work as a mother.

Madam Secretary (whose second season can be followed on Canal + Series) has had it easy to gain a foothold in a television panorama in which political dramas are more fashionable than ever. “We don’t have that cynicism that other series play with. I don’t blame them for it; It is certainly tempting, there is a lot of food for that ”, explains Téa Leoni, protagonist of Madam Secretary, in a telephone conversation with different media.

His series tries to approach politics from another point of view different from the sewers in which he rummages House of Cards or the most scandalous side that addresses Scandal, forgive the redundancy. “Possibly the biggest compliment our series has received came from Madeleine Albright, who said we were helping make foreign policy less foreign.” The US Secretary of State between 1997 and 2001, with Bill Clinton in the White House, served as inspiration for the character of Leoni and has even made a cameo in the second season.

Another distinctive feature of the series, according to the actress, is precisely her character, a woman involved in state affairs, but with no aspirations to conquer larger plots of power. “One of the things we talk about Barbara Hall [productora ejecutiva del programa] and I was that we were not going to pretend that we are right and the other is crazy. I’ve never wanted to represent that kind of fanatic politics. We are very tired of that ”, he explains about a character who, he says, knows how to put himself in the shoes of the people he deals with. “Not everything is black or white. We have to learn how to live in these gray areas ”, he adds.

For Leoni, whose career has mostly developed in cinema with films like Deep Impact, Family Man O Jurassic Park III, The series marked her return to television 16 years later, although it was on the small screen that she took her first steps as an actress in Santa Barbara.

The medium was not new to her, but the world of politics was. “I have been improving in terms of recognizing the terminology. Now it is easier. I can shoot political terms faster than I did a year and a half ago, ”he explains. With Madam Secretary tHe has also learned the complications involved in working in the Administration: “It is interesting to see how someone in a position like Secretary of State has to deal with issues that test their integrity.”

All the series cited at the beginning, in addition to sharing politics as the plot axis, follow women in positions of power, women who are no longer in the shadow of any man or who are struggling to get out of it. “I remember when I started in this world. The idea of ​​a female lead was a curious thing. It was a bit like ‘is she a crazy housewife?’ ‘How is he going to do that job?’ Nobody would ask those questions if the protagonist was a man. Today it is no longer presented that way ”, concludes the actress.

Scripts and real events

In a world as turbulent as today, the scriptwriters of Madam Secretary They don’t seem to have it too complicated to find facts to base on. “Everything we do is inspired by current tensions,” says Téa Leoni about some arguments that often end up looking too much like reality when the episode is broadcast. “I wonder if we don’t have a mole to provide us with information,” jokes the actress.

Leoni describes the show’s writers room as a laboratory of ideas. “They know very well what is happening in the world and, on that, they make predictions. I think that they come so close to real events is half science and half instinct ”, he adds.