Aisha Hinds joined WGN America’s Underground creators Misha Green and Joe Pokaski to discuss the second season as well as the conjuring of Harriet Tubman at Deadline’s AwardsLine Screening Series. Deadline’s Dominic Patten interviewed them along with stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Amirah Vann, executive producer Anthony Hemingway at Landmark Theatres.
“We do so much research, and our problem is we find so many great things,” Underground co-creator Joe Pokaski said last night, discussing the second season of the WGN America series. “As we read about Harriet [Tubman] and started to understand her, we all know she’s a superhero; it’s about understanding her as a person, and realizing that we all have [it] within us to become Harriet.”
The Civil War era series’ second season incorporates Aisha Hinds, as the American abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman, which resulted in a powerhouse performance, most notably her solo episode.
“We started collecting all this information, and Misha found out that she did these speeches, that they talked her into talking, and of course—like Harriet, like Aisha—she excelled at it,” Pokaski shared. “We just researched speeches and said, ‘What would Harriet say to America right now?’”
Green touched on diving deeper into Harriet Tubman, showing that even the superheroic figures of the abolitionist movement didn’t remain unscathed. “This strong icon we have, it just never occurred to me that those two images went together, that she is us,” she said. “She was a person who was enslaved, who rose above it, who rose above it, who rose above it. I think that that image was the start of it.”
Though there was a lot of praise for Hinds that evening, she made sure to extend such praise t her fellow co-stars, including Jurnee Smollett-Bell.
“One of the most beautiful pieces of cinematography that I watched this season was Amirah jumping into that water. I was like, ‘You can’t make suicide look beautiful. That’s what you can’t do,’” the actress joked. “Here [were] Misha and Joe, writing these storylines that pushed us as human beings, to the edge of ourselves. It forced us to encounter some of the things that we could possibly be most afraid of.”
Check out the powerful conversation from Deadline’s screening series above!