It’s hard to look away when you’re in the neon lights of club PYNK. It’s your haven. Your place of acceptance and the women and men are unlike anything you’ve seen before. Hell, it’s the only surviving business in the dilapidated town of Chucalissa, Miss for a reason.
The ladies of the night and early morning are more than strippers. They are a pack of survivors who refuse the stereotype of their narrative.
Adapted from Katori Hall’s stage play, P-Valley is a show unlike any other featuring actresses, dancers, and athletes who breathe life into characters society refuses to tell.
The Koalition spoke to Skyler Joy, who plays Gidget, a quirky and earnest trailer-park philosopher.
“Yeah. I think that a lot of people in this show are easy to judge when you just look at it but it’s totally different when you watch the show. So when I first got the audition I didn’t feel that way at all at first. I was just excited to do an audition that was different and I was excited to do an audition that kind of scared me but I knew I could do it. When I read the audition there wasn’t really anything that screamed like ‘ this was a stripper sexualized’ or anything, it was just a grounded audition between Gidget and her boyfriend Duffy. And so, I felt like when I read those sides it was so easy because Katori Hall, the writer and creator she writes these characters with so much depth that it makes it easier for an actor because you’re just there, it’s easier to live the character.”
“So when I first got the whole script, I like had like maybe twenty-minutes before I had to like go meet a friend, and was like ‘I’m gonna go to Starbucks, I’m gonna read some of this script and then all meet up with some of my friends’ and I sat there and I canceled my plans with my friend because the script is that good like it’s so good. It’s one of those things you can’t put down because these characters they’re so different but they’re so relatable if that makes sense.”
Playing Gidget didn’t come as easy to Joy at first. While Gidget is a second-generation pole dancer and the ultimate ride-or-die best friend who views stripping as an Olympic-worthy sport — high art, even, Joy lived in a town that didn’t even have a strip club. However, she tapped into herself to bring out Gidget’s natural confidence, and as a result, it changed her for the better.
“I feel like growing up I always kind of struggled with the shame around feeling sexy. I always felt like it was wrong or something and being able to play a role like this and play Gidget who is so utterly like herself unapologetically that it was very therapeutic for me in a way because I realized it’s okay to feel sexy, it’s okay to feel like this in this world. And I felt like playing her, it was definitely therapeutic and challenging.”
P-Valley currently airs on Starz.
Check out our full interview below.