Megalyn Echikunwoke has been talking about her role on NBC’s ambitious near-future drama pilot Beautiful People. The actress talks about her role and offers insight into where those Blade Runner parallels begin and end.
Beautiful People is set in the near-future where humans co-exist with human-looking robots who are treated like second-class citizens. The drama centers on the very wealthy Lydia (Frances Conroy), whose late husband founded the firm that makes Mechanicals. Echikunwoke plays the boss of Lydia’s other son, attorney Gregory (James Murray).
On what attracted her to Beautiful People:
To be honest, it’s actually not a story that hasn’t been told before. Once people see it, it’s the same themes as Blade Runner or A.I., or any of those futuristic, robots-in-the-future type themes. That story has been told before. What’s different about this is the way it’s written and the execution. That’s what’s really going to hook people. Michael McDonald is a really special talent and he’s such a good writer that, when I read this, I just thought, “Gosh, I’ve heard this story before and I’ve seen this played at, but I’ve never seen it told or executed this way, so why not give it a shot.”
Also, it was an opportunity to work with the same people from House of Lies again. That was a big plus for me. I had so much fun doing that, and they’re so good at what they do. With this show, it’s gotta be really, really good for it to be a success and stay on the air and to even get picked up. I felt like I was going into something that sounded like something we’ve seen it before and that it was just another one of those sci-fi shows that could be boring, but because of the people involved, it’s going to be really, really good. It’s not going to get picked up or stay on the air unless it is. Oftentimes, shows are really mediocre, but they stay on the air. I don’t think this is going to be one of those shows, so that feels good.
On her role in the story:
I play an attorney. I play the boss of James Murray’s character. Frances Conroy plays the mother, and she’s got two sons. One of her sons is an attorney, and I play his colleague and boss at this law firm. He’s also my childhood crush. I’ve just graduated law school and become a lawyer, and I work at my father’s firm. We work together on cases. The cast is really cool and really interesting.
It’s encouraging to hear that the project is striving for quality. Hopefully it makes it to series and gets time to tell its story. Of all the 2012 pilots on the seriabledar, Beautiful People is among those that I’m most interested in exploring.
We’ll keep you posted on Beautiful People as it develops.