Mena Suvari Portrays Modern 'American Woman' in Throwback Series

June 7, 2018

By Alyssa Caverley

The producers of "American Woman" set out to create a period drama about three women confronting sexism, changing gender roles, and female empowerment. Though it is set during the second-wave feminist movement of the 1970s, the series, starring Men Suvari, could just as well be about the #MeToo movement in the era of Time's Up.

"This show has actually been in development for about five years now, so obviously it's an amazing day and age that we are living in because of these conversations, but it was sort of happenstance for us and I think it's really wonderful," Suvari said in an interview with Cheddar. "It has the potential to create and furthermore of these conversations about where we were at."

Suvari plays a wealthy, single Beverly Hills socialite looking for love from all the wrong men. She's best friend to the show's main character, Bonnie, played by Alicia Silverstone.

"It's 1975 and this is right around the time of the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) trying to pass and there's this huge wave of feminism that's sweeping through the country and it's woven throughout the entire series," Suvari said. "You really see each of these women coming up against all sorts of life challenges."

The character of Bonnie was inspired by "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Kyle Richards's mother, and Richards is a co-executive producer of the series on Paramount Network. Bonnie is trying to raise her two children on her own after her marriage fell apart.

The show also stars Jennifer Bartel as Diana, who is trying to climb the corporate ladder in the male-dominated finance industry.

"It's such a wild ride with all of these women," Suvari said, adding she hopes modern women will see something relatable in the portrayals of the 70s versions of themselves.

"I think it's highly relatable and what I love about it and hope for, is that it creates more conversation about where we were and where we need to be and where we want to go as women," she said.

The show had its debut on Thursday at 10 p.m. ET.

For full interview, click here.