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Creator Don Mancini and Watson first met on a panel talking about LGBTQ storytelling and were so impressed with each other that they decided to work together on “Chucky.” Watson, a non-binary actor, jumped at the chance to bring Glen and Glenda back to the screen for the first time since "Seed of Chucky" and spoke with USA Insider about the responsibility they felt to show the world how interesting non-binary characters can be.
They revealed they had mixed feelings about the portrayal because it was as important to them to be understated as it was to showcase queer stories to viewers who hadn’t been exposed to non-binary characters.
“I really feel like the point of it was almost to have it be this kind of nonchalant, unaddressed thing,” Watson explained.
For example, in Episode 4, when the twins explain gender-neutral words for niece and nephew like “nibbling,” Watson felt it was a good moment to teach the audience a thing or two about non-binary representation, while also remaining quite silly in the style of “Chucky.”
“Like, the words we chose were supposed to be a little bit silly and funny and it's got that ‘Chucky’ feeling of being so self-aware that you can laugh at it,” they explained. “Like, it doesn't have to be this serious, ‘We're getting political and we have to preach to people about gender’ thing. It's like, no, they are kind of funny and it is kind of a weird time to bring that up and you're allowed to laugh at it. That's something that I really appreciated about the way that Don wrote our characters is. Nothing is untouchable. Our characters are treated just like everyone else's characters are treated.”
In addition to exploring gender from within the role, Watson also wanted to honor the legacy of their characters.
“Honestly, these characters mean so much to people, and people's excitement for Glen and Glenda to be back, to me, it speaks to how monumental these characters were to people in the first place, and how rare it is to see yourself represented on screen in such a way,” they said. “I know this is a big step in bringing them back and they're big shoes to fill … even though they're tiny shoes to fill.”
Watson is pretty proud of the way their version of Glen and Glenda turned out. Specifically, they’re excited to show the world how interesting including non-binary characters can be to any project in the hopes more doors are open for people like them.
“This is probably the most monumental and perfect example of that I've gotten up until this point in my career. Because I've never been so literally able to show how different queer characters can be from each other and how lovely and magical it can be to play with gender and to have queer characters be a part of your stories,” they concluded. “So, if I were to tell the audience what they can take away from it, I would say, explore gender, imagine bigger things outside of what you know, and go with the flow, but I also feel like I have an opportunity to show other networks and showrunners and creators and writers how putting nonbinary characters in your projects and telling queer stories is not a risk.”
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