Interview with Sophie Zucker

Dickinson 3 is coming. The comedy series, portrayed by Hailee Steinfeld, explores the constraints of society, gender and family from the perspective of rebellious young poet Emily Dickinson. Set in the 19th century, the series is a coming-of-age story that finds Emily to be the unexpected hero for our millennial generation. The first three episodes of the third and final season will premiere November 5 on Apple TV+, with new episodes airing Friday weekly until December 24.

Chiffon Magazine meets Sophie Zucker, who plays Abby Wood in Apple TV’s Dickinson. The comedian is also a writer on the show.

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Gus Birney, Kevin Yee, Teddy Bergman, Sophie Zucker, Max Chernin and Allegra Heart in “Dickinson” season three, premiering November 5, 2021 on Apple TV+.

The third season of Dickinson is debuting soon. How do you feel? How would you describe Abby Wood?

I’m really pumped for this season of Dickinson to air. I’m also a writer on the show, and from what I’ve gathered in the room and on set, I do think it’s going to be the best season yet. It feels like the third season is really in its groove. In past years I’ve gotten sneak peaks of certain episodes but this year, I didn’t watch any so I’m also just curious as to how it all comes together. But I know it’s gonna be good.

My character Abby is a lovable idiot. I describe her as Emily Dickinson’s frenemy – she’s part of this mean girl clique in town who are always at Emily’s house but constantly trash talking her. Although in recent seasons, Abby has come to believe she is genuinely friends with Emily. I don’t know. She’s pretty stupid.

 How did you prepare for the role?

I’m more of a comedian than an actor, so I don’t think I really prepared for this in the traditional sense. Abby’s a role I fall into pretty easily. So I just did what I normally did – performed as much comedy as I could and mentally prepared myself to wear a corset for six months.

 What did you learn from this show?

From a backstage perspective, Dickinson was my first time in a writers’ room and first time with a substantial part on set, so I learned just a ton about working in those capacities. What it’s like to see a story to completion, how to build a world, how to adjust to waking up at 3am most mornings, etc etc.

Interview with Sophie Zucker
Hailee Steinfeld, Kevin Yee, Sophie Zucker, Allegra Heart, Jane Krakowski, Anna Baryshnikov and Amanda Warren in “Dickinson” season three, premiering November 5, 2021 on Apple TV+.

 I love that in Dickinson, women and their ambitions are the center of the story. What do you think about it?

I’m into it. I’m really only interested in TV about women. I don’t even say that to be woke or subversive – it’s just what I like to watch. Like the only movies I like to watch are romantic comedies. So I’m pretty much Dickinson’s target audience because it’s all about interesting female characters, one in particular.

 Emily Dickinson is such a charming female figure. What did you learn from this woman that you can bring to others?

I think the most fascinating part of Emily Dickinson to me – and this is something we focused on in Season 2 – is that she was only published posthumously. Her desire to remain hidden, to keep her art for its target audience, is something I am interested in incorporating into my life. I feel like I and many other artists are always trying to be as public as possible – get big on Twitter and get a TV job, you know. But Emily Dickinson was content writing poems for herself and a select few readers. It’d be nice to feel like that and maybe keep some of my life private. I say this as I draft some personally invasive tweets about my IBS, but whatever.

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 When did your passion for acting begin?

When I was 8, I auditioned for my synagogue’s Purim spiel because all my friends were doing it, and I got the lead. And then I pursued it, because I only like to do stuff I’m good at.

 Who were your biggest influences?

Kristen Schaal and Miley Cyrus.

As a young woman in 2021, how do you approach your profession?

You know how there’s always bad jokes about how women can’t do certain professions because they’re too emotional? That’s me. I’m way too emotional for my career. I take every rejection hard and everything personally. I care way too much. So how do I approach my profession? Probably badly.

 As a viewer, what film do you love?

My favorite TV show of all time is Scrubs and my favorite movie is Slumdog Millionaire.

Describe your perfect day:

Any day where I have no obligations and someone else is paying for my mimosas. And then I just take it from there.


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