Elizabeth Perkins: 'Minx' a great study on female bosses in the '70s

Ophelia Lovibond (L) and Elizabeth Perkins star in "Minx." Season 2 of the comedy premieres Friday. Photo courtesy of Starz
1 of 5 | Ophelia Lovibond (L) and Elizabeth Perkins star in "Minx." Season 2 of the comedy premieres Friday. Photo courtesy of Starz

NEW YORK, July 21 (UPI) -- Big, About Last Night and Afterparty actress Elizabeth Perkins says she joined the cast of Minx because the comedy explores feminism, workplace dynamics and sexual mores in 1970s Los Angeles like nothing else on screen today.

Season 2 premieres Friday on Starz. The show follows Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond) and Doug (Jake Johnson) -- the publishers of an erotic magazine for women.


Assisting them are quirky, resourceful staff members Bambi (Jessica Lowe), Richie (Oscar Montoya), Shelly (Lennon Parnham) and Tina (Idara Victor).

Perkins' character, Constance, is introduced as an angel investor in the new episodes.

"It's a great study on what it was like to be a female boss in the early 1970s," Perkins told UPI in a Zoom interview before the Screen Actors Guild strike began last week.

"My character, Constance Papadopoulos, is a wealthy titan who is now sort of languishing in her villa with her naked boys and her butler and is somehow brought in as a benefactor to the magazine," the actress said.


"Because she is a self-made entrepreneur, it sort of sparks something in her that she tries to impart in the magazine and elevates the magazine to a much bigger status on a much larger stage and [shows] how that fame and success consequently affects everybody involved."

Perkins signed on for the role after seeing a commercial for the show, and then immediately binged Season 1.

"I thought: 'Wow! OK, this show has so much going for it, with the whole vibe of Los Angeles in the 1970s, everything that was going on with the feminist movement,'" she said.

"You've got Doug, this pornographer, struggling it out in the Valley, Bambi's struggles [as a failed actress] and Lennon Parnham as a housewife at home [taking a break from the workforce]. It was really, really touching on a lot of women's interests and what it was like to navigate that world at that time."

Of all the characters on the show, Constance probably connects best with Joyce, although the businesswoman and the journalist keep their relationship professional instead of becoming overly friendly.

"'Respect' is the key word," Perkins said.


"Constance sees the younger version of herself. Constance was the first woman to have a seat on the New York Stock Exchange," she added. "She was in it and she was clawing her way in a man's world, so she sees a little bit of herself in Joyce and wants to take her under her wing."

Ideologically, they don't always agree on what should go in the magazine or how it should be marketed.

"Constance is 20, 30 years older, and her version of feminism is quite different from Joyce's. The places that Constance is willing to go are a little more limited than Joyce," Perkins said.

"There is a little bit of conflict there, and I think Constance is a very powerful woman who is going to go after what she wants, and if there is collateral damage there is collateral damage."

Constance's opinion of the ambitious and outrageous Doug improves as the season proceeds.

"She sees him as a spitfire," Perkins said. "Whether she respects him as much as, say she does Joyce, I'm not sure. Constance is also smart enough to know to keep her eye on the end game and she is willing to manipulate anyone to get to ultimately where she wants to be."


She will show affection or offer someone a job or cut somebody off as situations call for.

"It's all part of the plan for her to ultimately have control," Perkins said.

Constance won't back a plan, regardless of how innovative it is or passionate the person who came up with it is, if she doesn't believe it will pay off.

"She's all about the money," Perkins said.

"It's about keeping it afloat. It's about go bigger, go bigger, go global, go, go. I think that appeals to Doug on many levels, but I think it's all about fame, success and money, and I think Constance has a tendency to lose sight of what is Joyce's goal here."

Minx might be set nearly half a century ago, but it reflects obstacles that still resonate in 2023.

"It's interesting that the show is out right now, particularly when we talk about women's rights and what is going on right now in our country with Roe v. Wade [being overturned]," Perkins said.

"A lot of the issues that we were fighting for in the '70s we are, literally, still fighting for. I think offers a perspective in terms of the history of how long women have been fighting for equality," she added. "A lot of the subjects that we touch on are prescient."


Of course, the show is a work of fiction first and foremost meant to entertain.

"On a lighter level, I think the nostalgia of Los Angeles in the 1970s is a really fun, funky, interesting time period to pursue," Perkins said.

"Nostalgically, to look back on in terms of music and Laurel Canyon and cars and fashion, LA was really the epi-center of 'hip' in America at the time."

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