No matter what industry you're in, the beginning of your career is a scary time, mostly because you have no idea what you’re doing. But with the right support system, it can also be a really exciting one. For Katie Stevens, playing the budding reporter Jane in Season 2 of The Bold Type has been a similarly thrilling experience.
“I think I saw a lot of myself in Jane, and I loved that she has had these wild dreams of working at Scarlet and being a writer and becoming the people that she admires,” Stevens tells Bustle. “I feel like that was what my journey is. [I'm on] a different career path, but [being an actor and being a writer are] both difficult things to aspire to." Of course, starting out in a creative field is never easy, but Stevens says she admires Jane's tireless work ethic. "She doesn’t get everything perfectly right and she makes mistakes," she adds, but that's part of what makes Jane so real and relatable, especially to Stevens' own life. "I get to figure things out myself through playing Jane."
Just as Jane has her besties Sutton and Kat, Stevens is able to lean on actors Meghann Fahy and Aisha Dee in real life as they all experience the ups and downs of carrying a critically acclaimed TV show about millennial women into its second season. It helps that being friends IRL makes it easier for them all to inhabit their characters, too.
“Everyone is always so shocked when they see us together in real life, but our friendship on the show is so real because it’s our real friendship coming through, so like a lot of the fun, quirky things that you see on the show are ad-libs that we throw in,” Stevens says. “I’m very lucky to work with people that I love. That’s not always the case on every set. But it’s great because if one of us is having a bad day, the other two can take the reins… we balance each other out and help each other out.”
It’s this kind of support that Stevens says separates The Bold Type from many other shows on television that depict female friendships. “I always think about the stuff that I watched as a teenager… Gossip Girl and The O.C. and these shows that depict friendship, but they show the friends backstabbing each other and then the next day, they turn around and forgive each other, and that’s just not true to what friendship is,” Stevens says. “I think that gives the wrong example to especially young girls.” But The Bold Type's friendship philosophy is that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that being kind and supportive of other women doesn’t diminish your own shine. “It only makes you brighter,” Stevens says.
Not only are Jane, Sutton, and Kat so supportive of each other on The Bold Type, but another wonderful aspect of the show is that the men that the women work with and live among are not afraid of strong women. “Sam Page [who plays Richard]… was talking at a panel the other night, saying most shows that he’s worked on, the female characters are mistreated in stories and depicted as the kind of… he didn’t use the word props, but they’re not at the forefront of their own stories,” Stevens says. “He even said that it’s nice to be on a show that flips that.”
But as strong as these women are, there are plenty of obstacles for Jane and her friends to overcome in Season 2. A writer, Jane left her beloved Scarlet magazine for an online magazine at the end of Season 1, and previews for Season 2 show her new gig may not be going as well as Jane had hoped. Jane has quite the Type A personality (Stevens does too, she admits), and she’s enjoying working through Jane’s path. “How does she grow? I’ve had a really great time exploring that journey,” Stevens says.
In Season 1 of The Bold Type, Jane was also tested for the BRCA gene, a gene that, according to cancer.gov, predisposes certain women to breast and ovarian cancer, and her tests came back positive. Stevens says that we’ll see more of Jane’s struggle to deal with her status and what kind of decisions she needs to make to ensure her own health in Season 2. “You’re going to see how it affects her and her relationships and what she wants out of life. It’s something that affects many women, and it’s something that I don’t think we talk about enough,” Stevens says.
Jane’s job and health are serious and important, but you know what’s also important to the viewers? Jane’s love life! Jane had her first orgasm in Season 1, but she hasn’t had a great deal of luck in the romance department since — she’s been working too hard! But don’t worry — in Season 2, according to Stevens, Jane has not one but two chances at love. “She writes a story about this doctor who specializes in low-income patients and women... You’ll see them sort of build a romance,” Stevens says. A blast from the past is coming back, too. “You’ll also see Pinstripe come back, and you’ll see them try to cultivate a friendship, but they have undeniable chemistry, and how will that work?” Stevens teases.
A new job, great friends, and two potential romances? “It’s been fun all around for Jane this season,” Stevens says. The sky is the limit for Jane this season on The Bold Type, and as long as she has Sutton and Kat along for the ride, she’ll be able to handle anything that comes her way.
Correction: A previous version of this story mischaracterized an aspect of Jane's love life in Season 1. It has since been corrected.