“A League of Their Own” star Lea Robinson plays the most important TV character

“How do I fit in there?” is one of Lea Robinson’s first questions [pronounced “Lee”] wondered when her manager said they would submit her for the new one A league of its own reinvent. Reading the script, Robinson quickly realized that Bertie Hart is “a role of his life.” Bertie’s storyline in the second half of the season is part of co-creator and star Abbi Jacobson’s promise that the show is “big about queerness.”

The Amazon series reboot – actually an extension – of Penny Marshall’s 1992 film, which premiered on Streamer earlier this month, has earned deserved praise for its insightful and nuanced portrayal of queer women, the gamers, their sexuality was never explored in the original film. There’s a whole spectrum of queer experiences portrayed on the show, but perhaps the most surprising and progressive is that of Bertie, a black, gender-nonconforming trans community leader who unveils a whole secret world of bliss that of queer people of Color is lived behind closed doors.

Bertie was classified as female at birth and presents herself as transmasculine in this binary era by dressing in exquisite tailored suits. That was in 1943. That’s monumental. As is Robinson’s casting itself.

Representation through casting is important, and Hollywood is slow Improving the casting of trans actors in trans roles. Robinson is transgender and non-binary gender non-conforming, it’s not often that a part comes along that speaks so loudly. “I know Bertie; hell, to a certain extent, I am Bertie,” says Robinson. “It was this opportunity to give a voice to so many who came before me.”

(Warning: The spoilers of the first season of A league of its own ahead.)

The first season of A league of its own examines why not all women had the opportunity to apply for the newly formed All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Prolific pitcher Maxine “Max” Chapman (Chanté Adams) must find an alternative way to pursue her dream of playing ball since the league doesn’t allow black players. The expectation of breaking into the family hairdressing business conflicts with Max’s ambitions, and she also struggles to envision a future with a husband by her side. A league of its own does not pull a Beauty and the Beast-Style “gay exclusive moment” bait and switch as Max is one of several secret characters exploring their sexual identity.

“Max is Bertie’s niece, and it’s been quite some time and time that they haven’t been connected.” describes Robinson. “So there’s a lot at stake in this reconnection.” Bertie’s estrangement from Max’s mother, Toni (Saidah Arrika Ekulona), is the reason Max has no vivid memory of her uncle. Finding her relative’s address is a turning point that opens Max’s eyes to a future that doesn’t have to remain in the shadows. Bertie lives with her longtime partner Gracie (Patrice Covington) – Bertie calls Gracie his wife – and this home is filled with love.

When Robinson was offered the role — excuse the baseball puns — it was like a home run. They were at their nine-to-five job “to complete that training and then get the call, be on the phone and get the offer … It was amazing.”

The Peaches and the black townspeople of Rockford overlap through the bonding of Max and Carson (Jacobson). They secretly meet to practice tag, play games, and talk about what it meant to live an authentic life back then. In Episode 6, separate gatherings at an underground bar and Bertie’s house on the outskirts of town illustrate the size of the queer community; For many viewers, that’s a revelation considering this was a time when you could be jailed for existing in a space like this. Even dressing in women’s clothing was a punishable offense.

“This is us. Let’s be proud, let’s step out and take care of each other.”

“We look at the stories that haven’t been told,” says Robinson. “I was glad that Bertie’s character had the depth to be a black, non-binary, gender-nonconforming person during this time,” explains Robinson. “All the challenges and different things that Bertie was dealing with.”

Bertie has a complicated relationship with her sister, but her life is anything but miserable.There were challenges and hardships,” says Robinson. “There was a lot of joy, too.” Sure, they live by railroad tracks, and trains keep waking them up in the middle of the night, but losing a little bit of sleep is a trade-off that’s “worth it in order to be able to create that part of your world.” “.


Seeing Bertie and Gracie flirt the morning after party or enjoy a date night at the bowling alley reminds us of how this couple balances each other: “It was amazing to be able to show all these different things that Bertie was navigating: Love and being an older, queer, trans, non-binary person in someone else’s life who is questioning.” Robinson would also like to explore Bertie and Toni’s past, which is touched upon in the season one finale when the issue of safety shows up.

“I can’t believe you let him come in here looking like that,” Max says to Gracie in the bowling alley about Bertie’s custom-made male clothing in Episode 6. “Isn’t that dangerous?” Robinson spoke to the writers about the reality in living authentically in a hostile environment, and was encouraged to “bring my whole self and my full range of experiences into the role, and something that kept striking me in our conversations was this idea of ​​yes, there are challenges.”

The backstory that Robinson created is that Bertie and Gracie had conversations about how to live safely: “This is us. Let’s be proud, let’s step out and take care of each other.” Robinson kept coming back to “this idea of ​​joy and whatever that means. Whether that means walking in your own skin and one day being and surviving. Going outside, doing what you have to do, and surviving when you get home.”

During the prickly conversation with Toni, Bertie explains that an inauthentic life offers no protection. “For some of us, sure is not sure,” Bertie tells her sister why they had to leave all those years ago. Robinson linked it to “reflecting on what it means to be safe, to seek protection and what it means to seek your chosen family”.

Robinson looked at the broader historical context: “How does it feel to be Bertie at this time? what is safe What is not safe? What might my trans women experience from siblings of color?” This helped keep her intent on who Bertie is and “how we talk about being advocates and safety.”

The episode “Stealing Home” shows how taking on new scenarios can provide a life-changing experience. On one side of town, some of the peaches are enjoying a night out at an underground gay bar; on the other hand, Max attends her first soiree at Bertie’s house.

“This beautiful party where everyone is who they are and embrace their beauty, whether it’s with their clothes, their behavior, or their conversations,” is a moment that sent Robinson back to her first queer party. “As soon as I walked into that, I was like, ‘Oh my God! These are my people! I found some people I never knew were here,'” recalls Robinson.


It was one of the longest days of filming, but it was impressive for Robinson to envision the LGBT sanctuary Bertie and Gracie have created in this little corner of Illinois. “Black and brown people that are on the queer spectrum, and they’re right here,” Robinson describes. “You might not see them during the day or in other rooms because we had to move in certain ways. They have this party where everyone puts their whole self into it and it’s beautiful.”

The episode and cuts between the intimate dancing at both venues before an almighty bang warns bar owner Vi (Rosie O’Donnell) that the police are raiding the place. “I cried during that scene too,” says Robinson, after mentioning the punch in my stomach I felt when this love-filled sequence was shattered in an instant.

Greta (D’Arcy Carden) and Carson storm into the movie theater next door (it’s on). The Wizard of Oz) to evade arrest just for living their lives. “Talk about safety, feeling like you’re in that bubble of safety, and all of a sudden you’re not, and how it ends up being how it looks to all of us,” Robinson says of the reality of that moment.

Clothing is one way Bertie navigates this world, and they tell Max at the bowling alley, “It’s all about the suit. The suit fits you, you cut it right, it commands respect and I know how to cut it right.”

Everything from the tailored suits to the handkerchiefs, socks, robes and even Bertie’s slippers is carefully thought out to connect with the overall vision. This includes basic clothing items “appropriate for the era” and speaks to the dressing room discussions with costume designer Trayce Gigi Field. “There were talks – and I’m talking about collaboration here – about bonds. As a trans non-binary person, that’s a part of my life. That’s part of my identity when I leave my house.” Robinson explains. “What am I wearing and what parts of my outfit speak to me and support who I am in the world? We even talked about it.”

The Gift of a Suit is a moment of rupture and repair between Bertie and Max as they explore this new relationship. “I want Max to wear the suit the way I wanted to wear it, but I’m so proud of Max because he’s an individual because we’ve all been there,” notes Robinson of Max giving the suit her personal touch gives exquisite garment. “Bertie can make a choice. Either get attached to a suit or be proud of Max because he’s in your power.”

“They said, ‘We love you, we just had a son.’”

Rather than pushing her niece in a direction that goes against herself, Bertie understands that telling someone how to dress is not conducive to a strong relationship. When Max asks her uncle to cut her hair earlier, it suggests a lot more than growing a new shorter hair. Robinson describes this intimate act as “welcoming Max into my life, my life with Gracie and the community.”

When Robinson talks about her family, it’s clear they’ve been through ups and downs. “My parents weren’t too keen on the fact that I was gay at first,” they explain. “I’ve had a lot of conversations with them about it. They were concerned and nervous for my safety and it was tough.”

A turning point came when Robinson moved closer to home, “My mom said, ‘Listen, look, this is our kid, and we love you and we accept you for everything.’ Now Robinson’s parents go to Pride events. When they were found to be trans-identified, Robinson’s mother asked, “‘What are your pronouns?’ We had conversations about it and they were like, ‘We love you, we just had a son.'”

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https://www.thedailybeast.com/obsessed/a-league-of-their-own-star-lea-robinson-plays-tvs-most-important-character?source=articles&via=rss “A League of Their Own” star Lea Robinson plays the most important TV character


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: hung@interreviewed.com.

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