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Desiree Akhavan’s ‘The Bisexual’ Shows What It’s Like To Question Your Sexuality In Your 30’s

‘The Bisexual’ is a new comedy-drama coming to Channel 4 later this month and from the first look of the trailer, it looks like it could potentially be something special!

Speaking about the show’s premise, writer, director, and star Desiree Akhavan said: “The show is a bisexual dating comedy about a woman who has identified as a lesbian for her whole life then comes out as bisexual and starts seeing men for the first time in her 30’s.”

Akhavan is coming hot on the heels of an already-successful 2018, having previously directed the critically-acclaimed ‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’ starring Chloë Grace Moretz. The film won the Grand Jury Award for US Drama at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Co-created alongside Cecilia Frugiuele, ‘The Bisexual’ sees Akhavan as Leila and is joined by Maxine Peake as her ex Sadie. Brian Gleeson, Michelle Guillot, and Saskia Chana also star in the series.

Speaking about how bisexuality can still be seen to some as a taboo subject, Frugiuele said:

It might be the odd “joke” here and then about the fact that bisexuals are not trustworthy, the idea that they all would be up for a threesome on a whim and that male bisexuality is just a gateway before admitting to being gay while women are just “experimenting”. Desiree is still kind of adverse to the word.

On whether the show is in any way autobiographical, Akhavan admits that the plot is not based on something she has personally experienced. “I’ve never identified as a lesbian and came out as bisexual from the start, but the characters in it are inspired by the people Cecilia and I know and love, so it comes from a very personal place. It’s a look at London and particularly Hackney as we know it.”

Peake admits that the main reason for joining the cast of ‘The Bisexual’ was Akhavan herself saying her previous film ‘Appropriate Behaviour’ was extraordinary. “They approached and asked if I’d be interested, and Desiree wrote me a lovely letter saying “I really don’t know your work, but people keep saying you should be playing Sadie.” And we did a little Skype interview, and I thought she was amazing. And we just clicked, and I thought “I really want to be part of this.”

It felt like nothing else I’d seen on British telly when I read it. And I felt like it was very different to stuff I’d done previously.

‘The Bisexual’ starts on Channel 4 on October 10th at 10pm. All episodes will then be available to stream on All 4, whilst the show will air on Hulu in America in the near future. The series will continue weekly on Channel 4.

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