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The Power’s Toni Collette & John Leguizamo On Subverting Gender Norms

‘The Power’s Toni Collette & John Leguizamo On Subverting Gender Norms

Toni Collette & John Leguizamo
Courtesy of Prime Video

PRIDE sat down with the stars of the new series to talk about empowerment and how it upends ideas of gender.


It’s not a stretch to imagine Toni Collette leading us into a new age of female empowerment, so when her character in The Power, Mayor Margot Cleary-Lopez, steps into the limelight to play a key role in doing just that, it feels correct — even as the world around her is turned on its head.

The show, which is based on the novel by Naomi Alderman — and co-stars John Leguizamo as her husband Rob Lopez, and Auli’i Cravalho as Jos Cleary-Lopez her daughter, along with an incredible ensemble of cast members — is set in a world that’s shaken to its foundations when young women everywhere spontaneously discover they have the power in the literal palms of their hands to topple everything we know about the structure of power in society.

Toni Collette, Auli'i Carvalho & John Leguizamo in The Power

Courtesy of Prime Video

Some use that power to take down oppressive governments, others use it to lift movements of women in, ahem, cult-like fashion — but the result everywhere around is that nothing can, nor ever will, be the same. It’s a deeply cathartic and thought-provoking series that begs questions not only about the default patriarchal societies but about gender and bodily autonomy. Both are deeply resonating ideas in our current state of affairs, with waves of legislation being written to reign in both women’s rights to their bodies and gender expression all across the spectrum.

Watch PRIDE’s full Interview with The Power stars Toni Collette & John Leguizamo below.

The Power couldn’t be more timely, which Collette reveals was a major factor in her decision to take on the role of Margot. “It’s really exciting to be able to work on something that’s so aligned with what’s happening culturally and within our world at the moment,” she tells PRIDE. “I think the story ultimately is incredibly empowering. It’s about inclusivity and equality and these are issues that we’re all fighting for. That absolutely made me want to do it.”

Toni Collette  in The Power

Courtesy of Prime Video

Leguizamo was also drawn to the ways that the series subverts toxic masculinity. His character is a supportive husband who loves and respects his wife just as she is — strong, empowered, and ambitious. But when the narrative threatens to fall into standard tropes that feed into the idea that masculinity is the enemy of a powerful woman, he instead goes to a vulnerable, and ultimately more empowered, place himself.

It was a role that Leguizamo found refreshing. “I love this new masculinity that Rob represents,” he tells PRIDE. “A sort of a sensitive, vulnerable, and nurturing type of male. I mean, all men have that. And we’re not allowed, or we don’t let ourselves or society... historically has not let us lean on that. But I think it’s more manly, it’s so much more interesting. And it makes the world a better place.”

Toni Collette & John Leguizamo in The Power

Courtesy of Prime Video

“What I love about Rob is he’s the man behind the woman. And the role reversal is a lot of fun,” he adds. “She’s the powerful one, the career one. And I’m more like, I want to take care of the relationship. I want her to ask me about my day and see how I’m doing. I love that.”

It’s an illuminating look at how even men are empowered by feminism, and how toxic masculinity is a trap. It’s just one of the ways the series challenges and upends the confines of gender which are laid out by society rather than allowing for everyone, no matter where they land on the gender spectrum to express themselves as their most authentic selves. It’s, well, powerful.

The Power premieres March 31 on Prime Video. Watch the trailer below.

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