Patricia Arquette is currently starring in the Showtime series Escape at Dannemora, a seven-part series focusing on the prison escape at the Clinton Correctional Facility in New York in 2015 that captured the country’s attention. But it is Patricia’s, 50, performance that has people talking now.
The Oscar winner plays Joyce “Tilly” Mitchell, a prison worker who actually helped two inmates, Richard Matt and David Sweat, escape from behind bars. For the character, Patricia had to gain 40 pounds, in a role that the actress admits isn’t a “sexy-movie-body type.” “Here’s someone whose body type’s not your typical sexy-movie-body type, but who’s unapologetically sexual and enjoys her sexuality,” the Boyhood actress tells The Telegraph. “Why does society make us feel like that’s wrong or weird?”
Patricia continues to ponder why a woman’s body type or age should determine if they’re considered attractive or not, adding, “Why aren’t you allowed to be a sexual woman at 50-years-old, with a 50-year-old woman’s body?” Not only did the actress have to gain weight for the role, she also had to sport a dental device. And while Patricia has already received praise for her role, including nominations at the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards, she doesn’t feel the need to make herself more “likable” for people.
“It’s a burden people put so much more often upon women – and actresses – than they do upon men,” Patricia, a mother of two, says. “‘Is she likable? How can we make her likable? How do we make people empathize with her?’ I don’t care about that.” Patricia adds, “It’s liberating to not worry about being likable.”
Ben Stiller, better known for his comedy background, directs all seven episodes of Escape at Dannemora. The mini-series also stars Benicio Del Toro, Bonnie Hunt, and Eric Lange. The final episode airs Dec. 30.