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Good Trouble's Emma Hunton On The Importance of Depicting Denvia's Stability, Sexism in Theater & Body Positivity!

Good Trouble is producing all kinds of good drama these days, and Davia is at the center of some of it.

As we saw in Good Trouble Season 5 Episode 10, the midseason finale left the talented new lead of a play reeling from her co-star's inappropriate move on her while feeling uncertain about her role in the play altogether.

But one thing that has been fairly solid during Good Trouble Season 5 thus far is Denvia and the healthy place they've reached in their relationship.

We were fortunate enough to speak with the multitalented, genuine star Emma Hunton to discuss Davia's arc, Denvia, body positivity, and more.

Check out our chat!

My first question is, really, why are men such men? Between Brayden, Dennis, and Ranjit's drama, it feels like Davia has her hands full. Poor Davia. All she wants to do is sing and perform.

Every time Davia tries to do something that makes her happy, she gets caught up in some drama that she doesn't mean to. So she's just trying to do her best and follow her passion and happiness. And it gets a little complicated because Davia always gets caught up in the drama!

What I love is that, for once, she's not the cause of it. It's like, "Am I the drama?" Davia was not the drama. She's been in a great place, and everybody else is pulling her in.

Exactly. It's not her fault this time!

Davia and Dennis have finally fallen into a happy, stable relationship with each other. Can you talk a bit about their relationship journey this season?

Yeah, for sure. We've spent the better part of five seasons just rooting for Davia and Dennis to get together. And now that they are, it's really interesting because they get a lot of messages from people who, particularly young women where some of them, think that Davia and Dennis are predictable or boring.

But we're also so used to seeing couples on television and in movies have some conflict, and instead of working through it together, it drives them apart.

What's great about this, particularly this season with Davia and Dennis, is that it shows what real couples go through and how they approach different problems together as a unit instead of letting them drive them apart.

Younger people need to see that people work through relationship issues.

We're so used to seeing dramatic relationships that we don't realize the safety and comfort of finding someone who gets you and wants to work through something with you.

We will see more of Davia and Dennis working through what that means to get through issues together. I am proud of how their relationship has grown over the season. It's important for people to see a healthy relationship on TV.

It's shockingly rare to see that, I agree. Often the relationship itself is used as a vehicle for drama. Here, we see that Denvia has external conflict they have to face together rather than internal conflict within their relationship.

Davia doesn't care for Ranjit and sees through him. How do you envision her helping Dennis through this Ranjit era? Davia is protective of Dennis, and I imagine things get more intense here.

Particularly with this midseason finale, we see both Davia and Dennis are very cautious of the people their partners choose to let into their lives and work closely with.

Instead of immediately pointing that out and blaming, they're really trying to trust each other and their judgment with the people they're letting into their lives. It will test the limits of their relationship and how open they're willing to be with each other for the sake of their relationship.

I appreciate how Davia's theater arc touches on the subtle sexism in the industry.

We saw that with the understudy situation and generally how they've been treating Davia compared to the boys all season. And she's already felt insecure in her position as a lead the entire time. Can you talk about that and maybe your experiences as a theater actor?

What I love about our writers and Joanna Johnson is that she doesn't write anything that feels out of pocket for us. She's not from the theater world, so she's not just going to write about it. She's going to ask me about my experiences, and she's so careful about how she approaches things.

In a way, I respect and appreciate that as an actor. We've had close personal conversations about what it's like to be not only a woman in theater but particularly a curvier woman. I've been a lot of sizes in my life. And I wanted to touch on the fact that the theater industry is very brutal on women.

And it's because it tends to be an industry that is hard on women because there are not many stories told from a woman's perspective. We leave a lot of stories to white men to direct, write, tell, and produce. It's important to touch upon because we can't just have stories being told by one genre of person.

It's not just enough to have people represented onstage. We have to have people represented backstage and in on the creative team. And more cohesive environments tend to happen when we don't have creative teams specifically made up of one type of person.

Joanna's done a great job of showing the frustration. Davia is not very well known in the theater industry. She's coming back to it after a long time. So there's that weird in-between place of when is it enough to stand up for yourself versus too much when you don't.

Absolutely. Yeah.

Joanna and our writers are fantastic. They've toed that line so wonderfully.

That's a beautiful lesson because it's always your place to stand up, say what's wrong, and point out the issue in the room. That's a big problem in theater that we don't feel safe saying when something's a little bit messed up. I love that we get to touch on that because the theater industry's a bit of a mess right now. We're getting there, but it's messy.

You were just talking about being in an industry as a curvy, well, woman of all sizes. You were gorgeous before. You're gorgeous. You've always been gorgeous. It's really unfortunate that you dealt with so much body shaming, and I remember seeing some of it directed at you, and it was appalling.

Was it more prominent before or after your weight changed? Why do you think people feel so entitled to people's bodies and their images?

I don't know why people feel like they have the right to comment on anyone's body, to be honest. I think that's an opinion people should keep to themselves.

Unfortunately, I think we live in a world where that's never going to click with everybody, and you can never make everyone happy 100% of the time.

There's always going to be people that think I'm too big. There will always be people who think I'm too small, and at the end of the day, all I can do is be happy with who I am when I come home at night.

That's who I have to live with at the end of the day. I have to worry about whether I'm healthy or happy. And honestly, the only person whose opinion I care about when I get home is my dog. And if he's happy to see me, I've had a great day.

They're fantastic that way, aren't they?

They really are. It's always easier said than done. Of course, there will be days when what someone says hurts a little bit harder because of whatever you're going through personally.

I don't know that there's a solution to that, but I do know that the older I get and deal with it every day, the more I realize that no matter what I do, I will never make everyone happy. It makes it easier to let go.

It's horrible that you had to go through it at all.

But I appreciated that you made more people aware of how universal body shaming is just a universal thing. It didn't matter what size you were, you were still subjected to it, and I think people often equate body shaming to something directed at heavier people.

Yeah. When I was growing up, my mom was vegan for a period in high school, but that was also when she was her heaviest. Just because someone is doing healthy things doesn't mean they're at their healthiest or their best weight or doing what's best for their body.

Everybody's body is different. As long as someone is healthy and happy and doing what gives them energy and makes them feel their best, that's what matters.

It's just insane to me that people feel that they have the right to say, you look unhealthy. It's like, well, when did you get my blood work?

Right? My mom's always had fluctuating weight and thyroid issues growing up. I saw firsthand all the judgment she'd face and assumptions made about her health because of what she physically looked like, and it was mind-boggling and frustrating.

There are people who lost copious amounts of weight that people would call quote unquote healthy, who are like not surviving inside and they're losing weight from stress, and everyone will just compliment them on how they look on the outside.

That's also a big lesson. Often, we'll go up to people and say, "Oh my God, you look so good."It's not necessarily poorly meant, but you don't always know what someone is going through.

When I first lost weight, it was because my mom had gone through cancer, and I had just lost my mom. And whenever someone would tell me, you look so good, it was a constant reminder of why I lost the weight.

Yeah. I have a friend who recently lost her mother to cancer as well, and Mother's Day was so hard on her this year, and I didn't know how to help her through that. I imagine it was also a difficult day for you; how did you get through it?

The silver lining I learned after losing my mother is that it taught me how to be there for others who go through similar situations. And the number one thing I always tell people is to feel your feelings because they're all valid.

It doesn't matter what your feelings are; they're all valid. Before she passed, my mom always said, "Don't keep your feelings in because it makes you sick."

I always tell people, when they're upset, "Feel your feelings. It's okay not to be okay." The sooner we acknowledge that and accept that, the sooner you can sort of work through it.

Now, I know you have other projects as well. You guys have wrapped filming. I know it's a strike, so everything's all out of whack now at the moment.

We have. We're still filming, but we were fortunate that our scripts were finished and they had wrapped up before the writer strike happened. We only have a couple of episodes left to film, but fortunately, we're able to support our writers who are striking.

You've been busy with some of your other work, too, yes?

I have a burlesque company that I work with called Cherry Poppins. And we're doing a version of Clue right now at Transplant Granny's every Wednesday. And then this summer, I'm doing a production parody musical of The Exorcist, which will be really awesome. It's really fun!

--- This interview has been edited for length and clarity---

You can catch Emma Hunton in Good Trouble on Freeform.

If you need to catch up on the season, you can watch Good Trouble online here via TV Fanatic. You can also check out our Good Trouble Reviews.

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