AMC’s ‘The Son’ star Elizabeth Frances talks all things Prairie Flower and what to expect from the final season of the show
MEAWW sat down with actress Elizabeth Frances who opened up about the complexities surrounding the role of Prairie Flower and why the storyline is so important for women today.
AMC’s Western drama ‘The Son’ will be taking its final bow after its second season, which will begin airing on April 27th. Based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Philipp Meyer, ‘The Son’ tells the story of America’s birth through the violent rise and fall of one Texas oil empire. One of the most fascinating characters in the series is that of Prairie Flower, an independent and strong-willed Native American woman who enjoyed her last years of sexual freedom before having to marry. Played by Elizabeth Frances, not only is Prairie Flower a feminist icon in the eyes of TV viewers but she plays one of the most challenging roles on television. MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) sat down with Francis who first explained how she landed the role and her surprise when she realized all that the role entailed.
“The way I landed the role is that I read the material the day before and I thought, wow! this is great material, it’s really deep…then I realized as I was reading it, oh my God…none of this is in English. So I kind of panicked and called some friends who were in the native community and a lot of other communities I am a part of, and the next day I came in and auditioned in Spanish, Comanche and English and did all of these pages in those languages.”
While the language of the role was not only unique but extremely challenging, Frances wanted to make sure that the role was about a woman surviving more than anything else. Even though the character Prairie Flower is involved in an epic romance, the most important aspect of her character isn’t about that, it’s about strength and survival. Frances expanded on this and spoke on how made sure the strength and authenticity of the character was accurately portrayed.
“I remember the first day I was doing makeup tests and I was talking to the producers saying that it’s 1849 but I really want her to feel like she is a woman who is surviving and I don’t actually want beauty to distract from that. So I wanted her to look like she was really surviving on the land and I believe and hope that by her being of that time and in those circumstances, that actually that’s what makes her beautiful in her own way.”
Even though the series takes place well over 200 years ago, the theme of feminism is still extremely apparent. Not only is it a unique story for that time, but it is also more relevant today now than ever before. Frances spoke more on how the character of Prairie Flower, in fact, represents many of the struggles that women deal with in today’s society.
“As a woman, I think a character like this (is relevant), especially now, that there’s an uphill battle especially for women of color. We are learning how we can reiterate these narratives in new ways and Prairie Flower was really an opportunity to do that. She is adopted into this band of Comanches and I grew up being mixed, so we were both straddling different worlds and identities, so that was the place where I personally connected to her. This idea of where do I belong and how do I identify is kind of the core of her, so the love story that develops between her and young Eli really is so relevant to the times.”
As we all know, sadly the upcoming season of ‘The Son’ will be its last. That said, the series is sure to go out with a bang and the drama, action and stakes will be as high as ever. Frances couldn’t give away much, but she did give us a taste of what to expect from the final season.
“This will be the final season and the stakes are definitely higher with everything surrounding Eli and especially his first love, too. Things get lovely but then they get really tricky.”
Make sure to tune into the last season of ‘The Son’ on AMC premiering on April 27th!