'Warrior' Season 2 Episode 5: Gay Nellie Davenport inspired by real-life widow from 1800s, says Miranda Raison
'Warrior' Season 2 Episode 5 will see actor Miranda Raison channel the real historical figure that her character is based on, Donaldina Cameron. She spoke to MEAWW in an exclusive interview
The official character description of Nellie Davenport, who was introduced in 'Warrior' Season 2 and will play an important role in the upcoming episodes is that of a wealthy widow who rescues young Chinese sex workers and employs them. However, Davenport is based on a historical figure called Donaldina Cameron, who was also a rich widow but she was known by the title 'White Devil of Chinatown' and 'The Angry Angel of Chinatown'.
In the show, Davenport rescues sex workers who are older and employs them in her vineyards, however, Cameron was known for rescuing children as young as nine-years-old from crib brothels of San Francisco. In an interview with MEAWW the actor who portrayed the role of Davenport -- Miranda Raison -- she shares more about Cameron and also draws a comparison between her character.
The actor was introduced as Davenport in the second episode of 'Warrior' Season 2 and we saw how she had faced up to Ah Toy when she tried to check if any women who work for Ah Toy were being forced to work as sex workers. Of course, Ah Toy denied and even said that her girls chose the jobs that they did. This is the beginning of what the actor has promised will be an intriguing relationship.
She said, "The most interesting thing for me about Nellie (Davenport) when they first gave me the pitch about her was that she's based on a real woman called Donaldina Cameron, who was a pioneer in the fight against slavery. She was a wealthy widow and had vineyards just outside Sonoma in California, outside San Francisco, and rescued these girls from the crib brothels. In fact, I think partly for all sorts of reasons, the girls are older in the show -- they're still in their teens and mid-teens."
Further explaining who Donaldina was, Raison said, "I think some of the girls that Donaldina rescued were nine years old -- unbelievably young working in these crib brothels -- and she put them to work in her vineyards." Donaldina was also a wealthy White woman, another common trait regarding the real person and the character and Raison added about this interesting woman that "one does get the sense that she wasn't somebody that was exploiting, that she was very sincere in her desire to just offer these girls something different."
Drawing a parallel between Donaldina and her character Nellie, Raison explained, "She (Donaldina) was already an extraordinary character. And then just to sort of spice it up, I guess, she's not only a wealthy widow who has these sort of core beliefs, but she's also a gay woman living at a time when people weren't out in 1880’s San Francisco."
Davenport will begin a romantic relationship with one of the key characters in the show and we cannot wait to see how things pan out for her and our favorite swordswoman.
'Warrior' Season 2 episodes will be aired on Cinemax every Friday at 10 pm ET.