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The "Orange is the New Black" and "Mrs. America" actress takes a turn behind the therapist's notebook in the revival of HBO's drama series "In Treatment." The series, based on an Israeli format, first aired from 2008 to 2010 with Gabriel Byrne as Dr. Paul Weston, a therapist treating patients while working on his own mental health.
The new "Treatment," due in May, brings back the intimate therapy setting and half-hour format but recasts the doctor as Dr. Brooke Taylor, a Black woman (Aduba) who practices from her house amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a panel for the Television Critics Association Wednesday, Aduba and executive producers Josh Allen and Jennifer Schuur underlined the importance of bringing the series back with a Black woman at its center, which allowed them to explore new topics.
"There’s such a stigma attached to (therapy), especially in communities of color," Allen said. "It felt important to me, personally, to put that on television to show that we all need this," he said. "I wanted to, in reimagining the show, make sure that we were expanding the idea of who gets access to therapy and under what circumstances, to destigmatize it. We (all), especially in 2021, need it."
Her character "brings her own self into the room," Aduba added. "She brings her own experiences and her own story in part into the room (with patients). ... She shows up for her patients, no matter what."
Aduba also discussed the difficulties of doing research for the role and appearing in every scene.
"This is easily one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever had in my life, the hardest thing I’ve ever worked on in terms of the preparation," Aduba said. "I cannot make that statement without also saying that it is also one of the most satisfying, fulfilling experiences I’ve also ever had. ... This project came into my life at a time that was needed and has brought an excitement and an energy."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'In Treatment': Why HBO drama is back with Uzo Aduba at its center