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Clea DuVall on Relating to High School’s Queer Story and Timelessness

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In the opening scene of new Frevee series High School, Hole’s “She Walks On Me” blares over speakers while TikTok stars (but acting newcomers) Railey and Seazynn Gilliland rock out in flannel, tees, and wide-legged trousers, subtly evoking the 1990s.

A queer icon of that decade, Clea DuVall is the perfect executive producer and showrunner, along with Laura Kittrell, to shepherd friends Tegan and Sarah Quin’s 2019 memoir High School to the small screen with an authentic depiction of uncertainty, heartbreak, and discovery set to a grunge and Riot Grrrl soundtrack.“I wanted [the show] to feel timeless,” she says. “I wanted there to be a classic element to it where the show could be now or it could be three years ago — not leaning too hard into Hey, look, nobody has cell phones, allowing it to be that simple, more innocent time even though they’re kids and are obviously doing things they shouldn’t be doing.”Clea DuVall and Laura Kittrell   “There was still such an innocence to the time that I feel like it’s not really there anymore,” DuVall adds of the series in which Cobie Smulders plays the Quins’ progressive mom, wise to their experimentation with substances at high school parties.Cobie Smulders and Kyle Bornheimer The director of Happiest Season and The Intervention, DuVall has had acting career that dates back more than 26 years.

She appeared in era-defining projects like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996), The Faculty (1998), Girl, Interrupted (1999), and Jamie Babbit’s camp masterpiece, But I’m a Cheerleader (1999).

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