When it comes to Kerry Bishé's character on AMC's "Halt and Catch Fire," it was a Speak and Spell that caused me to pivot.
In her opening moments, we fear that Bishé's Donna is going to be the latest in a series of cable drama wet-blanket wives. Her husband Gordon (Bishé's "Argo" co-star Scoot McNairy) has big dreams in the world of '80s computing and we think that Donna's role is going to be the one telling him to think of his family rather than chasing his dreams. [I've seen some people suggest that's all the character continues to be. Those people are wrong.]
Then we see Donna go to work on her kid's Speak and Spell. She isn't meek or tentative with the poplar piece of juvenile technology. She attacks it like a woman who knows her way around a computer. In that moment, and as we hear later hints about Donna's work at TI and her computing past with Gordon, we realize -- or we *should* realize -- that the character has skills of her own, that she had dreams of her own. When she allows Gordon to follow his path, we sense she's not just being permissive to her husband, she's permitting herself to have dreams again.
I got a lot of that from a Speak and Spell, but when I sat down with Bishé and mentioned that scene, she was immediately excited and eager to discuss a moment she also viewed as crucial.
In a wide-ranging interview, the "Virtuality" and "Scrubs" veteran talks about making sure that Donna seemed capable, what her own technological capabilities are, reuniting in the '80s with McNairy and much more.