If Hollywood needs anything, it is diversity. We have been moving in a better direction these past few years, but the pace is snail speed. Then comes along a fresh new Amazon Prime feature, The Mojave Sisters, starring lesbian actor Lee Dawn Hershey playing Casper — a young assassin with a dark past and a heart of gold. She defies the Hollywood stereotype of what a conflicted antihero’s conquest through the catastrophes of organized crime looks like.
Casper is a gorgeous androgynous woman without a driving male love interest — flying solo — who isn’t trying to save the world but also isn’t the cold-blooded killer we would expect her to be. Her character is beautifully complex. If you’re sick of the unrealistically tiny-wasted big-breasted super heroes Hollywood loves to cast whenever women finally do get a lead role in an action film, then The Mojave Sisters is a refreshing new portrayal of what it means to be a different type of powerful woman not type-casted for the typical male gaze.
The show’s style has a wild west feel with lengthy dialogue, complex rivalries, scenic desert shots, and dispassionate meets emotionally-charged gunshots. Part 1 contains three episodes about 20 minutes in length opening up a storyline about Casper, the daughter of a professional contract killer. Throughout the scenes we see her murder multiple targeted individuals to meet her agreements into completion. Although she is obviously a skilled gunslinger, her empathy gets the best of her — in more ways than one.
We had the opportunity to get up close and personal to Lee Dawn Hershey who plays the lead role, Casper, in The Mojave Sisters. Check out the trailer below then keep scrolling for the exclusive interview!
AfterEllen.com: How did you find out about the role of Casper?
Lee Dawn Hershey: Funny story. I actually got a sponsored ad on Facebook promoting a project on Backstage that sounded extremely interesting. So I did my research and contacted the production company. I sent them an email and told them I was new to LA and would love to make some magic. They emailed me back, set up a skype call and before you know it we were having lunch discussing roles.
AE: What intrigued you about the role?
LDH: Once I started reading the script and Colt 1911’s were mentioned I was hooked. Since I can remember I wanted to play an ass kicking, tactical wearing, badass. Linda Hamilton sealed the deal for me. Watching her on TV in the Terminator gave me hope and motivation that I could do it one day. The Mojave Sisters was a perfect role for that.
AE: What did you do to prepare for your role as Casper?
LDH: I was in the gym every single day, sometimes twice a day! I watched the Terminator, Taxi Cab, John Wick and 3:10 to Yuma to name a few. I also did stunt work with my cast member Connor Baxter Skific.
AE: Tell us more about the stunt work. What did you learn and what did you find challenging?
LDH: I learned that you have to be dedicated to a fall. You have to have solid communication with your partner and be ready for anything in order to get the shot. We had a safe word!
AE: In the Mojave Sisters your character, Casper, has a very rough history but seems to struggle with the cards she has been dealt in life. How is Casper similar and different to you in real life?
LDH: Casper is similar to me in real life because I have carried quite the hand of cards. I dealt with the loss of family and close friends at a very early age. I come from a broken home and have spent many years working through the pieces. We both look tough on the exterior, but have the biggest hearts. Sometimes it gets the best of us. We are different because I can forgive and forget and Casper has a very hard time doing that. And obviously I don’t kill people for a living.
AE: You mentioned that Casper has issues with being able to forgive and forget. Why do you think this is?
LDH: She’s been dealing with hurt her entire life. From an absent father, the death of her sister aaaand I can’t give anymore away. Every corner Caper takes there’s another surprise. Casper feels like death is always following her, it’s always there. It makes it hard to forget.
AE: When can we expect to see more episodes of The Mojave Sisters?
LDH: On July 9th, Mojave Sisters Part 2 will be released.
AE: How many episodes can we expect in Part 2 and where can your fans tune in to watch you?
LDH: Right now it’s looking like four 30 minute episodes, but could turn into five. Taylor King the writer and director is busy writing as we have this interview. The Mojave Sisters is available now on Amazon Prime.
AE: Is there anything else you would like to say to the AE readers?
LDH: I want youth, people from my generation, and older generations, to know that Hollywood is changing. Don’t let anyone put you in a box. Chase those dreams. This is a really empowering time and I encourage people to embrace their originality. And to the women out there writing and directing, you are one of my driving forces. Thank you!