Hunters is an intense, cool, funny and crazy wild ride about a diverse group of Nazi hunters living in an alternate New York City in the late 1970s. While the said Hunters are the central focus of the show and their hunt for those in Fourth Reich living amongst them, there are other characters in their orbit, like the supreme Millie Malone, played by the outstanding Jerrika Hinton (Grey’s Anatomy & Here and Now).
We got a chance to talk to Jerrika Hinton about her super badass FBI agent character. Millie Malone is not only kind, harsh, and thoughtful, but oftentimes the most brilliant person in the room, who is also overlooked because she’s black and a woman.
On when her other FBI colleagues begin to realize she’s the smartest person and who they should be listening to, she told us:
“Yes. But I think what’s most interesting about the change in trajectory is less about Millie, and how this is reflective of real-life, as well. [I]t’s less about how other people see her and more about how she starts to see herself, and how she starts to change how she interacts with the world because of how she grows and her own knowledge.”
She continued, “That’s the journey of Millie that I find most interesting. It’s less about that sense of waiting to be recognized, she eventually tosses that away.”
On Millie struggles throughout the season to be her full self, particularly in her home life, and if/where she ultimately finds refuge, she shared:
“One of the things that I found most interesting about Millie right off the bat is she’s a devout Catholic who works for the government. So very clearly, this woman believes in the institutions. She places her faith in institutions and in the scaffolding that society provides as opposed to having developed that scaffolding for herself. So, I think that is part of the reason why [she] can’t find rest and why she has a hard time finding refuge in the church or these governmental systems.”
On how Millie’s distrust impacts her romantic relationship, she added:
“This also leads to Millie having a hard time finding refuge in her relationship. She needs to build that interior scaffolding for herself first and that is what will allow her to be her fullest self in all of these faces and be a unified melody because she’s so disjointed. Do you know what I mean? I just want her to be fully self-accepting.”
On what will happen when Millie’s world converges with the Hunters, she teased:
“What will she do? How will she jive with their approach given her sense of ethics? That is the question, but I won’t spoil it!” She continued, “I will say, Millie has an unshakable sense of right and wrong, that comes from her training. It’s like one of the great things about Millie but also such an Achilles’ heel because life is not like that.”
On the challenges of being a Black queer woman in 1977 even in progressive New York City, she told us:
“While New York City is progressive, we are also not too far from a time when J. Edgar Hoover is persecuting government officials for being gay. Sure, you can say that the city is as progressive as hell, but the reality is that it is not. Millie is still figuring out who she is. When creating her, my research was a combination of what was going on historically during this time and what did she live through? What kinds of pop culture references does she have? What kind of music does she love? What kind of TV shows does she watch? Who was her first crush? I imagine her cutting out pictures of her crush from Jet Magazine and putting them in a secret hiding place, so her mama doesn’t find them.”
She continued: “So, for me, it’s been finding her secret loves and those private memories that inform her personal relationship and of course the relationship with her parents.”
On the topic of her parents, how do Millie’s family and past reflect who she is today? Hinton told us:
“There was a really lovely introduction to her and her family that got cut because of time out of the pilot. The scene was them in church together and you see the lovely close relationship Millie has with her mother, juxtaposed with the tougher relationship she has with her father. So, when Millie thinks she is successfully hiding parts of herself from her parents, they know things in their bones, just as parents usually do.”
So, how does Jerrika decompress after such rich and heavy material? Hinton divulged:
“When working on heavy material, I feel like a key element of the creative process is having a vibrant life outside of work. So, I pour it all into the work on the day of and then the next day, when it’s over, I have to decompress because it’s absolutely necessary.”
We totally agree. While the subject matter can get heavy, Hunters strikes a perfect balance of comedy and heartwarming moments as well.
Be sure to check out Hunters, when it drops on Prime Video on February 21st!