You might know Kate Mara best as Sue Storm in 2015’s Fantastic Four. Or maybe as Heath Ledger’s daughter in 2005’s Brokeback Mountain. Or from her Emmy-nominated work as Zoe Barnes in House of Cards. Whatever it might be it’s all been leading up to her stirring role in FX’s A Teacher, which explores the complexities and consequences of a predatory relationship between Claire Wilson (Mara), a young teacher at a suburban Texas high school and her student, Eric Walker, played by Love, Simon‘s Nick Robinson [interview].
The limited series deftly navigates how boundaries are crossed, and a subtle and dangerous game of grooming begins. The permanent damage left in the wake of Claire’s choices becomes impossible for them, and their friends and family, to ignore.
I talked with Mara about the enormous responsibility of taking on a character like this, the complicated nature of consent, her animal rights activism and whether or not she’d co-star with husband and Fantastic Four co-star Jamie Bell again (where I reveal to her my secret tie with Bell).
A Teacher is currently available to stream in full on Hulu. Kate Mara is Emmy eligible for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or Movie and, as an executive producer, Outstanding Limited Series.
Photo: Chris Large/FX