Katherine Ryan’s first sitcom The Duchess debuts on Netflix this week, with the Canadian comedian starring as a “fashionably disruptive” single mother who adores her daughter Olive and contemplates having a second child with her worst enemy – Olive’s father.
While the six-part comedy features a number of crude and outrageously funny scenes, from sex attempts in alleyways to foul-mouthed stand-offs with mums at the school gate, Ryan has revealed that she was forced to cut a few moments from the finished product.
“There was a scene where my bum was out around Buckingham Palace and I’m not sure if that was treason and that’s why that was cut out, but to me as a 37-year-old woman, I have dimples now and cellulite so nudity to me now carries a very different purpose and message than nudity when I was 20,” Ryan told RadioTimes.com and other press.
She continued: “I would have been objectified then or portrayed in a different sexualised way then potentially by the culture we live in, whereas now, when I see women my age naked with any imperfections, I find it very empowering, very body positive.”
She added that while she shot the scene, her producers made the call to cut it from the show.
“I really wanted to get my bum out, this bum, not that bum and nobody liked that, unanimously that was vetoed,” she said. “We did shoot it, they indulged me, they let me shoot it and then they were like, ‘We’d like to lose the bum.'”
“It was collaborative, I didn’t always get my way which was good for me,” she laughed. “I feel like Clerkenwell [the production company] really kept me on track with the story but they let me be my authentic self as well – but with trousers on.”
Ryan also revealed that another scene was cut, featuring Katherine’s best friend Bev (Michelle de Swarte) who undergoes bum enlargement surgery early on in the series.
“Bev had a nightmare at that Ardour presentation – that fashion magazine live event – Bev’s stitches popped from her bum enlargement, she started bleeding out, so it became not very body positive at all because she was outed for having plastic surgery – we cut that out,” she said.
Speaking about branching out from stand-up comedy and writing a sitcom for the first time, Ryan said that working with other people was a big difference for her.
“I like being in charge as much as I can be, I have learned that what was a definite adjustment was collaboration and there’s so much collaboration on a sitcom and trust in other people,” she said.
“I don’t usually do that with stand up, I’m all alone. I don’t find either one intimidating, just a little bit different in the sense that I’ve just been alone on a stage for 15 years.”