At the TCA’s: Top of the Lake: China Girl Returns

Top of the Lake: China Girl returns to Sundance for the second series of drama, deep character exploration and mystery. The all-star panel at the TCA’s included Alice Englert (Mary), Gwendoline Christie, (Miranda Hilmarson), Nicole Kidman (Julia) and Elisabeth Moss (Detective Robin Griffin).

Elisabeth Moss returns as the weary and dedicated Detective Robin Griffin to an all new, totally absorbing murder mystery crafted once again by Jane Campion. She has previously won a Golden Globe for the first series. 

As Robin Griffin continues to struggle with her past, this new season confronts more issues that Robin is dealing with, along with the mystery. “For me, this season is so much about motherhood, and Robin’s, sort of, main challenge is to figure out how she’s going to be a mother to Mary, essentially somebody who is a stranger,” says Elizabeth Moss. “She knows nothing about her, and yet she has to kind of figure out what their relationship is. So that’s the kind of main challenge for her.”

“Robin is, the entire season, faced with her own ideas of how life should be being challenged by Gwen’s character Miranda, by Alice’s character Mary, and by Nicole’s character Julia. They are just constantly pushing her buttons and challenging her, and she has to kind of — the most important thing for her is to solve this case.”

Top of the Lake: China Girl is one of the recent high-power television projects featuring strong female characters. Gwendoline Christie thinks there is work yet to be done. “…as human beings, we are all so unique and different. That needs to be celebrated, and that needs to be explored. And in my opinion, it will only bring us closer to humanity and hopefully having a greater deal of empathy for each other where we see the similarities rather than focusing on the differences.”

Nicole Kidman talked a bit about Jane Campion, whom she has known since she was a teenager. “…it’s lovely to be what I call a “Campion woman” because, yeah, there’s a truth to it. There’s an honesty. It’s not a presentation of a female. It’s just the female, and there’s all the different aspects to it,” she said. “…she really knows me, and I feel unbelievably safe. I’ve shared probably the deepest, most intimate secrets I have with her as a friend.”

Detective Robin Griffin moves to Sydney and begins to deal with her first murder case in her new home, as well as the consequences of her own past.

Top of the Lake: China Girl returns to Sundance September 10th. Check your local listings.