Is ‘Hailey’ [Autumn Night] Based on a Real Life Stripper? – The famous playwright Katori Hall chronicles the everyday lives and outsized fantasies of Southern strippers in the Starz drama ‘P-Valley.’ In Starz’s new strip club drama P-Valley, the spectacle and safety of bodies are rarely taken for granted. Mercedes (Brandee Evans), an alpha dancer, climbs a pole in front of a ravenous crowd, their money flying fathoms under her.
Mercedes clings to the pole head-down until her fire-engine-red stiletto boots are fixed on the ceiling. The yells of the audience and the DJ’s rumbling hip hop fade away quickly. For a few seconds, all we hear are her attempts to recover her breath before she falls in a waterfall of sweat and artfully placed pleather, stopping just a foot or two above the stage floor. Her acrobatics are both athletic and artistic endeavours.
Hailey Colton (Elarica Johnson) arrives at The Pynk and begins working as a stripper under the moniker “Autumn Night,” after fleeing her partner Montavius with his money. The series mostly follows Hailey’s point of view, focusing on her interactions with Uncle Clifford, fellow strippers Mercedes and Keyshawn, and Andre. He assists a group of businessmen in acquiring the site on which The Pynk is built. Because of the character’s importance and compelling experiences, it’s natural to wonder if she’s based on a real-life person. Keep reading to find out the truth.
Read Also: Is Mercedes Based on a Real Stripper?
Is Hailey [Autumn Night] Based on a Real Life Stripper?
No, Hailey Colton or Autumn Night isn’t based on anyone in real life. Creator Katori Hall originally created the character for the show’s source play, ‘Pussy Valley.’ However, while adapting her play into the series, Hall made adjustments to the original character. “In the play, Autumn Knight was an elementary school teacher who was simply curious about the world.” “She’s this woman running from a horrific past in the TV version, and she uses the strip club as a method to hide in plain sight,” Hall explained to FREE THE WORK.
The character was created with the intention of serving as the foundation for the show’s mystery and noir themes. “So, for the TV version, we wanted to embrace the mystery and noir genres, so having this woman [Hailey/Autumn Night] come into the space and allowing it to be more clandestine and for her to have this secret felt more entertaining and also provided a way for us to tease out the world that thing of being drawn back to a particular character and a particular world felt more entertaining,” Hall told Deadline.
Autumn Night’s past and her true identity as Hailey are explored in depth in the first season of the show, drawing “in an audience over a longer period of time,” as the creator said to FREE THE WORK.
Hall also employs Hailey as a vehicle for delving into the complexities of a strip joint like The Pynk. The viewers’ astonishment at learning more about the lives of strippers like Mercedes and Keyshawn is shared by Hailey. Hailey, like the rest of the audience, becomes more sympathetic to her coworkers. In the same interview with Deadline, Hailey said, “I would say she acts as the audience proxy, and she performed in that way in the play.”
Hailey, on the other hand, isn’t completely isolated from reality. The domestic abuse she endures and she attempts to survive her lover Montavius’ savagery can be compared to the experiences of many real-life women. Elarica Johnson, who plays Hailey in ‘P-Valley,’ remarked, “She [Hailey] symbolises a lot of women I know.”
Hailey is essentially someone who wants to get away from the horrors of an abusive relationship, which makes her sympathetic and realistic to a wide range of viewers. Through the character, Hall also demonstrates how, despite the stigma connected with the job, being a stripper can be a means of surviving, as it is for many real-life dancers.
You can stream all episodes of ‘P-Valley’ on Straz tv.