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Meghann Fahy On How ‘The Bold Type’ Is Sparking Much-Needed Conversations & Her Feelings On Sutton & Richard’s Split (Exclusive Q&A)

Hailing from Longmeadow, MA, Meghann Fahy got her start in acting by taking to the stage, and made her Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning musical, Next to Normal. A few on-screen gigs would follow before Meghann would ultimately land the role that would change it all, as Sutton Brady on Freeform’s The Bold Type.

This game-changing series has tackled everything from female empowerment to self-love to the nation’s debate over gun control, which brought uncomfortable tension between Sutton and Jane—and I’m proud to say I’ve been obsessed from the start. Her Campus caught up with Meghann to discuss last week’s episode “Betsy,” her thoughts on Sutton and Richard’s split, how she handles days when she’s feeling less confident, the advice she’d give Sutton and more.

Her Campus: The Bold Type does such a great job of bringing uncomfortable but necessary conversations to the forefront, and this week was no different with the discussion around gun control. What was it like for you going into this episode seeing as your character Sutton was on the side of keeping her gun and rights for gun owners?

Meghann Fahy: It was actually a really interesting journey to take, and I think what was really important for us was to show that the conversation surrounding guns isn’t black and white. I think everything that we discuss on the show is usually through the lens of the friendship of the girls and so this was a really interesting point for the two of them to come to. What we really wanted to focus on is, how can we have productive conversations about things that we disagree on with people that we love? That’s a really, really hard thing to do. So I think that that was what we were most excited about exploring with this issue.

HC: We often find ourselves in situations just like Jane and Sutton, where we’re clearly on the opposite side of an issue and each are so passionate about it. What are some things you think we can learn from a dispute between best friends like this one?

MF: I think a big takeaway from the episode is the importance of listening. Especially when we’re passionate about things, it’s really easy to be vocal about that, and I think that’s a really important thing. But while speaking is important, it is [important] to open your ears as well, and [it can be difficult] to process that.

HC: Have you yourself ever faced this in your personal life—how did you deal?

MF: Not specifically related to the gun issue, but I’ve absolutely come up against issues like this with friends and family where you feel like you’re not being understood, or heard. I think that the most important thing to do is to just allow someone else the space to express themselves. I think if you can do that in an effort to understand someone better, even if you disagree with what they’re saying, you’re always going to be better off.

HC: Definitely! That’s probably one of the hardest parts of it, right? Because our egos get in the way, and our ideas.

MF: Totally!

HC: You guys recently came together for a body-positive shoot and this has definitely been a big theme on the show. How did you personally come to really love and embrace the skin you’re in?

MF: What’s really great about that episode is that it was such an honor to expose those things about ourselves in the presence of each other—and we’re really good friends in real life, so we feel very safe and supported by each other. We’re normally enforcing positive feedback with each other and stuff like that. So it really wasn’t scary, it was more exciting than anything else.

I used to watch TV when I was younger and wonder how it was possible that everybody looks so great all the time, and [would] feel bad that I didn’t. Now that I’m in the industry, I realize how much of it is smoke and mirrors, and at the end of the day you go home and take your makeup off and you have pimples. But when people watch the show, they don’t see them. So I think we were really excited to shed light on these things that we grow up as women being told—like, “stretch marks are ugly,” “acne is ugly,” “moles are not beautiful.” We wanted to reclaim that and just say: The power is in embracing your body and we’re not really so different from each other. We just have people following us around with makeup brushes.

HC: On days when maybe you’re feeling less confident, what do you say to yourself?

MF: That it’s okay to have days like that. I think to allow yourself permission to have those feelings is totally fine, but also not let yourself sit inside of them, because I think it’s important to know that even on a day where you feel like crap, you’ll wake up the next day and probably feel different. That’s just human nature. So I think [it’s okay to give yourself] permission to feel less than great, less than amazing, and then just remind yourself that it’s a moment that will  pass.

HC: This season, Sutton found herself having to defend her work and talents thanks to some haters who were trying to spread around this idea that she only got selected for shoots because she was essentially sleeping with who she needed to in order to make it. This is not an uncommon thing for women to deal with at work. How do you think someone who finds themselves in this situation should handle it? Because a lot of times, we are afraid to speak up.

MF: It’s really hard to know, because the path is different for everybody. I think what we see Sutton exploring in this season is, she does make the decision to put herself first and focus on her career, and I think she’s really brave for doing that and I totally support her for doing that. But at the same time, I believe that women deserve to have both and can have both, so I hope that we see Sutton’s journey find her in a place where she realizes that she can have her career and love, because she deserves love.

HC: Speaking of love, we also saw the end of Richard and Sutton this season, are you happy that relationship ended or would you want Sutton to ultimately end up with him?

MF: I’m not happy that it ended because I do feel like they are two people who really, really care about each other. That was the thing that I always loved about that relationship from the beginning—it really played against all of the stereotypes that are more often than not portrayed in shows where a young woman is dating an older man in a powerful position. And the only real obstacle for them is that they have to deal with this whole thing of them working in the same company.

So no, I was sad to see the relationship end. The fan version of me is like, “I really want them to get back together!”

HC: What has really been the best part about playing this character? Have you learned anything about yourself along the way?

MF: Oh, so much. Every single episode, I think we all feel like we’re learning things about ourselves through the stories that we tell with our characters. And I think that’s one of the gifts that keeps on giving. We want to create a show that inspires the viewers to believe in themselves and love themselves and love their friends and their life, and [to] be brave and make bold decisions and have conversations. Making the show inspires us to do all of those things as well, so it’s pretty full circle, which is awesome.

HC: If you could give Sutton any piece of advice, what would it be?

MF: Believe in yourself. Trust your gut, trust your instincts. Know your worth. And I think we’ll see her explore those themes, and start to trust her instincts and her brain and her talent, and that’s going to be a really beautiful thing to watch.

Priscilla is the resident pop culture junkie at Her Campus, aka HC's Entertainment Editor. She graduated from Hofstra University ('09) where she studied journalism and founded the Ed2010 on Campus Hofstra Chapter. Before her days with Her Campus, Priscilla worked at Latina, Teen.com, InStyle, and J-14, just to name a few. She is completely obsessed with Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiatos, sobbing on Tuesday nights over This Is Us, listening to podcasts, and curling up with a good book. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat: @priscilrodrig
Erica Kam is the Life Editor at Her Campus. She oversees the life, career, and news verticals on the site, including academics, experience, high school, money, work, and Her20s coverage. Over her six years at Her Campus, Erica has served in various editorial roles on the national team, including as the previous Culture Editor and as an editorial intern. She has also interned at Bustle Digital Group, where she covered entertainment news for Bustle and Elite Daily. She graduated in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from Barnard College, where she was the senior editor of Columbia and Barnard’s Her Campus chapter and a deputy copy editor for The Columbia Spectator. When she's not writing or editing, you can find her dissecting K-pop music videos for easter eggs and rereading Jane Austen novels. She also loves exploring her home, the best city in the world — and if you think that's not NYC, she's willing to fight you on it.