Emily Dickinson fought to be heard and seen her entire life: Period drama Dickinson

Dickinson star Hailee Steinfeld and show creator Alena Smith speak on Dickinson 'paving the way for women today.'

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Actress Hailee Steinfeld and show creator Alena Smith hit the red carpet in Brooklyn, New York, on Thursday (Oct 17) for the premiere of Apple TV+ show Dickinson, a series that sheds a modern light on the life of an iconic American poet.

Emily Dickinson, the prolific American poet, is played by Steinfeld, the pop star whose breakout vocal performance in Pitch Perfect 2 and debut single Love Myself made her a teen idol - a casting decision that Apple is likely betting on to draw young, loyal fans to the streaming service.

Steinfeld's Dickinson is a firebrand, flaunting feminist snark and lavish period costumes, writes poetry furiously into the night and flirts with Death, a character played by rapper Wiz Khalifa, all while feeling constrained by the expectations she faces as a woman in 1850s New England.

"She, in ways, paved the way for women today and in such a huge sense that, I mean, it's crazy to see and to hear and realise that in this show you'll see that the things that she went through in her time are unfortunately relevant to things that us women today go through in terms of fighting to be heard and understood and seen and appreciated and given the credit that we deserve, and that's what she fought for her entire life," Steinfeld said at the show's premiere.

In the first episode, Dickinson resists her mother's efforts to marry her off and is heartbroken when her father berates her for submitting a poem to be published in a literary magazine.

Dickinson, which also stars Jane Krakowski of NBC's 30 Rock, joins seven other original shows that Apple TV+ will feature when it launches on Nov 1, including The Morning Show with Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon and See, a sci-fi drama featuring Jason Momoa.

Apple, which transformed the music, mobile and personal computing industries, plans to spend US$2 billion (S$2.72 billion) on original programming for its new streaming service this year.