Australian actress Jessica De Gouw recently spoke to Digital Spy about the now cancelled, critically-acclaimed and commercially successful series Underground. De Gouw portrayed Elizabeth Hawkes, an abolitionist socialite who had to figure out how to navigate those worlds and ultimately leverage her social positioning to advocate for and get involved in freeing slaves.

De Gouw says of the show’s portrayal of the Underground Railroad: “The Underground Railroad was really the first integrated civil rights movement and I think the show, across two seasons, tells the story of escape beautifully. You watch these people grow and learn and go from being victims to being heroes, changing the course of history.”

Reflecting on what drew her to the series, De Gouw says that the story was both important and different from everything else she was reading at the time:

It’s a very American story and it’s a period drama, but I think it’s very relevant. We were shooting on plantations which still had the original slave quarters. It was incredible to be a part of bringing this story back to an audience, reminding everybody of something that happened long ago, but also doesn’t seem a too distant past from what we’re experiencing now….Everything (De Gouw was reading) was ‘rookie lawyer who’s a hot mess’ or ‘rookie cop who’s also a hot mess’…This was beautifully written and a female character who felt different, complicated and with purpose.

Underground is coming to England’s version of Netflix on January 5th, 2018, despite not being currently available on the streaming service’s American counterpart.