(Warning: This post contains details about Wednesday’s episode of the Freeform series “Good Trouble.)
Season 4 of “Good Trouble” is halfway over. The midseason finale culminated with Emma Hunton’s Davia taking the stage with her burlesque troupe for the first time.
The moment is important for Davia, who found herself struggling to be vulnerable this season after she was fired from her job and was broken up with because her former believed she was still in love with her former Coterie flame, Dennis (Josh Pence). Since the beginning of “Good Trouble,” we’ve come to know Davia as someone who usually exudes a fair amount of self-confidence, but that isn’t the case for Season 4A.
However, with the help of a new character named Luca (played by Booboo Stewart), Davia finally finds a little bit of that “sparkle” again, as Hunton puts it. The actress tells TheWrap that Davia’s journey has been a powerful one not just for audiences, but also for herself.
“One of the main reasons that I love being a part of this show is because it not only changes the audience’s perspectives, but it also kind of helps change mine,” she said.
Below, Hunton lays out how Davia’s story as influenced her own journey of self-love, as well as what her growth this season might mean for the future of her relationship with Dennis.
Davia’s journey in particular is a great example of growth not being linear. How did it feel to have Davia lose some of her confidence in her this season and have to rebuild it?
I think that’s normal. People think confidence or happiness is a destination, and it’s really a journey. The most confident person in the world can sometimes wake up and be like, ‘I’m not feeling my sparkliest today.’ And that’s kind of the way that I like to put it when I’m not feeling so confident as I always am. It doesn’t mean that someone doesn’t find me sparkly or I’m not inspiring someone else, but it’s just a little harder to feel a little sparkly that day. I love that people still get frustrated with [Davia]. Because I think in the beginning, it was really hard to understand where she was coming from. Every time she kind of wins people over, she does something kind of not so nice. It’s nice to show that people aren’t perfect. It’s a learning curve. There are things that we learn about ourselves that we want to change, but it doesn’t mean that they change overnight. And we have to learn the things that trigger that and what makes us act that way. I think it’s important to show that people are learning that daily. We’ll probably never reach that end destination. We’re always going to be learning and changing and growing.
How was the burlesque show acting as a catalyst for Davia to find that confidence again?
For me personally, it has been a huge confidence booster and I feel like I’m a very confident person. I come from a theater background, so doing this kind of thing, while I’ve never really done burlesque directly, it’s in my performance wheelhouse a little bit. It’s still different. I’m still in risky clothing. My friends who are in The Coterie are watching me in the audience. So it’s still like a little nerve wracking. Working with Donna Hood, who was our choreographer, for all of the burlesque stuff — she really gave me the confidence and the kick in the butt that I needed. She convinced me that I could pull this off. Not only that I could pull it off, but that I looked good doing it and I can’t thank her enough for really giving me the power that I felt like I had in those scenes, because it can be very vulnerable. I think surrounding yourself with people who are cheering you on is important. I had everyone at The Coterie cheering me on. Everybody in real life was texting me asking me, ‘How’s rehearsal going? Are you excited for the midseason finale? We can’t wait to cheer you on.’ It was really nice to feel that support off camera as well as on camera when we filmed it.
I also really enjoyed the introduction of Luca (Booboo Stewart). He and Davia both really end up helping each other be vulnerable in different ways. What do you think they needed that they found in each other?
I think Davina inherently is just someone who wants to help, and I think that she feels responsible for Luca getting caught for staying at The Coterie. Deep down, Davina really just wants people to know that she’s coming from the right place, but she’s a very defensive person. So if you take it the wrong way, then instead of her explaining she just kind of gets on the defense. He’s teaching her how to be a little bit softer and I think she’s teaching him that he’s got to trust people, that not everyone is going to turn their backs to him. The Coterie is probably a really good environment for him to be in, it should work out. Hopefully, he gets to stay at The Coterie. What’s interesting about Luca is that he doesn’t know [Davia] before all of this. He doesn’t know her from the ‘Fat Bitch’ video, from being a teacher, from being in love with Dennis. So he’s really meeting her for who she is right now, in this moment. And she’s trying to find confidence in this new person that she is and she meets this new friend. He was like, ‘I think you’re a pretty cool person.’ And I think that’s really important for Davia to know that people can see her [differently than] how she’s always been judged.
I have to ask about Davia and Dennis. They’ve taken time apart because they both clearly needed to grow separately, but do you think they’re on track to reunite or do they still have more individual work to do?
As Emma, a total Davia and Dennis shipper, I want them together so bad. They don’t tell me anything, because they know how badly I want them to get together. I’ve grown to care for Davia so much now over the last couple of years, and I just really want her to be with someone who loves her. I still think that there’s a little bit of work to do on both of their ends right now. Davia doesn’t have a job. She’s now going through this quarter-life crisis and figuring out who she is and getting her shit together. And Dennis has just started to make those steps towards letting other people in about Jacob and not relying on Davia so heavily to be there for him. She’s now getting used to not being there for him. We saw in the birthday episode, she thought that she couldn’t handle the burden of being there for him and then as soon as he went to someone else, she thought he didn’t care about her anymore. So I think that’s a knee jerk emotional reaction, which shows that they’re maybe not ready for it right away. Maybe they need to see other people or maybe they need to give it up and try and see what happens. I don’t know. All I know is I want them together so bad. I want her to be happy with someone who loves her and who just thinks the world of her and treats her with respect. That’s an important message to send to viewers. When two people who care about each other so much like Davia and Dennis do, everything has to be right. Everything has to fall in line perfectly. Otherwise you risk losing your best friend, and I think that’s something everyone can relate to. And it’s really, really scary.
Is there any fan reactions to Davia that have really resonated with you?
One of the things that I love about this job is that it leaves us so open to dialogue. There has to obviously be a healthy boundary, because I can’t let people’s opinions affect me or my job at the end of the day. But it is important to me that the people who see themselves in Davia continue to see themselves in Davia. I have gone through a major life shift, and I lost a lot of weight. That has been noticeable to a lot of the viewers, and I think it’s important to know that people’s weight fluctuates, and that body positivity is for bodies of all sizes. I have found that a lot of people related to that more than I thought they would. I thought I would be letting a lot of people down. I’m happy to see that I haven’t. You’re not going to always make everybody happy, and I know that, but I think it’s been important to show that our bodies change and they fluctuate and it’s important that we have a healthy mental relationship with where we’re at. I find the confidence that I need in myself through other things and through other people, and not through [my appearance]. I think that it’s important to show, like we were saying earlier, your confidence can sometimes leave but it will come back. You might lose weight, it might come back, you might lose more, you might gain more. I think we need to stop being so hard on ourselves and really start accepting and loving ourselves for who we are in this moment right now.