Flesh and Bone

© 2015 Starz Entertainment, LLC

A Breaking Bad writer revisits her ballet roots in the new Starz drama.

I’ve been gestating on this probably my whole life,” Moira Walley-Beckett says of Flesh and Bone, the new ballet-centric drama she created for Starz. Best known as the writer of some of Breaking Bad’s most memorable episodes, she danced from a young age—for some time professionally. “A lot of the show’s themes come from things I experienced in my dance career,” she says. “There’s a lot of exploration of obsessions and shame and identity and ambition—ballet as a religion.” Sarah Hay, who stars as a mysteriously troubled but talented ingenue named Claire, is a trained dancer who, like the rest of the cast, passed a rigorous audition run by the show’s choreographer, former American Ballet Theatre principal Ethan Stiefel. “I cast a company of dancers because I wanted the freedom to put the camera anywhere,” Walley-Beckett says. That means lovely wide shots of Claire’s adagio combination in rehearsal—and close-ups on the ugly realities of ballet (e.g., Claire’s lost toenail). “As a writer,” Walley-Beckett says, “I’m always drawn to what’s under the Band-Aid.” Premieres November 8 on Starz.