Aja Naomi King Talks Emmy Buzz Surrounding Her Captivating Performance as Harriet Sloane in ‘Lessons in Chemistry’

Aja Naomi King Talks Emmy Buzz Surrounding Her Captivating Performance as Harriet Sloane in 'Lessons in Chemistry'

In an exclusive interview, Aja Naomi King delved into her groundbreaking role as Harriet Sloane in the Apple TV+ series “Lessons in Chemistry.” The series is based on Bonnie Garmus‘ bestselling debut novel that has captivated audiences since its global premiere on October 13th, transporting viewers to the early 1950s and exploring the struggles of ambitious women in a patriarchal society.

As Harriet Sloane, King tackles the challenges faced by a brilliant Black attorney fighting for the future of her neighborhood, while balancing the appearance of a picture-perfect American family. Unlike the original character in the novel, who was an unhappily married, older white woman, the decision to reimagine Harriet as a Black woman adds depth and authenticity to the narrative, shedding light on the racial dynamics of the era.

During the interview, King shared her insights on the specific challenges faced by Black women in the 1950s and how she collaborated with the creative team to ensure the authenticity of Harriet’s experiences. She discussed the importance of bringing nuance to the character’s story, striking a balance between portraying the struggles faced by Black women during that time and providing entertainment that engages the audience.

King also offered her thoughts on Harriet Sloane’s theme song, envisioning a beautiful anthem that resonates with her character’s joy. Additionally, she revealed her fascination with fashion from the 1950s, discussing which item or trend she would love to see revived in modern times.

The interview also touched upon the buzz surrounding King’s performance in “Lessons in Chemistry,” with audiences and critics alike praising her portrayal of Harriet Sloane. King expressed her gratitude for the recognition and discussed the importance of storytelling that reflects the complexities and diversity of women’s experiences.


“Lessons in Chemistry” is a production of Apple Studios for Apple TV+, with showrunner Lee Eisenberg leading the team.

The series features an impressive lineup of executive producers, including Academy Award nominee Susannah Grant, Brie Larson, Michael Costigan, and Jason Bateman. Director and executive producer Sarah Adina Smith brings the first two episodes to life, with Natalie Sandy and Louise Shore serving as executive producers.

Aja Naomi King’s remarkable performances in projects such as the Amazon Studios comedy pilot “The Onion Presents: The News,” the ABC drama series “Black Box,” and Shonda Rhimes’ acclaimed legal thriller “How to Get Away with Murder” have cemented her status as a rising star in the entertainment industry.

Through her compelling portrayal of Harriet Sloane in “Lessons in Chemistry,” King continues to break boundaries and expand the representation of Black women on screen.

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