‘September Mornings’ Star Liniker on Her Character and Message to the Trans Community

Liniker September Mornings Cassandra
Q&A
Fito Shaw/Amazon Studios

The Amazon Original September Mornings, set against the backdrop of São Paulo, Brazil, follows Cassandra (Liniker), a trans woman trying to achieve independence and freedom. When the series premieres on June 25, she almost has what she dreams of: She’s moved into a studio apartment alone, and she’s in a loving relationship with her boyfriend, Ivaldo (Thomás Aquino). That all gets uprooted when an old friend, Leide (Karine Teles), shows up with a young boy she claims is Cassandra’s son, Gersinho (Gustavo Coelho).

In celebration of the Portuguese language series, TV Insider caught up with Liniker to talk about what her character goes through as this boy enters her life and what message she hopes to spread to viewers about the trans community.

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This is your breakout role. What attracted you to it? Do you see similarities between yourself and Cassandra?

Liniker: Yes. We’re both trans people. We are both dreamers as well. I think Cassandra is fighting for her space, fighting for what she believes in. She fights for the people she loves, and that’s something I really identify with.

Throughout the first episode, we see that Cassandra is striving for independence, and she almost has it until her son enters the picture. What do you think the boy symbolizes to Cassandra?

Cassandra’s life changes when he shows up. She didn’t expect that to happen, she didn’t expect to be a mother to a child, and when the child arrives, he’s looking for a father and later calls her by her wrong name. And that’s very kind of strong and it isn’t very pleasant from the beginning, and it makes [Cassandra] strong and even a bit hostile sometimes but it’s because she made her own space and it’s being invaded.

Liniker September Mornings Cassandra Son

Amazon Studios

Her son coming into the picture is a big life change, for her and her relationships with others. Will there be tensions or will those dynamics, for example, with her boyfriend, change?

Oh yes, I think that when the child comes into her life, she wants to understand who that person is and who that being is. I think she pushes people away so that she can deal with all of that at first and so that she can understand what exactly is going on. In that way, the presence of Gersinho really changes her relationship with other people.

Liniker September Mornings Cassandra Boyfriend

Amazon Studios

I noticed that music plays an important role to the plot, specifically the Brazilian artist, Vanusa, and the show’s title is named after the title of one of her songs.

I think that Vanusa is a huge, powerful aspect of Brazilian music and Cassandra’s narrative. Her being such a fan of Vanusa makes the character have sort of like a guide, a guiding star. I think Cassandra really relies on all of Vanusa’s strength and everything Vanusa represents so that she can live and continue in this flow of just being alive, of dreaming still.

Brazil culturally hasn’t been the most open to transgender communities. What do you think it means that a show like this is able to air, taking place in the backdrop of Brazil? Do you think it speaks to progress being made there?

I feel that it’s a step forward, but we still have a lot of work to do. Brazil is not a friendly country to the trans community, and we have to really – it’s hard to resist here, to make it here. So I hope that the show does make people think, and it also makes people feel welcome and that our voices can be heard in other places and by other people as well.

Liniker September Mornings Cassandra Singing

Fito Shaw/Amazon Studios

What do you hope to achieve with this role? Are there any specific messages you are trying to get across?

I would like us to be able to change how people view our narratives, and for people to respect us, and for people to include us within society in a humane way, fair, and respectful manner.

September Mornings, Premiere, Friday, June 25, Amazon Prime