‘Dickinson’s Hailee Steinfeld & Alena Smith on Bringing Emily’s Final Chapter to TV

Dickinson Season 3 Alena Smith and Hailee Steinfeld
Courtesy of Apple

It’s almost the beginning of the end as we look ahead to Dickinson‘s third and final season on November 5, and the experience has been nothing short of incredible for star Hailee Steinfeld and showrunner Alena Smith, both of whom are executive producers on the Apple TV+ show.

Together, this team of women, along with a stellar group of writers and performers have brought together Emily Dickinson’s coming of age story for all to enjoy. And while we may be loath to see it end, Steinfeld, Smith, and the rest of the team can rest assured, that just like Emily’s poetry, Dickinson will continue to live on.

Dickinson Season 3 Hailee Steinfeld Behind the Scenes

(Credit: Courtesy of Apple)

Along with bringing young Emily’s story to its conclusion this season, it also marks a first for Smith who takes on the director’s position for the show’s final episode. TV Insider was on location at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration this summer, where the setup doubled for Emily’s native Amherst, Massachusetts.

There, Smith and Steinfeld worked on a scene in front of Emily’s house, offering us a peek at how the duo help bring the magic they do to the small screen. “We’ve had an awesome experience over all of the seasons,” Smith gushed on set. “But I feel as we’ve developed this language together of Hailee and I getting to watch cuts… and making adjustments together.”

Dickinson Season 3 Alena Smith Behind the Scenes

(Credit: Courtesy of Apple)

“It’s such a lovely process because it’s like I inhabit the scripts when they’re being written. We all inhabit it when we’re shooting it. The editor inhabits it. But then to have it come back to Hailee and to get to have that conversation… [that] for me is just the most gratifying part,” Smith continued.

While Steinfeld couldn’t say too much about Emily’s story beforehand, we caught up with her more recently during the Season 3 press day in which she helped paint a picture of what fans can expect from the story. As viewers may recall, Emily struggled with writer’s block and relationship turmoil with Sue (Ella Hunt) in Season 2, now she’s being forced to contend with the ongoing Civil War as well as the own battle brewing within her family.

Dickinson Season 3 Alena Smith Hailee Steinfeld Behind the Scenes

(Credit: Courtesy of Apple)

“She is struggling to find those ways that she can help, that she can be this source of light and hope in a time that feels so hopeless and so painful,” Steinfeld shares of Emily’s plight to lift others up this season. “The family is in this sort of a state of mourning and grief that Emily feels she must take on what is in front of her.”

But what’s a girl to do with ink, pen, and paper amid the chaos? Write, of course. “She starts to tend to everyone’s wounds and after contemplating for quite a bit if her writing does have any kind of impact, she realizes that it [does and] she finds a way that she can help.”

As for Smith, she says directing, “felt like a very natural step for me to take as the creator and showrunner of Dickinson.” And while viewers will have to wait until the finale airs, there’s plenty to relish in along the way, so don’t rush the journey. See what kind of poetry Smith and Steinfeld cooked up when the series returns for its third and final season.

Dickinson, Season 3 Premiere, Friday, November 5, Apple TV+