Jennifer Beals Plays Character Other Than Bette Porter in New Webseries, “Lauren”

Hansen’s Team Pick:

Trigger warning: Contains reference to rape and video has graphic description and depiction of rape.

Jennifer Beals! There. I have your attention. There’s a new YouTube channel called WIGS (Where It Gets Interesting — doesn’t that almost sound like Degrassi’s “It Goes There”?!) with short films, documentaries, and web series starring female leads.

The newest series is called Lauren and stars Bette Porter and Troian Bellisario (also known as Spencer from Pretty Little Liars). Lauren examines the sometimes upsetting consequences of when women in the army report sexual assault or harassment against them from members of their own platoons. Bellisario stars as Lauren, a soldier who has been raped by three of her fellow soldiers and is reporting the incident to Major Jo Stone, played by Jennifer Beals.

On a lighter note, when AfterEllen interviewed Beals about the role and what her lesbian audience would think, she replied, “Gosh, I don’t know what the lesbian fans will like best about the series, maybe my uniform? And I say that lovingly because I have to say, my lesbian fans are the most loyal that I have ever encountered and I’m very grateful to all of them.”

She does look damn good in that uniform, just sayin’.

Let me warn you: this is not a happy short film, and in fact, I cried twice in eleven minutes. It’s heavy. It’s incredibly triggering. However, it is amazingly acted, tastefully depicted, and understandably horrific. This is real and this happens. The end of the film has upsetting statistics about rape in the military (3,192 sexual assaults in the military were reported in 2011, and many go unreported every year) as well as a link to where you can find more information on the Service Women’s Action Network website.

Here’s part one of three. Let me know what you think.

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Hansen is the former DIY & Food Editor of and likes to spend most days making and cooking and writing. She teaches creative writing at Colorado State University and is pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in her free time.

Hansen has written 189 articles for us.


  1. So I haven’t been able to watch the vid yet, but can I just say how happy I am that this channel even exists?! Web entertainment keeps dialing it up and I love that there’s an entire channel just telling women’s stories. Also, can anyone find a corporate backer for the channel? I couldn’t in the credits. I want so badly for it to be an indie production house.

  2. I watched this yesterday and can’t wait for the next part to be posted. Such great work from both actresses. Also it’s exciting that there is a channel dedicated to telling women’s stories AND that there are top-notch, professional actors working in the online medium.

  3. Saw it, the series is great……..but part of me doesn’t want to watch part 2 and 3 because Jennifer Beals & Troian are so amazing they make it hard not to cry. When Beals character talked about being the only woman among thousands of men and said “do the fucking math!” I did and then my eyes started to produce even more water.

    I am so happy that this story is being told because rape in the military is a very serious issues & unfortunately most of the cases do get swept under the rug.

  4. Shit, that was so heartbreaking and intense. I really want to see Jennifer make a comeback on mainstream television and/or in film. She’s such a powerful actress.

  5. Wow, the acting here is just stunning. Thanks for bringing the series (and this channel) to my attention.

  6. I watched this at maybe 3 AM this morning. I was simultaneously hiding under the covers because of the content and fawning over Beals’ rural accent.

  7. I feel like a terrible human being because mostly I’m distracted by how hot both Jennifer Beals and Troian Bellisario are in uniform.

  8. Saw part 3 the last part & I wanted to yell NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Don’t embrace the suck & take the Lawyers advice. I would have been happy it the series ended with her thinking over the Lawyers proposal, then in my mind I could have gone well she took her advice & those SOB’s are going to at least get vilified in the public eye. I hope women in the service or going to join see this & start reporting these cases more & try contacting a news agency to get the story out there & force an investigation.

    Look at the Trayvon Martin case, had it not been for people hearing about the story and putting pressure on the cops Zimmerman would have never been arrested and now there will be a trial. I think the same thing can happen with the rape victims & their stories. Get the story out there and let the public put pressure on the military to take action against rapists in the military.

  9. Pingback: Commentary: Lauren; a mini-series on rape in the Army, 1 of 3 | Unequal Seas

  10. I know this story was posted a while ago, but I wanted to say, as a film maker choosing to do work in web series as well as traditional media (despite web series generating next to no income), thank you for posting about this. This series and the way the WIG channel is run had a real impact on me. Now when people ask why I do what I do when the work is hard and unstable, I can hold up this show with a list of other projects and say “this is why.”

    I didn’t expect this show to impact my mind and focus like it did, but it did change me. Thank you very much for writing about it.

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