Danielle Savre's character on Station 19 is breaking ground on female and LGBTQ representation on broadcast television.
At the start of the firefighter drama series' March 28 episode, titled "Baby Boom," a little girl is shocked but delighted to see Maya Bishop (Savre) and Andy Herrera (Jaina Lee Ortiz) as part of a team of firefighters working to save her family from an incident at their home.
Moments like this, Savre told PopCulture.com exclusively, resonate the most with her and viewers.
"We're still not at a place where you can go to any fire station and there's three female firefighters [there]," Savre told PopCulture.com in a phone interview Thursday, April 4. "I think even something like this show and all the other firefighting shows that are out there right now really inspire women to realize, 'I can do this.'"
Aside from getting to perform cool stunts and "fight" fires on a regular basis on the show, Savre admits inspiring a younger generation to bridge the gender gap in the firefighting community is one of the best parts of her role on the show.
"There's been female firefighters since the beginning... you've just never seen them represented in film and television," Savre said. "We get Instagram posts and tweets from little girls dressing up as Andy Herrera or Maya Bishop for Halloween and saying they want to be a firefighter... and that just means so much to me, that this job and this show is impacting people's life in a way that I never thought possible."
In the past two seasons, fans have gotten to know Maya — a female, bisexual firefighter and former Olympic athlete – as the "cheerleader" within the Station 19 squad. Savre admits she felt lucky getting to play such a "well-rounded" character that also means so much in terms of representation on screen.
"Every time I get a new script she still surprises me, sometimes she does things that I kinda find out of character and then I realize, 'Why is Maya doing this?' because she's human," Savre said.
"She's not a stereotypical bisexual character or stereotypical firefighter, or stereotypical Olympian. She's all these things and more," she added. "She has faults and flaws and she's got all these little facts to her that I love to keep exploring... and to be able to represent the LGBTQ community on television too has been a huge honor."
With the recent hookup between Maya and her colleague — and Andy's ex-beau — Jack (Grey Damon), we can expect the drama to heat up in the next few episodes, offering up yet another layer in Savre's complex character.
"I think as much as we think we know Maya, I think she puts on a very good face for everybody, to support everyone, to be everyone's cheerleader, and to help everyone," Savre teased. "I think you're gonna get to see her crack a little bit. Which is fun to play and fun to see."