A few weeks ago I was watching the absolutely INSANE TV series, The Following (if you don't know, it's a show about a cult of serial killers and the unfortunate souls they happily exterminate), when the sweet-faced Tiffany Boone popped up on the screen looking as bewildered as ever, until she bludgeoned True Blood star Carrie Preston to death. It's the kind of thing you've come to expect from the show that seems to get off on random acts of crazy at any given moment. Sure, it's ridiculous at times. But it's ridiculously irresistible.
Boone, who before last month was a completely fresh face to me (apparently she was featured in two episodes of Southland that I've seen, but don't remember her in), plays Mandy Lang, one of the newer members of Joe Carroll's (James Purefoy) vicious cult. Her naturally cherubic expression lends to the show's eerie tone that perpetuates the idea of duplicity in a person, the propensity to know what is right and to deliberately do the opposite. Mandy is young, obedient, deceptively sweet but, like Joe's other followers, completely under his spell. But what I like most about Boone's casting is that as an actress of color she gets to play a complex character that is no one's sidekick, best friend or moral compass. She commands the screen as a character whose storyline is not governed by any specific race or look (something that is fortunately becoming more of a standard on the small screen). Mandy is strictly governed by her devotion to Joe's method: organized murder, often in broad daylight, that constantly makes law enforcement look like its run by Quick Draw McGraw and Yosemite Sam (one of which is played by the show's star, Kevin Bacon).
In fact, Joe is like Mandy's god and she is his number one believer, eager to make him proud by borrowing his powers of manipulation on her own prey. It's a creepy relationship, deepened by its elements of faith and fatherhood, that allows Boone to explore the levels of human control and moral decay. It's the type of role actresses kill for. Here are a few gifs to get you more acquainted with TV's breakthrough villain:
The Following airs Monday nights at 9pm on FOX.