To Possess or impersonate

For every sci-fi and supernatural series out there, there are at least one or two instances of a character being possessed by someone else or something else. Or someone doing a fine job of impersonating someone else.

So here, is a list of some of the standout performances. Major spoilers ahead. You have been warned!

In True Blood, there were some "skin walkers" those who could take on the form of another person. Which meant the actor portraying Sam Merlotte, (Sam Trammell) had some extra work when he had to give the realistic portrayal of when his half brother - Tommy was pretending to be him.

And of course there was the stunning performances by the late great Nelsan Ellis, when his character Lafayette, was possessed by first whatever Maryann was into, the witch Marnie, a young black girl from the past, Jesus's family member, Sookie's late father, he was consistent and impressive with all the extra characters he took on during the show's tenure.
And let's not forget Tara, portrayed by Rutina Wesley.
There was a painful scene where both Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Sookie (Anna Paquin) had to work hard to get Tara back with them. And for most of series four the character Marnie (portrayed by Fiona Shaw) was possessed by a witch from the past, Antonia.

In Teen Wolf, during the second half of series three, the character Stiles, portrayed by Dylan O'Brien, was possessed by a dark trickster spirit, known as the Nogitsune, from Japanese mythology. Something you notice very quickly, is that Stiles's character, provided most of the comic relief in the series. In this part of the series, when he's not quite there, the show became a whole darker.

This clip shows the brilliance of his "possessed" performance. Seemingly he's back, but no, its another cruel trick.

And then we come to Orphan Black, where with many clones and much trouble to get into, there is plenty of one clone impersonating another. Which gives another reason for Tatiana Maslany to receive every award known - her ability to keep the clones' mannerisms, voices, every other characterisation separate while they're impersonating each other is seriously impressive.

Of course, a mention to The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. With much of what was called "body jumping", whether voluntary or not, and yep, the doppelgängers, a few actors here had to get some help. Nina Dobrev had her work cut out for her, she was Katherine, Elena, Tatia and then Amara. And then Katherine impersonating Elena, Katherine in Elena's body (spoilers!), Elena impersonating Katherine. And then it turned out Stefan (portrayed by Paul Wesley) was also in the doppelgänger line, he was Silas, and although it wasn't a possessed moment, I have give special mention to the ripper moments. Ms Dobrev, Mr Wesley and Candice King and of course Matthew Davis, how could I forget, he was for a time hosting the character of Klaus (body jumping) as did Michael Trevino, and then later, his dark side came out to play.

And then in The Originals, the body jumping hijinks continue: the mother character Esther was playing about in two other bodies, first in Cassie's (Natalie Dreyfuss) then in Lenore's (Sonja Sohn). And the eldest brother Finn was borrowing Vincent's body (Yusuf Gatewood) for a little while. Younger brother Kol was in Kaleb's body (portrayed by Daniel Sharman) and sister Rebekah was in Eva Sinclair's (Maisie Richardson-Sellers).

And now, most recently, the character of Will in Stranger Things, portrayed by Noah Schnapp, is possessed by the 'shadow monster' or 'mind flayer' - something dark and cruel - and does a proper job of doing so. He is different from some of the others on this list, because he is fighting back and is still has some form of control. So, he is keeping two on one for some very deep and meaningful scenes, some quite teary. Quite good, for a thirteen year old.

Before I forget, Daniel Radcliffe in the fifth Harry Potter film, while portraying the eponymous role, his character is possessed by the big baddie himself - Voldemort. I remember reading somewhere that Mr Radcliffe actually pushed for that scene to be filmed and included. And in the second film - Ginny also had that experience, she was portrayed by Bonnie Wright.


  1. This quote comes from another film where the main actor was portraying two characters.

    “Hank Evans: Charlie's like origami, he folds under pressure.”


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