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Shows about con artists and “mistaken” identities have been around since the beginning of TV, but what sets dramedy Imposters (2017-current; the first season is now available on Showmax) is that the imposter is being conned by the people she’s conned.
“I love how creative Maddie is and how much fun she’s having,” squeals actress Inbar Lavi. “She’s funny and quick and focused and 10 steps ahead of the person she’s working.” Thing is, “the person” is now two men she’s been engaged to and hustled: Ezra and Richard (Rob Heaps and Parker Young). And the more the not-so-dynamic duo dig, the more they uncover about Maddie, who also goes by the names Alice, Ava, CeCe and Saffron.
Love don’t discriminate
“She plays this terrible person,” says British actor Rob, with Israeli actress Inbar adding that “it’s simple for Maddie: she makes men and women fall in love with her and then she runs off with all they’ve got”. Episode 1 stars with business heir Ezra coming home to discover that his fiancée and their fairytale romance is nothing but a burning bush of lies that you’d expect to find in a Bible story… because there’s a moral to the story. “All that glitters isn’t gold – and if it is, Maddie will get her hands on it,” laughs Inbar. And it’s the actress’s sweet real-life giggle and persona and diminutive size that makes her character so loveable. “Plus, she’s easy on the eyes,” jokes Rob. But it’s more than just the outside appeal. Maddie investigates her target from head to toe and all the way around their waist circumference. “She knows what time they go to bed, what time they wake up, what toothpaste they use – everything and anything,” explains Inbar. “They have no idea that they’re being taken for a ride until they wake up and they’re penniless.” Watch now »
Nothing to laugh at
But while the cons are intricate and you get to see how Maddie and her crew piece together their heist scams, it’s the comedy elements that make the show appealing. From episode 2 onwards, Ezra and Richard are like two helpless puppies who’re adorable while learning to growl and bark – and in this case, their bark is way worse than their bite. “They start to put together almost like a Bible of con tricks,” laughs Parker. “These two fools buy the Dummy’s Guide To Scams and practice their routines on each other. They’re good guys but they get this hair-brained idea that they can scam Maddie or Ava or whatever she’s called. They have no idea the mess they’re getting themselves into.” Watch now »
Everyone’s a target
No one is safe from being conned in Imposters, be it by bumbling buffoons Ezra and Richard or Maddie’s professional outfit. Ezra is a businessman who was blinded by “this gorgeous Belgian waitress,” says Rob. Richard was a former athlete and golden boy who married “the typical trophy wife in Alice,” says Parker with a straight face. And from episode 2, the target is completely different for Maddie. For starters, she’s now playing a ditsy secretary rather than a trophy wife, girlfriend or fiancée. She’s changed her name to Saffron. And she’s targeting a bank manager in a small-ish town. “Maddie and her team don’t actually choose their marks,” explains Inbar. “They are working for this really dangerous and mysterious figure known as ‘The Doctor’. They are indebted to him and obviously he’s holding something terrifying over everyone’s heads. That’s why they don’t stop. It’s more like they can’t stop. They have to do their work or else…”
This isn’t a nice life, adds Inbar. “Maddie is forced to move every few months. She has people controlling her life. She has to hide when she’s got her loot. And worst of all, she can’t settle down and have a normal life, with a husband and a family.” Or so Maddie thinks… Watch now »
Picking your patsy
So how do you find your target? It’s easy for Maddie and co – they’re handed the info on a plate by The Doctor. But there are striking similarities between guys like Ezra, Richard and bank manager Mr Heller – they’re insecure. “Ezra’s turning 30 and thinks that he didn’t take enough risks. Richard thought that his life as a jock was behind him. And Heller is old, balding and overweight – why would someone like Saffron be into him?” asks Inbar. And that’s the hook that Maddie uses to trap her prey: she makes them feel like Superman who is invincible with his Lois Lane at his side. “Plus, they’ve got to be loaded – and I mean having a tonne of cash in the bank account,” laughs Rob. Watch now »
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Sources: avclub.com, bravo.com, fromthegrapevine.com, variety.com, youtube.com
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