We're only a couple of episodes into this season of Imposters, but we can already tell that it's going to be one thrilling adventure to figure out who, exactly, is Maddie? Of course, it doesn't help that this con artist has assumed all of these different identities, from sweet Ava to sexy Saffron.
Playing so many different personas in one project sounds like the greatest acting challenge ever to us. And that's why Inbar Lavi, the woman behind Maddie and all of her alter egos, made sure that her performance was always about one woman in particular. "Well, I would say that the main thing to keep in mind for me that helps me keep focused was that Maddie was the core. She's the backbone of each of the other fictional branches that grow and blossom throughout her journey. But she is the instigator of it all," Inbar recently told Bravotv.com. "So as long as I understood who she was, where she came from, who her best friends are, what her aspirations in life were, then everything else kind of fell into place."
In preparation to play a con artist, Inbar said she talked to real-life con artists, as well as watched documentaries and movies about the art of the con. She also consulted one of the series' writers, who grew up with a father who was a con artist. But Inbar said that anyone can really speak about deception. "I think, basically, if you talk to anybody, you can gauge an idea of what it's like to feel deceived. You don't have to have run into a con artist to feel like you've been deceived by someone," she explained. "I can definitely relate, and I've been there before. I took a lot of my own personal experience throughout the show. I'm using it in many different scenes. It's painful, but it's true and it's real, and hopefully people can appreciate some honesty."
Putting on each persona's hair, makeup, and costume helped Inbar channel the new identity as well. "I think finding a character starts in hair and makeup, fitting room. That's where it all kind of falls into place. A way a woman walks and talks and moves and behaves is completely connected to how she looks. You can learn everything you need to know about a character based on her haircut, her nail polish, the height of her heel, how sheer her blouse is, she's wearing accessories, how long it took her to get out of the house," Inbar said. "It's to the smallest, tiniest, little detail. The con is all about the detail."
But the way each persona looks also says something about the other characters on Imposters. "Also something to think about [was] the way they dress was to please the target, so everything was for the target," Inbar said. "What would the target want me to look like?"
Inbar admitted that being able to try on so many different looks has made her think about trying out some of their styles in real life, such as Ava's bangs. "I remembered having bangs throughout my childhood, and I thought, 'That looks great. That makes me feel so sweet and innocent.' And then I remembered how frizzy my hair gets and when you don't have a hairstylist on the show taking care of you and blowdrying you every five seconds, it might become a little more traumatic in real life. So I've decided against it," Inbar said. "But yeah, each of the characters have different looks that I love and want to adopt for my life, but I'm such a tomboy, I wouldn't even know how to upkeep it, that it would just end up being a big, massive mistake. So I'm trying to not fall into that."
So far, Inbar said that she's enjoyed playing the persona of CeCe the most, who's the wife of Jules (Marianne Rendón), a character we just met in the latest episode of Imposters. "She's a ninja," Inbar said of CeCe. "She's just fearless and so carefree and out there and kooky and fun and a badass."
As you can see in the above video, which of Maddie's personas is the best is up for debate among Inbar's castmates. But it's Maddie's shape-shifting nature and knack for adapting that makes her so relatable to Inbar — and all human beings. "I think that we all desperately try to fit in to different molds: our parents, our bosses, our partners, social status, friends. We all figure out a look that we think will get us the job or make his parents approve of us or get that girl to want to go on a date, whatever. We all change ourselves to please whoever it is," Inbar said. "And along the way, we lose a little bit of ourselves."
Who will Maddie turn up as next? Tune in to Imposters on Thursdays at 10/9c to find out. Until then, perhaps this sneak peek of the all-new season will help with the mystery.