This week we’re talking about fakers: People who pretend to be something they are not. Whether this is a gender swap (ala She’s the Man) or taking on a new identity (see: Alias), we enjoy a good liar, although they almost always get found out at the end.
Dana Piccoli: Twelfth Night with Anne Hathaway and Audra McDonald. Need I say more?
Lucy Hallowell: Hermione Granger pretending to be Bellatrix Lestrange to get into Gringotts. Watching the Helena Bonham Carter pretend to be Hermione pretending to be Bellatrix is absolutely priceless.
Ali Davis: I love Blade Runner. I love it so much that I have every alternate cut packaged in a plastic Voight-Kampff briefcase with a metal origami unicorn. I love it so much that I yelled at a friend for watching it the first time on her goddamned phone. (Do not watch it on your goddamned phone.) I love it so much that the other person’s enjoyment of it has thus far been a 100% successful predictor of whether I will be happy in a relationship. And the girlfriend who hated it was, in fact, the least good to me. (Red flag: She didn’t get that it’s about what really makes someone human.)
Plus Daryl Hannah flipping down that hallway and Zhora being such an incredible bad-ass and Rutger Hauer’s amazing speech at the end. I might need to go watch it again.
Bridget McManus: Orphan Black. Duh! If scruffy hooligan Sarah Manning didn’t steal the identity of put-together law-abiding detective Beth Childs then we wouldn’t have the best TV show ever! Or have met Cosima. (P.S. I’m dressing up as Helena for Halloween this year.)
Valerie Anne: Cloneswaps are the best thing ever, but I’m still in too much pain from Tatiana Maslany‘s Emmy snub to talk about Orphan Black right now. So my answer is the episode of Buffy “Who Are You?” where Faith and Buffy switched bodies. Seeing how Faith saw Buffy, based on how she was acting while she was trying to convince everyone she was Buffy, was really a wonderful thing to watch. Sarah Michelle Gellar really nailed that body swap, especially when Faith (in Buffy’s body) was punching the crap out of her own face. So beautifully tragic. And the episode itself was pretty hilarious. “You can’t do that. It’s WRONG.” Bonus points for Faith-as-Buffy being the first one to figure out Tara and Willow were totally “making magic” together.
Dara Nai: For TV, I’m going with the “Doppelgangland” episode of Buffy, when good Willow tries to pass herself off as VampWillow. Try as she may, she just can’t help being adorbs. Plus, this episode spawned this classic line: “That’s me as a vampire? I’m so evil and… skanky. And I think I’m kinda gay.”
Karman Kregloe: Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. In addition to faking being an actress in order to get a job on a soap, his Dorothy was also pretending she was not in lesbian love with Jessica Lange, and so was I!
Jill Guccini: She’s the Man. I saw this movie with my now-wife in college on this really horrible day when this freak accident had happened on our campus, and we were both just really shaken up and feeling weird. She suggested we go see some stupid movie to take our minds off things, and that was how I ended up seeing this movie that I probably never would have gone to otherwise. But we laughed until our stomachs hurt and it was the best decision ever. Whatever Amanda Bynes has gone through post-this movie, I will always always love her and the ridiculousness of She’s the Man.
As a second choice, 13 Going on 30, which I will watch every single time they re-air it on TV. The “Thriller” scene! When she tries to hit on the little boy! Everything about it is so sweet and funny and endearing.
Heather Hogan: Come on now. It’s Mona Vanderwaal disguised as Alison DiLaurentis disguised as Caleb Rivers disguised as the Phantom of the Opera, because that’s how far she’ll go to get her smooch on with Hanna Marin.
Erika Star: Hands down, Mrs. Doubtfire was my favorite childhood film. A fact that may explain my inclinations for choosing to exclusively date girls who fall somewhere on the faking shit spectrum.
Elaine Atwell: You guys. Mulan.
Eboni Rafus: In the game of “How Many Times/Ways Can We Make Movies with the Same Basic Concept as Shakespere’s Twelfth Night,” my pick is Yentl. Because, Babs.
Trish Bendix: Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead was probably supposed to be a cautionary tale, but I grew up thinking how rad it would be to fake a resume and get a cool fashion job where you throw elaborate parties at your mom’s house. Christina Applegate was my idol, for better or for worse!
Who is your favorite on-screen or on-stage faker?