x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 September 2017

Inbar Lavi is more than a typical runaway bride in Imposters

The 10-episode series, with its 100 per cent critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes, has already been renewed for a second season and airs on June 11.

From left, Brian Benben as Max, Uma Thurman as Lenny Cohen and Inbar Lavi as Maddie in Imposters. Ed Araquel / Bravo / OSN
From left, Brian Benben as Max, Uma Thurman as Lenny Cohen and Inbar Lavi as Maddie in Imposters. Ed Araquel / Bravo / OSN

She’s beautiful. She’s charming. The question is ... who is she? By the time you find out, your bank account will be empty, your heart broken and your new bride gone.

Such is the premise of Imposters, the crackling dark comedy on OSN that delivers a dash of slapstick, along with so many brilliant twists and turns that we’re left wondering whether to root for the amoral con artist or the guys she’s fleeced.

The 10-episode series, with its 100 per cent critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes – at the time of print – has already been renewed for a second season and airs on Sunday.

The real discovery here is the charismatic actress Inbar Lavi, who plays Maddie, a persona-shifting con artist who’s as gorgeous as she is dangerous, and who leaves her victims in torment when they realise they’ve been used and robbed of everything – including their hearts.

“Everyone on this show gets hurt. Everyone is deceived,” says 30-year-old Lavi, best-known for her roles on Fox’s Gang Related and MTV’s Underemployed, and opposite Vin Diesel and Elijah Wood in the movie The Last Witch Hunter.

“Everyone is a little bit conniving, and I hope that people can take some kind of message from it: ‘That’s OK. It happens. Clean yourself off. Get back out there. There’s always hope. You might still find someone who won’t hurt you. You might’. That’s what I would want people to take from it, at least.”

Although Lavi doesn’t have to play off the many personas she creates in the same scene, like the chameleon Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black, she proves she’s in the same league as she rises to her complex acting challenge with polish and skill as she dupes her lovers.

“One of the things that Maddie is brilliant at, as great con artists are, is seeing that thing the other person needs and being that thing that the other person has wanted,” says executive producer Paul Adelstein. “And she is those different things for all the people she has scammed.”

Life gets complicated for the dreamy Maddie when her former victims – Ezra (Rob Heaps, Frankenstein and Vampyre: A Dark and Stormy Night), Richard (Parker Young, Suburgatory) and Jules (Marianne Rendon) – team up to track her down for revenge.

Making matters worse – or is it better? – Maddie finds herself falling in love, for real, with her newest mark, Patrick (Stephen Bishop, Being Mary Jane), much to the chagrin of her mysterious boss, The Doctor.

But Maddie is not alone. In her corner are her trusted cohorts and partners in crime: Max (Brian Benben, Dream On) and Sally (Katherine LaNasa, The Campaign). And the ultimate “fixer” Lenny, the Oscar-nominated actress Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill) shows up in the third episode to break arms, literally, and to call some of the shots in her recurring guest role.

“I have a wonderful scene with Uma Thurman, which just felt completely surreal and was like an out-of-body experience,” says Lavi.

“I don’t remember much other than just how incredible it was and felt like there was electricity everywhere in the room.”

As Imposters explores the notion of identity, it also hints at our inability to truly know anyone, even our wives, husbands, kids and parents. Despite the cynicism, its witty dialogue and bright writing offset its moments of deep sadness with humour.

Inbar says she relates to Maddie’s shape-shifting nature and knack for adapting – something she believes viewers can relate too as well.

“I think we all desperately try to fit in to different moulds: 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. And along the way, we lose a little bit of ourselves,” she says.

Imposters airs at 10pm on Sunday on OSN Series HD Home of HBO

artslife@thenational.ae