January 13, 2012

Lisa: Well played, Melinda Clarke's publicity team

UPSIDE: If your television or low-budget movie production needs an attractive, seductive brunette of a certain age, you're in luck! There are three nearly identical actresses who have been capably filling that niche for years. One of them is sure to be free (probably Musetta Vander).

DOWNSIDE: If you are Polly Walker or Musetta Vander, all your acting credits are going to Melinda Clarke, because NOBODY KNOWS YOU ARE DIFFERENT PEOPLE.


Sarah knows Melinda Clarke as Lady Heather, the so-called "Moddom" from CSI. Melinda played another brothel owner on Firefly, but you might remember her best as Julie Cooper on The O.C.. IMDB says she played a Siren on Charmed. Obviously.

When I see Musetta Vander, I can't think of anything but the praying mantis substitute teacher on Buffy. Apparently she also--like Melinda--played a Siren (this time on O Brother, Where Art Thou?) and some kind of corset-wearing villainous lady bodyguard on Wild Wild West.

Before some extensive Googling, I'd pretty much forgotten I'd seen Polly Walker as the "elegant" Jane Fairfax in Gwyneth Paltrow's Emma and (much further back) the beautiful but jaded Caroline Dester in Enchanted April. More relevantly, she appeared as Atia of the Julii on Rome, a character confusingly but aptly dubbed Julii Cooper on Television Without Pity. She hasn't played any characters named "Siren," and there don't seem to be any photos of her online in fetish wear. If there weren't so many completely nude stills from Rome, I'd be forced to call her the classy one.


Honestly, if I told you these were all the same woman, you'd believe me, right?


I explained to Sarah that I was doing a little research in preparation for this post, and she inadvertently proved my point:

Lisa: "I had to physically stop myself from searching the Internet for photos of Polly Walker in a corset. Ten pages of Google Images results and nothing!"
Sarah: "What? There MUST be screen captures of her in a corset from CSI!"
Lisa: "Yes. The problem is that was Melinda Clarke."


Blake peered over my shoulder at these three photos and emphatically stated they looked completely different. Then he pointed at the middle one (Musetta Vander), and said, "That looks like the lady who played Julie Cooper (Melinda Clarke). You know, the girl from Rome (Polly Walker)." SERVED, SERVED, SERVED.

Posted by lisa at January 13, 2012 04:41 PM

Ha! Thank you for the Jane Fairfax connection. Also, would you say that Polly Walker has the least of what Mom would call "A vulgar face"?

Posted by: sarah on January 15, 2012 08:58 AM

Holy cow. I never really thought about this before, but you're TOTALLY RIGHT.

Posted by: E on January 15, 2012 06:16 PM
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