The second season of Marvel's Jessica Jones has landed at Netflix, which means there's a whole new mystery for our surly, super-powered P.I. to investigate. Last season gave us a Jessica Jones that pitted her against a demon of her past known as The Purple Man and this one dives deeper into another trauma that she faced at a young age. If the car accident that killed her family wasn't terrifying and life-altering enough, then the events that followed which gave her the powers offer a much deeper and darker rabbit hole.
Most of the cast is returning for this Peabody Award-winning show, which has had fans enticed since it first came out. Krysten Ritter is the perfect depiction of a live-action Jessica Jones and the supporting cast does a great job of supporting her in her role. However, this wasn't always the case for many of these performers. People in the business don't necessarily find a hit show until well into their careers. Overnight successes are really the product of hard work to the craft, so there are going to be some duds on their IMDB pages. We put our own P.I. hats on here and uncovered a bunch!
15 EKA DARVILLE IN THE ELEPHANT PRINCESS
One incredible performance in Jessica Jones featured Eka Darville as Malcolm, Jessica's neighbor and friend (sort of). He was a troubled addict whose eventual turn as another mind-controlled victim of Kilgrave's only broke our hearts when it was revealed. Darville poured out his guilt and shame into that role, which won us over as he eventually wanted to right his wrong against Jessica.
The nitty-gritty style that Jessica Jones has doesn't mix well with one of Darville's earliest roles in a children's television show called The Elephant Princess. It's a show that featured Darville as Taylor, a character who plays in a band with a girl who is the Princess of Manjipoor. It's a super silly role that doesn't pack the same punch or nuance as Jessica Jones, but it was work for the young actor.
14 CARRIE-ANNE MOSS IN BAYWATCH
At this point, it's safe to say that Carrie-Anne Moss is a bit of a pop culture icon, considering she's been in one of the biggest film franchises of all time, The Matrix. She played Jeri Hogarth in Jessica Jones, the lawyer who lacked a serious amount of empathy, which Moss played ruthlessly. But watching her in private moments broke our hearts because Moss would bring out the emotions her character bottled up.
Moss also played another character who hid her true emotions and intentions from the world in huge pop culture hit (though for decidedly different reasons) in Baywatch. She played Gwen and Mattie Brown, who turn out to be the same person with a split personality disorder. It was a serious topic that the writers of Baywatch used for plot purposes instead of a serious take on the disorder, which didn't give Moss much to work with character-wise.
13 RACHAEL TAYLOR IN THE DARKEST HOUR
Rachael Taylor's role as Patsy "Trish" Walker was a stunner because she really knew how to sell the warmth and worry of a best friend. Her character was also extremely well-balanced, even though she had her own traumas she was dealing with because ; i.e., a mother that ended up exploiting her for her own personal and financial gain. It was a line that Taylor walked finely on, but it took a while for her to land this type of character on the screen.
In The Darkest Hour, it was hard for her to emote any other emotion than "generically horrified." The movie was critically-panned because it put too much attention on its premise and not nearly enough on its characters; a common mistake in movies like this. It made for a difficult watch, which fortunately Taylor didn't stick around for because her character dies before the film ends. Oh... spoiler?
12 ROSARIO DAWSON IN THE ADVENTURES OF PLUTO NASH
Rosario Dawson has been featured in all of the Netflix Marvel shows as her character Claire Temple, aka Night Nurse. She has bandaged up Matt Murdock's wounds in Daredevil and kept Luke Cage from dying in Jessica Jones. Her character really is the thread that lines this corner of the MCU. She has interacted with all the Defenders, which helps them all find some common ground when they all finally team up to fight a big bad.
Dawson is an interesting actress because her roles are eclectic, which makes for a seriously diverse character resume. Her role in The Adventures of Pluto Nash doesn't quite match up to her role in Jessica Jones. It was an Eddie Murphy-led comedy film that continued his streak of box office failures. She starred alongside the comedy legend, but that wasn't enough to save this critically sinking spaceship.
11 DAVID TENNANT IN REX IS NOT YOUR LAWYER
David Tennant's role in Jessica Jones featured him as the charismatic, person-controlling Kilgrave, aka the Purple Man. He was sadistic, but never played the part of a conventional villain. Instead, he won over the audience whenever he was on the screen; not our hearts, mind you, but indeed our minds, arresting us in all of the wrong ways that made his portrayal so incredible. It was terrifying, and brilliant.
While he was incredible as Kilgrave, Tennant has taken roles in other projects with material that tested the English performer's range. Despite his thespian prowess, he had a real problem trying to hide his accent in the pilot for Rex Is Not Your Lawyer. It seemed difficult for him to truly hide in his character because of it, which is why the show probably didn't get picked up.
10 MIKE COLTER IN HALO: NIGHTFALL
There aren't a lot of people who could fit the role of Luke Cage as well as Mike Colter did in his debut as the unbreakable man in Jessica Jones. Colter always played his role as an even-tempered man who was trying to get over the death of the woman he loved. His meeting with Jessica was a destiny that would (at least according to the comic books) eventually end up with the two of them married.
Comic books have a better track record of being adapted into television and movies than video games do. Colter's role in Halo: Nightfall might have satisfied some gamers out there who were fans of the popular franchise, but it left a lot to be desired for your average moviegoer. The film was more concerned with making sure it locked down the look, which left its characters in the dust and soured its story.
9 KRYSTEN RITTER AS HERSELF IN THE ERIC ANDRE SHOW
This isn't the first critically acclaimed show that Krysten Ritter has had the pleasure of performing on, as she played Jane in Breaking Bad. However, her role as Jessica Jones in the self-titled series really launched her as a true presence on the screen. Jones is tough and never sober, but that doesn't stop Ritter from delivering some emotionally-charged scenes. Her character deals with her trauma poorly, but Ritter never lets us forget that her sassy one-liners are symptoms of a deeper pain.
Ritter tried her best to be a guest on The Eric Andre Show. She sat there in silence part of the time because the premise behind Eric Andre's talk show was to make people feel uncomfortable. She was subjected to a terrible smell and Andre playing whack-a-mole on his desk randomly. She even had to deal with watching one of the most disturbing films on the internet -- needless to say, it wasn't one of her finest moments.
8 SUSIE ABROMEIT IN GREATEST AMERICAN HERO
Susie Abromeit's role in Jessica Jones as the woman who Geri Hogarth had an affair with was one of the most surprising to see. She really knew how to evoke the emotions of her character when she was in a tight bind between her lover and her lover's wife. There was an air of authenticity that really illuminated the humanity of that part because she really was a character with a sense of her own agency.
In the future, it would be nice to see Abromeit play more roles that share a similar complexity because she could truly shine in one. However, her role in a fan series that remade the Greatest American Hero lacked the depths that she could reach. It had her playing the edgy girl who is dating a dumb guy who wears a leather jacket. Hey, work is work in the industry, even if it doesn't best emphasize your skills as an actor.
7 REBECCA DE MORNAY IN THE CON
Most people might not realize that the emotionally manipulative and abusive mother of Patsy "Trish" Walker is actually an '80s star of her own. Rebecca De Mornay's breakout role occurred in the '80s hit Risky Business, which featured a young Tom Cruise; she played his love interest. The role she's taken on as Trish's mother is the antithesis of her role in Risky Business -- an evil mother who only cares about herself, though admittedly, De Mornay plays that role intensely and it's great.
They weren't all Risky Business, though, because her part in The Con, a television movie which followed a con artist who falls in love with her mark, wasn't great. It isn't the most terribly original story and its dialogue/jokes left something to be desired. She stars alongside William H. Macy in it, but even the two of them are not enough to save this film.
6 ROBIN WEIGERT IN GODS BEHAVING BADLY
Robin Weigert played Jeri Hogarth's wife during the first season of Jessica Jones. She treated her role with the heartbreak and stoicism that countered the venom that Carrie-Anne Moss' Hogarth would send her way. Weigert's performance was so well-balanced, right up until the end of her character's arc. Unfortunately, her character died near the end of the first season, but it didn't stop Weigert from putting out a stunning performance.
At least, this is a performance that we actually got to see because her role as Vickey The Tree in Gods Behaving Badly was shelved after it was met with harsh criticism at film festivals. It was described as an "...outdated, unfunny satire [that] feels like an extended SNL sketch from the early '90s..." according to a Hollywood Reporter review.
5 JESSICA HECHT IN ANARCHY TV
You might not know her name, but you've definitely seen Jessica Hecht in a ton of your favorite shows. She was Susan Bunch, Ross' ex-wife's new wife, on Friends; Gretchen Schwartz on Breaking Bad; and now she's set her sights on Jessica Jones. Her role was small, but impactful in the episode AKA 99 Friends as a woman who plotted to kill Jessica because she blamed people like her for her mother's death.
Unfortunately, her roles haven't all been as interesting as those other three we mentioned. Anarchy TV was a film that had Jessica Hecht play Natalie, who was part of a group that ran an uncensored public-access tv channel. The channel is bought by a televangelist who cancels their show. They end up hijacking the channel and it becomes a strange film that falls flat. It's as bad as most recent parody movies.
4 MICHELLE HURD IN SKIN
Michelle Hurd is a serious character actor who has had many roles in different series that you may have seen. You most likely remember her from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Detective Monique Jefferies in the first couple seasons. Her character in Jessica Jones is D.A. Samantha Reyes, who served as a bridge between this show and Daredevil Season 2. She embodies the role of a powerful woman seeking justice in NYC.
She also appeared in the critically-panned and commercial failure Skin. It was a modern retelling of Romeo & Juliet, which never seems to come out as well as those adapting Shakespeare wish it would. It lasted three episodes and Hurd was typecast as another detective, but nowhere near as rich as her other roles as a character in law enforcement.
3 WIL TRAVAL IN DEXTER
The moment Wil Traval's Will Simpson knocked on Patsy "Trish" Walker's door in season 1 of Jessica Jones, we all felt a sense of impending doom immediately. He attempted to kill Trish with the dead-eyed, vacant look that was a staple of anyone who was controlled by the Purple Man. Traval's character then turned from a man under the Purple Man's control to fully-fledged part of Jessica's vigilante's crew. He embodied that heroic role with a restraint that didn't make him feel over-the-top... well, until the end, when he flipped out.
His role as Tony Rush, a bouncer accused of killing his girlfriend, in season 7 of Dexter was not the big break that actors hope for in a series as popular as that one. It was a small role in a Dexter season that had a hard time finding its footing. Traval's overall look made it hard to really take his role seriously which ended quickly.
2 ERIN MORIARTY IN THE WATCH
Erin Moriarty is a relatively new performer on the scene, but her roles in The Kings Of Summer and Jessica Jones really showcase how she might be gearing up for some big things. Her role as Hope Shlottman was tragic to watch as she was a reminder of Jessica's own trauma with Kilgrave. The arc of her character in the first episode was haunting right up until Moriarty keeps pulling the trigger of an empty gun on her dead parents in the elevator of Jessica's building.
Her role in The Watch was haunting, but only in the sense that it was bad. She played the typical teenager who hates her parents because they set rules like curfew and no parties. The movie as a whole was critically demolished because it seemed like an excuse for Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Richard Ayoade, and Jonah Hill to be overly vulgar.
1 CLARKE PETERS IN LOCKED IN
When Clarke Peters' character was killed by Will Simpson in the first season of Jessica Jones, it was one of the more heartbreaking deaths of the show. Peters played Detective Oscar Clemons with a poise and grace that reminded us of his role in The Wire. His character also gave Jessica Jones an in with the NYPD, which made for a blurred line between what justice really means in a world full of superheroes. It's a shame he didn't get a bigger arc.
However, another shame tied to this legendary actor is his role as Frank in 2010's Locked In. The film was critically-panned. There's a story surrounding the movie that a critic from the website /Film left the theater only 30 minutes into its feature presentation. His character probably wasn't even on screen yet, but that might be a good thing considering that critic's reaction.