As Netflix’s YOU makes a dramatic return with a third season, the introduction of Joe Goldberg’s newest acquaintance, Marianne, is not one to be taken lightly. Tati Gabrielle admirably embodies Marianne from the start of the season to the finish, embracing her hidden quirks and interests in an eccentric way. Marianne consistently steals the show in her safe space—the library, where we often see her hard at work. When Joe and her first meet, Marianne is portrayed as strict, maybe even a little stuck up. However, Joe eventually breaks through to her surface as the season progresses, and we’re finally able to see the true Marianne as well as immerse in her traumatic backstory.
What made Tati’s performance so astonishing was the approach she took to expressing her character’s emotions so visibly, whether that be facially or bodily. One particular scene that grabbed my attention was (spoiler alert?) when Joe catches Marianne and her abusive ex-husband, Ryan, in the midst of a heated argument. When he walks in, Ryan automatically shifts into his “nice guy” personality while Marianne’s distraught face gives everything away. The fact that viewers can easily suspect the tension and toxicity between Ryan and Marianne as Joe interrupts simply by her facial expressions is a talent crafted evidently through years of practice and true perfectional strategies. Body language is another large factor in the success of an actor, and to Tati, this was only a bonus to her dedicated work. With a mixture of persuasive, descriptive mannerisms and emotion-ridden facial expressions, I was roped into her performance as a first-time viewer.
Being unaware of Tati’s previous roles in television such as Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018-2020) and The 100 (2014-2020), I was unsure of what to expect from her. I hadn’t anticipated to be so blown away by a new character, especially considering the way Marianne was subtly brought into the storyline but was pleasantly surprised. I appreciate how Tati represented the slow burn of her character’s development that eventually led to an intricate, more complex identity. It’s refreshing to see this progression executed so thoroughly and wholly. Today, it appears that for certain genres of television, the acting can appear relatively similar. I think this is a great distinction between Tati Gabrielle and other actors. Although I cannot speak for the roles of hers that I haven’t seen, her execution in season three of YOU was incredible. I look forward to indulging in her other work soon and am intrigued to see what her next steps are.