David Simon’s new series The Deuce is airing on HBO now. It’s a pretty ambitious series from the 1970s setting, to James Franco playing twins, to taking on the issue of sex work and the variety of people involved in it and their attitudes towards it. So far it’s a pretty intriguing series and I’ve been enjoying it, even as I occasionally struggle to remember specific character names, because there are a lot of characters and several of them have the same jobs. But that’s just part of enjoying a new show! All things that are easy to get over. Except for one, extremely minor problem that is incredibly petty. This character:
This is Abby, an NYU student who is 19. We know this, because after a lecture at NYU we see her having sex with her professor who, after finishing, berates himself for having sex with her because she’s 19. She is, so far, the only character who has a specific age identified for her. And that age is 19. Now, because I am not a naive television viewer and also have eyes, I knew this woman wasn’t 19. I figured she was probably somewhere around 25-27. I was only off by about a decade. You see, the lovely Margarita Levieva is actually 37 years old. Which is on her IMDB page, so it’s not a secret.
I’m gonna give you a minute to look at the picture again.
Yes, she is 37 years old. Which there is nothing wrong with! Her loveliness is not diminished by her being 37! I am simply baffled as to why, for the ONLY character whose current age has been definitively established and that age is specifically 19, they hired someone who is actually 18 years older to play her. If she had a baby at the age her character is, that baby would be almost as old as the character she’s playing. It’s weird, right? I understand liking the actress, but wasn’t there literally ANY OTHER ROLE they could have found for her where this disconnect wouldn’t be so glaring? This isn’t a case like Britt Robertson or Bianca Lawson where she’s habitually playing teenagers as far as I can tell. But at least I don’t feel as crazy for getting heavy mom vibes from this scene as she stares judgmentally at her fellow college students:
Anyway, Margarita Levieva is a beautiful woman and a great actress, and I will never not be distracted watching her in this show because she was so horrendously miscast. I suspect I’ll spend a lot of time watching her make the kind of mistakes we expect of very young adults striking out on their own and having to stifle my “You’re too old to be that dumb” reaction. It’s going to be a weird off note in a show that otherwise feels like it’s humming along beautifully. And if I have to deal with that, so do all of you now.