Real vs Reel

13 February 20213 min read

The 5th season of The Expanse made for an epic viewing experience in what I think is one of the finest space operas of our time. It whetted my appetite enough to look forward to its next and final season. While there are several aspects of the show like its writing, direction and production values that contribute to its quality, the wonderful cast and their chemistry is what elevates it to another level.

As is the case with most people including me, when we say that we are a fan of a series we end up getting attached in some way to the characters. As the seasons progress, we begin to choose our favorites. We give ourselves over to the created reality of the show and start rooting for characters like we know them in real life.

Spoilers Ahead for those who have not watched the Season 5 finale

Canadian actor Cas Anvar who plays Alex the pilot of the Rocinante was a valuable part of this ensemble cast. The Expanse is also a show that makes a multiracial crew of characters work so well together. While Amos is my personal favorite, Alex with his raspy voice and endearing way of talking to the ship was also a fan favorite.

When news of an investigation into the actor, for sexual misconduct and assault became known and the subsequent news, that he would not be part of the final season, many fans including me wondered how they would write him out. As the season was shot before the decision of his outing was taken, most of the season’s storyline gives no hints about his exit. And for the very first time every time I saw him onscreen, I could not help also seeing the person behind the character and the painful reasons why I would never see this character again.

At the end they decided to take him out with a simple stroke. No pun intended. They did in the best way that circumstances could afford them, and it did provide fans and the other crew members with some sense of closure.

It really made me think about how much adoration actors earn from fans and how often we equate their personalities with the roles they play on screen. When they perform derogatory acts that tarnish the image we have of them I always wonder if one can keep the reel and real-life version of the person separate. Can we ever see, a once heralded performance that made you a fan, in the same light again?

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