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Why Dead Ringers' Poppy Liu Originally Turned Down The Series

Poppy Liu is a name that's not yet on the mind of the pop culture zeitgeist. "Yet" feels very much like a temporary qualification there, however, as the actor's star has very much been on the rise in recent years via memorable turns on "Better Call Saul," "Hacks," and "Tales of the Walking Dead." Liu's rapid Hollywood ascension will only be bolstered by her current role as the decidedly eccentric Greta on Amazon Studios' streaming hit "Dead Ringers." Already a hit with critics; streamers continue to discover the mini-series' demented delights as well, with Liu earning solid notes for her work alongside Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz.

But as Liu recently told Consequence TV, she almost didn't play Greta on "Dead Ringers," initially passing on it altogether. As the actor said, her initial reticence was largely due to a lack of information about her character, noting, "I didn't have any scripts to read — it was maybe a page and a half of scenes, but scenes without the context of the show, and now that you've seen how strange my character is, the scenes didn't totally even make that much sense."

Liu went on to say she was actually intrigued by the prospect of playing Greta, the artist, but only got to read scenes with Greta, the housekeeper. "I was like, 'Oh, I don't know if I feel very called to play an Asian maid,"' she said, adding, "I think I just kind of glanced through it and was like, "'Meh.'"

Liu needed to read several Dead Ringers scripts before she signed on for her role

As for what turned Poppy Liu's "meh" into a "yeah," it was mostly a matter of filling in some narrative gaps surrounding the enigmatic Greta. That clarity came because "Dead Ringers" producer Alice Birch and director Sean Durkin refused to take Liu's "no" for an answer. As the actor told Consequence TV, those names alone actually helped change her mind, saying, "But then Alice Birch and Sean Durkin hit me up and I was like, 'Well, dang, they rock.'" With Liu now open to a conversation about Greta, she claimed Birch and Durkin sweetened the deal by offering to send completed screenplays, hoping to help pull back the curtain on the character.

The "Dead Ringers" creatives indeed broke protocol on the hyper-secretive project and passed along the noted reading material. And as Liu claims, after reading the screenplays quickly, she changed her mind about the role. "I mean, it is like nothing I could have imagined," she said, continuing, "It's unlike any script I've ever read before. It transcends genre." As Liu further noted, said scripts also provided a deeper look at Greta, providing much-needed context for the character and her actions.

Liu clearly liked what she read and promptly struck a deal to play Greta, telling Consequence, "I was like, 'Oh, this character is actually so freaky and strange and interesting and a weird Rubik's cube to solve, and there's layers upon layers.'" And if you've seen Liu at work in "Dead Ringers," you know she reveled in the chance to explore each and every one of those layers.