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Why Quellcrist Falconer From Altered Carbon Looks So Familiar

It debuted only a couple of years ago, but behind its propulsive first two seasons, Netflix's sexy, action-packed, wildly inventive sci-fi thriller Altered Carbon has quickly become one of the streamer's most impressive original series. For those not in the know about Altered Carbon, it's set in a distant future where human consciousness can be stored and contained in miniature discs called "stacks," which can be re-inserted into living human bodies (a.k.a. "sleeves") after an original host's physical death. That ultimately means one could, theoretically, live forever in the world of Altered Carbon

Those who do — known as "Meths" — are typically wealthy in ways one can barely fathom. Those who don't have the means to live forever are left to make their way in a patently unforgiving real world where VR diversions and black-market sleeves are the norm. That class disparity was the driving force behind the "Envoys," a specialized group of super-soldiers who once dared to try and destroy the tech that essentially made life everlasting. The Envoys were led by the very woman who developed the technology — . Quellcrist Falconer. Though it was thought she met her end alongside the majority of the Envoy forces she fronted, Quellcrist is still very much a part of the action surrounding one of her most cherished pupils, the man we know as Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman or Anthony Mackie depending on where you are in the series).

We see Quellcrist largely in flashbacks on Altered Carbon — right up until we don't. Even as the character continues to shake things up in dramatic fashion on Altered Carbon, we're betting many of you have been wondering where you've seen the actress who portrays the Envoy leader before. Here's why Quellcrist Falconer from Altered Carbon looks so familiar. 

Renée Elise Goldsberry got down on The Get Down

At this point in the golden era of streaming, pretty much every actor on the planet has at least one streaming project to their credit. Most of them have several. That includes the actress who portrays Quellcrist Falconer on Altered Carbon, Renée Elise Goldsberry. As it happens, Altered Carbon is actually the second project she's teamed up with Netflix on. The first? Baz Luhrman's tragically short-lived musical drama The Get Down.

The series, which was cancelled after just a single two-part season, was set in New York City circa the 1970s, and followed a group of South Bronx teens as they made their way in a city that was virtually pulling itself apart at the seems. It was also becoming ground zero for the birth of punk rock, hip hop, and disco, which explains all the musical diversions throughout The Get Down.

Goldsberry appeared on just one episode of the show — but she made quite the lasting impression. The actress burned up the screen as the fictional disco queen-slash-pop-star Misty Holloway. Though it was a one-off gig, Goldsberry's time on The Get Down did give her a chance to show off her impressive pipes — which was likely a selling point for the Tony-winning actress, who got her biggest break opposite Lin-Manuel Miranda in the original cast production of the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton.

Renée Elise Goldsberry watched the Waves break in one of 2019's unsung indies

It's hardly surprising then that with so many movies and TV shows hitting theaters and streaming platforms every week, some genuinely wonderful offerings are just getting lost in the shuffle. You can find Trey Edward Shults' Waves at the top of 2019's overlooked movies list.

Shults is the indie wunderkind behind a pair of harrowing, critically adored genre-tinged thrillers: 2015's Krisha and 2017's It Comes At Night. While Waves doesn't take the same sort of "cinematic panic attack" approach as Shults' first two movies, it's no less captivating a cinematic experience. 

The film is centered on a South Florida family forced to the brink in the wake of unfathomable loss. Featuring an impressive cast including Sterling K. Brown, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Taylor Russell, Alexa Demie, Clifton Collins Jr., and Lucas Hedges, Waves found Goldsberry portraying the matriarch of the fracturing family in question. As Catherine Williams, Goldberry delivered one of her finest performances to date in a film that, quite frankly, deserved way more attention than it got in the overstuffed 2019 cinematic landscape. 

Renée Elise Goldsberry fought the good fight on The Good Wife

As much as we'd like to think you've all been following Renée Elise Goldsberry's career from day one — and thus seen her stellar work on shows like White CollarThe FollowingMasters of Sex, or the magnificent, Oprah Winfrey-produced HBO drama The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – we're pretty sure that's not the case for most viewers. It's entirely likely, however, that lots of TV fans remember Goldsberry from her recurring role on The Good Wife

The award-winning legal drama ran for a full seven seasons on CBS, and saw an impressive cast of recurring characters come and go over throughout its run — Matthew Goode, Michael J. Fox, Mike Coulter, Nathan Lane, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan being among them. Julianna Marguiles led the series as Alicia Florrick, the wife of a disgraced State's Attorney forced to return to her own legal practice to provide for her family. She shared the screen with a revolving door of high-powered lawyers often on the opposite side of litigation. 

Goldsberry made her first appearance as Assistant State's Attorney Geneva Pine on the series' second season, and the character quickly became a bit of a fan favorite. In fact, Geneva Pine appeared on 23 episodes of The Good Wife, and wound up playing a major role in the narrative acrobatics of the show's divisive final season. Less divisive was the general opinion that Goldsberry was great on The Good Wife, and that the series probably could've done better by both the character and the actress who played her.