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Why WandaVision's Monica Rambeau Looks So Familiar

Superhero fans have had to scale back expectations in 2020. With frequent news that the latest superhero movies and TV shows are getting pushed back due to production delays and concerns over releasing projects in theaters, it would make sense to just assume there won't be any caped crusaders to speak of this year. Fortunately, Marvel fans received marvelous news on September 16, 2020, when it was confirmed the upcoming Disney+ series WandaVision will still debut later this year.  

The surreal series sees Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) living in an absurdist world, evidently crafted by the magically powered Scarlet Witch herself, but clearly, things are not what they seem. There are numerous details to break down in the trailer for WandaVision – from a bottle of wine that hints at the comic book storyline the show is likely using as inspiration to the song that plays over the footage and how it underscores Wanda and Vision's relationship. 

But the Easter eggs don't end there, as there's a character from the trailer that holds special significance. Near the end of the clip, a young woman flies through the air during the daytime, breaks through some kind of portal in the sky, then wakes up in a field in the middle of the night, surrounded by some kind of militarized force (that could very well be the S.H.I.E.L.D. counterpart S.W.O.R.D., AKA the Sentient World Observation and Response Department).

Turns out, that character is Monica Rambeau, the daughter of Carol Danvers' (Brie Larson) best friend Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), whom audiences were first introduced to on the big screen in 2019's Captain Marvel. She's all grown up now, and the actress who plays her, Teyonah Parris, has made several splashes throughout her career.

Here's why WandaVision's Monica Rambeau looks so familiar.

Teyonah Parris got her big break on Mad Men

In 2012, Parris was introduced to audiences as Dawn Chambers on the fifth season of the hit AMC series Mad Men. Dawn worked as Don Draper's (Jon Hamm) secretary after Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce put out an ad claiming to be an equal opportunity employer. With her kind heart, strong moral compass, and natural talent, Dawn was a welcome addition to the SCDP gang and allowed for Mad Men to explore new storylines in its later seasons.

One of Dawn's most memorable storylines occurred when the series tackled the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. While people at the office try to console her, Dawn insists on staying and working. 

Parris remained on Mad Men until it ended in 2015, but she also took on other roles in between her time playing Dawn Chambers. 2014 saw Parris joining the cast of Dear White People (the feature film, not the Netflix series) as Collandrea "Coco" Conners. That year, she also played Wanda in the the satirical rom-com They Came Together, starring Parks and Rec alum Amy Poehler and Marvel Cinematic Universe favorite Paul Rudd. But it wouldn't be long until Parris landed a prominent role on another famous TV series. 

Teyonah Parris appeared on the hit series Empire

Coming off Mad Men, Parris returned to fans' television screens on Empire. She had a recurring role as Detective Pamela Rose on the fourth season of the Fox series. Her role was to investigate the attempted murder of Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), but Detective Rose's professional and personal lives began to blur when she struck up a relationship with Lucious' son Andre Lyon (Trai Byers).

During that time, you may also have seen Parris in an even bigger role on the Showtime series Survivor's Remorse. From 2014 to 2017, she starred as Missy Vaughn alongside Jessie T. Usher, RonReaco Lee, and Erica Ash on the series about a man signing a contract with the NBA and moving his family to Atlanta to pursue a professional basketball career. 

After her time on Survivor's Remorse and Empire, it was clear Parris was a star in the making. And now, she has quite the lucrative film career ahead of her in addition to a place in the MCU.

Teyonah Parris has a role in one of the most exciting horror films of 2021

In 2018, Parris wowed audiences in If Beale Street Could Talk, playing Ernestine Rivers, the sister of Clementine "Tish" Rivers (Kiki Layne) who tries to be supportive of her after she reveals her pregnancy. Parris also appeared as Asia in The Photograph, starring Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield, which was released in February 2020. Looking ahead, 2021 will have Parris' biggest film role to date. 

Fans will see Parris fighting for her life against the supernatural horror of the Candyman in the 2021 film of the same name, directed by Little Woods filmmaker Nia DaCosta and co-written by horror master Jordan Peele. In the film, a direct sequel to the original Candyman movie from 1992, Parris plays Brianna Cartwright, an art gallery director who's also the girlfriend of the main character, Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). The flick picks up years after the original, with Anthony being haunted by the urban legend of the Candyman in the defunct Cabrini Green Housing Projects. Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) saved Anthony when he was a child, but now, he may not be as lucky. 

Of course, before you see her in Candyman, you'll be able to check Parris out as Monica Rambeau on WandaVision. Given that the last anyone saw of Monica on screen was in Captain Marvel, in which Akira Akbar portrayed her as a child, it'll be interesting to see how her narrative and characterization plays out on the Disney+ series. If the trailer is anything to go off, WandaVision is definitely going to warp reality quite significantly. 

WandaVision is expected to be released on Disney+ in December 2020