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Why Dani From The Haunting Of Bly Manor Looks So Familiar

One of the most common occurrences while watching a show or movie is recognizing an actor in the project from one of their past performances. Fans certainly might have thought that when seeing a familiar face in the trailer for The Haunting of Bly Manor, the new horror anthology installment that will drop on Netflix on October 9, 2020.

Bly Manor is the second season of the Haunting anthology that has emerged from The Haunting of Hill House — but Bly Manor has nothing to do with Hill House in terms of plot, as it features a new set of characters, a new story, and a new haunted house. Loosely based on Henry James' 1898 horror novella The Turn of the Screw, The Haunting of Bly Manor features Victoria Pedretti as Dani Clayton, an au pair who's hired to take care of orphaned siblings at a remote countryside estate. 

If you caught the Bly Manor trailer and have been wondering why the actress who plays Dani looks so familiar, you're not alone. Here's where you've seen her before.

The Haunting of Hill House started it all

Like American Horror Story, The Haunting is an anthology series that'll see actors from the previous season playing new characters — which is one big reason why Dani from Bly Manor should look familiar to fans who've already seen Hill House

Although audiences don't have to watch Hill House to understand Bly Manor given the series' anthology nature, the ones who did will without a doubt recognize Pedretti from her previous role as Eleanor "Nell" Crain, a young woman who saw haunting images throughout her childhood. Those same images returned during Nell's adulthood — ending with a wicked twist that was hard to see coming.

When she landed the role of Nell on The Haunting of Hill House in 2017, Pedretti had just graduated from Carnegie Mellon School of Drama with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting. Per Deadline, the Hill House role was her first major acting gig. Arguably even more impressive, Pedretti would go on to earn an MTV Film and Movie Awards nomination for Most Frightened Performance, as well as receiving a Saturn Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress in a Streaming Presentation.

The Haunting of Hill House hasn't just been followed up with a second season — it's also critically acclaimed and has a 93 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Pedretti's astounding performance is likely a big reason why she was brought back for Bly Manor, not to mention cast on another popular Netflix series.

Victoria Pedretti had another unforeseen ending on You

Dialing back the horror knob to something more slow-burning and tense, Pedretti starred as Love Quinn on the second season of the Netflix series You.

Season 2 of the psychological thriller centers around Love, an aspiring chef in Los Angeles, who falls for the wrong guy: Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), a bookish psychopathic murderer who masquerades under the alias Will Bettelheim after fleeing New York following the death of his previous girlfriend. Compared to Pedretti's Hill House role as Nell, Love's radiant and optimistic personality is a fresh take — but You season 2 ends with yet another Pedretti twist. Not too much away, but Pedretti is effectively guaranteed to reprise her role as Love Quinn on season 3 of You.

In case fans weren't keeping score, Pedretti has starred on two hit Netflix shows, and her characters share similarities despite being ostensibly very different.

"As they were explaining Love to me when I first met with [co-creators] Greg [Berlanti] and Sara [Gamble], I was like, Oh, I don't know if I want to play the same exact character again," Pedretti said in a 2019 interview with O, The Oprah Magazine. "As they continued to explain it, it became clear that these are almost opposite characters. That was a real wonderful progression. To be able to explore the same experiences with individuals who react differently."

Other characters Victoria Pedretti has brought to life

On top of starring on Hill House, You, and now Bly Manor, Pedretti also appeared in Quentin Tarantino's 2019 film Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood as Leslie "Lulu" Van Houten, a member of the Manson Family.

The film also starred Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio — a kind of leading duo that would never go unnoticed by a young actor (or anyone, for that matter). In a 2019 interview with V Magazine as she recounted her callback for the movie, Pedretti shared, "I'd never gotten that far in a film audition before ... It was an insane experience." (She previously appeared in two short films, Sole and Uncovering Eden, in 2014.)

Pedretti continued, "They had already started filming, and wanted to see my proficiency on horseback. So one of the wranglers and I rode our horses onto set — and [there was] Leonardo DiCaprio, also on horseback! I'm just on a horse, watching them film a movie ... It was completely immersive, like I'd gone back through time."

In 2020, Pedretti guest-starred on Amazing Stories, an Apple TV+ anthology series, as Evelyn Porter. Also in 2020, Pedretti played Katherine in the biographical drama film Shirley.