Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Naomi Nagata From The Expanse Looks So Familiar

Amazon Prime Video's The Expanse, based on the book series of the same name by author-amalgam James S.A. Corey, is a dynamic series. On one level it's a sweeping space opera with plot threads that span millennia and take place literally across the galaxy. On another level, though, it's very much a family drama, with the crew of the Rocinante standing in for the traditional nuclear pod.

For most of the series' run so far we've seen the Rocinante crew typically working together, often in the very close quarters of their outer space environments. Season 5 mixes things up a bit by separating our four principals and forcing them all to face dangers rooted in their deep, underexplored pasts, and no one's stakes are higher as a result than Naomi Nagata's. The Rocinante's lead engineer is about to set off on a dangerous mission to save her estranged son Filip (Jasai Chase Owens) from the charismatic clutches of his terrorist father Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander). Since Inaros begins season 5 as public enemy number one, Naomi is likely to find herself right in the crosshairs of the ascendant Free Navy and many fellow Belters she used to number among her comrades and friends.

As it follows the plot of Nemesis Games and Babylon's Ashes, season 5 is poised to prominently feature Naomi as she comes to terms with her deviant past. In other words, we're about to see some marquee performances from actress Dominique Tipper, who's been a bright spot in the cast of The Expanse since the first moments of the pilot. While The Expanse was undoubtedly Tipper's biggest break when she was first cast back in 2015, she's appeared in a few other projects that might have you trying to place her partially shaved Belter head.

Here's why Naomi Nagata looks so familiar.

Dominique Tipper attended Vampire Academy

Although Dominique Tipper has been acting professionally since 2007, she struggled in the trenches for a few years before landing her first substantial role in a major motion picture. That film was 2014's Vampire Academy, and though it wasn't exactly a critical darling, the supernatural teen drama about a half-human, half-vampire "Dhampir" played by Zoey Deutsch definitely served as a stepping stone to higher-profile films for Tipper. It also likely set up her 2015 breakthrough into the central cast of The Expanse, so all's well that ends well.

In the film, Tipper plays Guardian Gabriela, a more advanced vampire who comes into close contact with the lead Dhampir. According to contemporaneous reports, the actors who played the Dhampir, novices, and guardians all had to undergo rigorous physical training for their roles.

Interview with a Vampire, this was not. It wasn't even a True Blood or a Twilight — not even a mere Vampire Diaries. With so much vampire content out there for fans to consume, Vampire Academy perhaps stands out best for its abject inability to catch on. The film barely made back half of its production budget at the box office, bringing a definitive end to director Mark Waters nascent vampire property. Fortunately for Tipper, she had already secured a slate of new, exciting projects to work on.

Dominique Tipper has all the gifts

In 2016, after the first season of The Expanse had already aired on SYFY, Tipper joined a grim post-apocalyptic film out of the U.K., The Girl With All the Gifts. At this point, Tipper must have been getting comfortable with elevated genre fare, because The Girl With All the Gifts definitely helped her fill in her nerd culture bingo card. Sweeping space opera? Check. Sexy vampire drama? Check. Zombie dystopia? Check.

In The Girl With All the Gifts, Tipper plays the role of Private Devani, a soldier in a world that has been ravaged by a fungal outbreak. The parasitic fungus, which is transmissible through bodily fluids, transforms infected persons into what are essentially zombies, even though the film insists on calling them "hungries."

The film holds an 86% fresh critical score on Rotten Tomatoes, so it's definitely worth your time — if only to see Tipper alongside greats like Paddy Considine and Glenn Close.

Dominique Tipper had a brief career in magical law enforcement

Maybe her nerd culture bingo card wasn't full just yet. She still had to do a stint in the Wizarding World of J.K. Rowling, barking Latin-ish magic words with an outstretched wand in hand. Tipper may have missed out on the flagship Harry Potter film series, which covered the full scope of Rowling's beloved series of YA fantasy books, but she managed to hop on the transatlantic branch of the Hogwarts Express into the prequel series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

In the first Fantastic Beasts film, Tipper plays the distinguished role of "Auror 1," and though she never got a name, she did get to work in one of the most coveted jobs in magical law enforcement. As we all know, Aurors need to have an outstanding academic record including N.E.W.T.s of Exceeds Expectations or better in Potions, Transfiguration, Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and one elective. Although we don't get to see much of Tipper's Auror 1 on screen, we can imagine a rich backstory and interior life for the character just based on her profession and that fierce hat.

As The Expanse draws closer to its endgame with the forthcoming sixth and final season, look for Dominique Tipper to keep filling out her bingo card with more named roles in future projects.