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Why Lucky Emory From Them Looks So Familiar

Them is an upcoming Prime Video horror drama series, set to premiere on April 9, 2021. Set in 1953, it depicts a Black couple, Lucky (Deborah Ayorinde) and Henry Emory (Ashley Thomas) who move with their daughter Ruby (Shahadi Wright Joseph) from their North Carolina home state to Los Angeles, California. Specifically, they move into an all-white neighborhood, and immediately, their white neighbors are less than pleased about a Black family joining the community. The white neighbors begin plotting to make the Emorys' lives unbearable to drive them out — and soon, even supernatural occurrences begin to take place in the family's home.

Being one of the leading characters of the horror series, Lucky Emory gets a ton of screen time, and the actress who brings her to life is Deborah Ayorinde. If Ayorinde looks familiar to you, it may be from some of her other notable projects which she's been racking up in the last few years. Here's a breakdown of where you may be recognizing her from.

Deborah Ayorinde played Candace on Luke Cage

In 2016, Ayorinde landed a recurring role on the Marvel Netflix show, Luke Cage. The series follows former convict Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who gains the powers of superhuman strength and unbreakable skin in a prison experiment, and uses his abilities to fight crime in Harlem.

Ayorinde plays Candace Miller, who is first introduced as a hostess at the Harlem's Paradise nightclub. She becomes involved in the grander scheme of things after Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes (Mahershala Ali), the owner of Harlem's Paradise, is killed by his cousin Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard), who is also a councilwoman. Mariah uses Candace to frame Luke for the murder of Cottonmouth. Candace, consumed with guilt, eventually tries to tell the truth by going to a detective — only to be killed by the villainous henchman Shades (Theo Rossi). Ayorinde appeared in six total episodes.

Deborah Ayorinde appeared in 2017's Girls Trip

In 2017, she appeared in Girls Trip, an ensemble comedy film that was very well received by critics and audiences alike — it has a 91% Tomatometer with a 78% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. It centers on four lifelong friends — played by Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, and Jada Pinkett Smith — who take a trip to New Orleans for an annual event called the Essence Music Festival. For her role in Girls Trip, Ayorinde also reunited with her Luke Cage costar Mike Colter. Colter plays Stewart, the husband of Ryan (Hall), who has been cheating on her — and Ayorinde plays Simone, the woman Stewart has been cheating with.

Simone is first introduced via a picture sent to one of Ryan's friends, revealing the affair. The situation seems under control, initially, as Ryan assures her friends she's aware of the affair and they're working on it. Later, Simone reveals she is pregnant and then goes public with the affair. 

However, this decision by Simone, while seemingly catastrophic for Ryan at first, ultimately leads to Ryan cutting ties with Stewart, both romantically and in business, and replacing him with one of her friends, Sasha (Queen Latifiah), who she previously wanted to work with.

Deborah Ayorinde played the adult Becca in True Detective

The third season of True Detective follows Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali), a detective who, along with his partner Roland West (Stephen Dorff), investigates a case involving a couple missing children. The story's plot takes place in three different time periods: 1980, 1990, and 2015. Because of the varying timelines, some characters are played by multiple actors, and this is where Ayorinde comes in. Wayne's daughter, Becca Hays, is first introduced as a young girl, played by Kennedi Lynn Butler. Ayorinde appears in the final two episodes of the series, "The Final Country" and "Now Am Found," as the adult version of Becca.

One of Ayorinde's scenes is actually the only one of the series that doesn't take place within the three established timelines: when Wayne drops her off to college, it's estimated to be the late nineties or early 2000s (via Vulture). In the final episode, Becca shares a heartwarming moment with Wayne as she drives him to visit with the rest of the family.

Considering the amazing work Ayorinde has done in all of these supporting roles, it will be exciting to see her tackle a leading part in Them.