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Why Mary From No Sudden Move Looks So Familiar

In case you hadn't heard, there's a new Steven Soderbergh movie out in the world, and the only place you can see it is on HBO Max. You should make every effort to check it out too, because "No Sudden Move" finds Soderbergh returning to the crime genre that's served him so well (see: "Out of Sight," "The Limey," "Logan Lucky," and the "Ocean's Eleven" franchise), as he tells the story of a band of Detroit criminals searching for answers when a simple job goes horribly wrong. 

The film sees Soderbergh working with frequent collaborators Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, and Matt Damon, not to mention an equally impressive cast of new players including Brendan Fraser, Jon Hamm, Julia Fox, Kieran Culkin, and David Harbour. While the faces of that talented crew will no doubt look familiar to film and TV fans, that of the actor who portrays Mary Wertz in "No Sudden Move" likely will too, even if you have a little more trouble placing it. That face belongs to Amy Seimetz, and it's been featured prominently in all manner of big and small screen fare over the past couple of decades. Here's why Mary from "No Sudden Move" looks so familiar. 

Amy Seimetz played a mother of sorts in Sweet Tooth

As it happens, "No Sudden Move" is not the only major streaming release on Amy Seimetz's resume this year, and her other streaming project may end up being the bigger of the two. That project is Netflix's adaptation of Jeff Lemire's beloved comic book "Sweet Tooth," which is shaping up to be one of the streamer's biggest hits to date.

If you have yet to check it out, "Sweet Tooth" is a post-apocalyptic fantasy set in a world both ravaged by a deadly virus and disturbed by the simultaneous arrival of a hybrid species born with both human and animal features. Into that landscape wanders Christian Convery's Gus, a half-deer hybrid who sets off into the world to find the mother he's never known. At the risk of spoiling a major plot point — please stop reading if you're planning a "Sweet Tooth" binge — he eventually finds her in the guise of Birdie. Well, sort of: you see, Birdie is mostly seen in flashback so Gus never actually meets her, though her story complicates his in major ways.

In any case, that's Amy Seimetz portraying Birdie in the "Sweet Tooth" flashback episode, making a fully three-dimensional character of the woman even in her brief physical appearance. Hopefully Seimetz will do more of the same if "Sweet Tooth" gets a second season. 

Pet Sematary features Amy Seimetz as a grieving parent

The past few years have seen a veritable golden age of Stephen King adaptations emerge, with the horror scribe's works being adapted into some of the best genre film and television projects around (among those "It," "Gerald's Game," "Castle Rock," and "Doctor Sleep"). Amy Seimetz starred in one of the better recent adaptations of King's work, 2019's harrowing family nightmare "Pet Sematary."

If you're familiar with the source material that inspired "Pet Sematary," you know it's a particularly brutal piece of work even by Stephen King standards. Save for one major (and unexpectedly effective) change, the 2019 adaptation is a fairly faithful retelling of that source material, which follows a young family who relocate from the chaos of Boston to the seeming peace of rural Maine — only to have their lives shattered by an unimaginable tragedy that leaves one family member dead. 

When dad Louis (Jason Clarke) discovers that things in this town don't necessarily have to stay dead, matters go from bad to significantly worse with pretty much everyone involved learning the hard way that sometimes dead really is better. That, of course, includes the family's beleaguered matriarch Rachel, played in the film with a warm, wary wisdom by Amy Seimetz. 

Seimetz played auntie to Eleven on Stranger Things

Since debuting in summer 2016, Netflix's sci-fi juggernaut "Stranger Things" has become the biggest hit in the streamer's history. Much has been made of the series resurrecting the career of Winona Ryder, making a pseudo-leading man of David Harbour, and making superstars of its young cast, including breakout Millie Bobby Brown

Those who have been with "Stranger Things" since the first episode know the series has also seen impressive names stepping aboard for supporting roles, including Matthew Modine, Sean Astin, Robert Englund, and Cary Elwes. You can add Amy Seimetz's name to the illustrious list of short-timers too, as the actress appeared in three episodes of the series between seasons 1 and 2. She did so as Becky Ives, the sister of Terry Ives (Aimee Mullins), who is, of course, the biological mother of Jane Ives — better known as the super-powered heroine Eleven.

Terry was, however, a test subject in Hawkins Lab's Project MKUltra, and those diabolical experiments ultimately left her in a catatonic state. Her sister/caretaker Becky does most of the talking when Hawkins residents start turning up at the door with questions, giving Seimetz one of the series' juicier supporting roles. The actor made the most of the moment, imbuing Becky with weary, understated emotionalism that humanizes her in fascinating ways, particularly in her interactions with Eleven.  

Upstream Color found Seimetz as a woman on the verge of ... something

Though Amy Seimetz has been turning up in major productions with more and more frequency, she's made quite a name for herself on the independent film scene over the years, appearing in acclaimed movies from indie stalwarts like Joe Swanberg ("Silver Bullets"), Lena Dunham ("Tiny Furniture"), Adam Wingard ("You're Next"), and David Robert Mitchell ("The Myth of the American Sleepover"). Circa 2013, she also fronted arguably the most distinctly independent and utterly confounding film in the history of moving pictures, Shane Carruth's moody cinematic mindf**k "Upstream Color."'

That film is also arguably one of the best indies produced in the past decade, even if most folks who see "Upstream Color" have no clue what it's actually about. Carruth's wildly original sci-fi confection is one of those movies that works better if you just let the weirdness envelop you. Seimetz portrays a woman whose life is destroyed by the creepiest identity thief cinema has ever conjured. Things only get weirder when she meets a man (Carruth) who suffered a similar downfall. And every beautifully bizarre step of the way, Seimetz positively commands the screen as a woman broken seemingly beyond repair, but unraveling an existential mystery that may well put her back together.