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Why Jeanne From Malignant Looks So Familiar

James Wan's 2021 horror movie "Malignant" stars a bevy of actors whose faces you'll probably recognize. For instance, Madison — the lead character — is played by Annabelle Wallis, whom fans of Wan's prior work will immediately recognize as Mia Form in both "Annabelle" and its sequel, "Annabelle: Creation." However, not every actor is immediately identifiable, even if it's only because they don't have quite so central a role. 

Take the part of Jeanne, for example. As Madison's adoptive mother, Jeanne isn't a huge part of "Malignant," but she is involved in key scenes, particularly when Jeanne shows Madison and Sydney (Maddie Hasson) some videos of a young Madison. However, it is entirely impossible that despite Jeanne's relatively limited screen time, you may have recognized her. 

In fact, the actor's name is Susanna Thompson, and depending on which fandoms you consider yourself a part of — particularly when it comes to science fiction — you may even have recalled her face right away. If so, these are some Thompson's most memorable roles from the past.

Susanna Thompson starred in some critically important Star Trek episodes

Susanna Thompson may never have played an ongoing main role in "Star Trek," but if you're a fan of the franchise, you almost certainly know her from it. For one, if "Star Trek: The Next Generation" is your series of choice, you might recognize her as Romulan science officer Varel from the episode "The Next Phase," or as an inmate in the Commander Riker (Jonathan Frakes) in the episode "Frame of Mind." 

However, there are two more roles Thompson is famous for in the world of Trek. The first is from the "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" episode, "Rejoined," where she plays Lenara Kahn, the former wife of Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell). Both Khan and Dax are part of the symbiotic race the Trill. Trill are not allowed to marry each other again after they've moved on to new host bodies, but what makes "Rejoined" such a landmark episode is that it represents the first time two women kiss in the history of "Star Trek." While many people see queer relationships in pairings like Kirk (William Shatner) and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) or Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), Dax and Khan represent the first time a queer relationship, however brief, became actual canon.

Speaking of Janeway and Seven? Thompson's other major Trek role was on "Star Trek: Voyager," where she took over the role of the Borg Queen from original actor Alice Krige for the episodes, "Dark Frontier" and "Unimatrix Zero" parts one and two. If you don't know anything about the Borg Queen, let's just say she's one of the most famous villains in Trek history — and she's significant enough to be making a comeback in the impending second season of "Star Trek: Picard."

Susanna Thompson was Moira Queen in Arrow

"Star Trek" isn't the only major franchise Susanna Thompson has been involved in. DC Comics fans will know that she also played a pivotal role in the CW's Arrowverse, from the very early days of the parent show, "Arrow." 

"Arrow" follows billionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) after he returns from a shipwreck that everyone assumed he'd died in. In actuality, flashbacks reveal that Queen became stranded on the dangerous island of Lian Yu, and when he returns to Starling City, he becomes the vigilante who is (eventually) known as the Green Arrow. One of the most important elements of the narrative of "Arrow," though, isn't just Oliver's costumed exploits, but also the people he relies upon as he reintegrates into society — including his sister Thea (Willa Holland) and his mother, Moira, who is played by Susanna Thompson.

Moira Queen is one of the greatest characters in the Arrowverse. She's a pragmatist — one who exists in a moral gray area, and keeps secrets. When Oliver returns from his accidental exile, for instance, Moira hides from him the fact that he has a son. At the same time, though, she cares deeply about her city, as seen when she runs for mayor. She's so important that even when she's killed by Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), she reappears multiple times. There's even a point when Oliver sacrifices himself, and rewrites reality to make it so that Moira never died.

In short, Moira Queen is one of the formative parts of the Arrowverse, a franchise which continues on to this day, and Susanna Thompson's performance is what makes the character work so well.

Susanna Thompson was Carol Preston in Timeless

While "Timeless" may have been canceled prematurely, there is no doubt that it's one of the shows in recent memory that Susanna Thompson is most known for — and that's no surprise. If you look at everything noted so far, Thompson has a knack for bringing humanity to genre storytelling. Whether she's playing a comic book billionaire, cybernetic royalty, or the adopted mother of an evil cancer baby, Thompson is able to keep wild stories grounded when she needs to.

"Timeless" is — as you may have guessed from the title — a time travel series. The story centers on Lucy Preston (Abigail Spencer), Wyatt Logan (Matt Lanter), and Rufus Carlin (Malcolm Barrett) a trio of time travelers working to protect the timeline from what at least appears to be a nefarious group called Rittenhouse. Thompson plays Preston's mother, Carol, and when the story begins, Carol is dying of lung cancer. However, thanks to a trip through time which alters the result of the Hindenburg disaster, Carol's laugh is altered, she never takes up smoking, and she never gets cancer. The bad news is that the change in the timeline also causes Lucy's sister Amy (Bailey Noble) to be erased from history.

More complex still is the fact that Carol's life is altered so much she winds up becoming a part of Rittenhouse. As a result, mother and daughter find themselves on opposing sides to the point that Carol tries to have her own daughter killed on more than one occasion.

Even if you never watched "Timeless" you likely heard about it because it was canceled on two separate occasions before finally getting a two-part finale in late 2018.