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Why Emma Hall From Tell Me Your Secrets Looks So Familiar

There are few TV shows out there right now as dark as "Tell Me Your Secrets." The brainchild of one Harriet Warner (previously known for her writing credits on a litany of British series including "Waterloo Road" and "Call the Midwife"), this Prime Video original thriller drama delivered 10 of the bleakest, most lurid, most harrowingly compelling TV episodes of the year in February 2021, with enough twists and turns to make any viewer dizzy.

True to its title, "Tell Me Your Secrets" follows an array of characters who, well, harbor secrets: Mary Barlow, played by "The Leftovers'" Amy Brenneman, runs a foundation that searches for missing children, but is also out on a deeply personal vendetta of her own. John Tyler, played by Hamish Linklater, is a former serial sexual predator trying to put his past behind him. And then there's Emma Hall, the deeply mysterious woman who unwittingly brings Mary and John together. The complex, three-dimensional performance by the actress who plays Emma is par for the course for one of the most reliable TV stars of the past few years. Here are a few of the places where you might have seen her.

Lily Rabe went from Broadway stages to American Horror Story

Born in New York City's Upper West Side (via WWD), actress Lily Rabe came from a family of theater professionals, and eventually found her own way to the stage herself (via NYLuxury.com). Throughout the 2000s, she appeared in several plays in New York, garnering a Drama Desk Award nomination for her work in the 2005 Broadway revival of "Steel Magnolias" (via IBDB).

Although she had a handful of prominent screen appearances in films like "All Good Things" in that period, the project that really introduced her to wide audiences in a big way was "American Horror Story." From the very first season, Rabe joined the band of "repertory actors" on the FX anthology series, respectively playing the roles of Nora Montgomery, Sister Mary Eunice McKee, and Misty Day on "Murder House," "Asylum," and "Coven." She then returned for further appearances on "Freak Show," "Hotel," "Roanoke," "Apocalypse," and "1984," becoming one of the ensemble's best-known faces among "American Horror Story" fans, and was once again seen as a regular on both halves of the 2021 season, "Double Feature."

She got the chance to headline her own show with The Whispers

Although she was a series regular on a majority of "American Horror Story'"s first six seasons, there were two early editions of "American Horror Story" that conspicuously featured a lot less Lily Rabe: 2014's "Freak Show," and 2015's "Hotel." The reason for Rabe's reduced participation on those two seasons may have been the fact that she was simultaneously headlining a whole show of her own on ABC.

Developed by Soo Hugh, "The Whispers" was an eerie adaptation of the Ray Bradbury short story "The Illustrated Man," in which an FBI agent investigates the behavior of many children who all seem to be communicating with the same "imaginary friend." Lily Rabe starred as Special Agent Claire Bennigan, in what was her most substantial and central screen role up to then. The show was ultimately not picked up for a second season, capping off its run at just 13 episodes, but both it and Rabe's performance were well-received by critics (via Rotten Tomatoes).

Miss Stevens made her an indie film star

One quantity that never goes out of fashion in the indie movie world is the charismatic, down-to-earth dramedy centered around an underrated performer. So it was with 2016's "Miss Stevens," the directorial debut of Julia Hart, who would later garner a significant fan following with films like "Fast Color" and "I'm Your Woman."

"Miss Stevens" is centered entirely around the nuanced and deeply-felt work of Lily Rabe in the title role, playing a woman who's never quite gotten the hang of adulthood. The plot follows the effort of high school English teacher Rachel Stevens to keep three of her students (Lili Reinhart, Anthony Quintal, and a pre-superstardom Timothée Chalamet) motivated and safe as she accompanies them on a trip to take part in an off-campus drama competition. As she watches them come into their own as artists, Rachel is also pushed to reckon with her own uneasy standing in life, and the ensuing character study gives Rabe plenty of opportunity to show just how skillful of an actress she is. Critics raved uniformly about her performance, which Consequence's Randall Colburn called "nothing short of stunning."

She played Liz Cheney in Vice

It really seemed to get everyone talking at the time. But, four years later, "Vice" is arguably best remembered as that one controversial Adam McKay political satire that pressed all its points very intently and earned a bunch of Academy Award nominations despite an onslaught of scathing reviews — no, not "Don't Look Up." The one before that.

Much like "Don't Look Up," McKay's "Vice," which acts as a fictionalized exposé of the actions of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, enlisted an ensemble studded with A-listers to get its comedic and political ideas across, from Christian Bale as Cheney himself to Amy Adams as his wife Lynne to Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush (all Oscar-nominated, per IMDb). The film's casting bench was deep enough to feature less famous yet equally talented and acclaimed actors in smaller roles, as was the case of Lily Rabe as Liz Cheney, Dick's daughter and eventual Congressional successor.

She continued to receive acclaim for The Undoing

Prior to her appearance on "Tell Me Your Secrets," Lily Rabe had also been seen on another recent dramatic thriller series, and it was arguably one that gave her just as much of a chance to shine, albeit in a very different acting register. In 2020, she appeared on all six episodes of the David E. Kelley-penned, Susanne Bier-directed HBO miniseries "The Undoing."

Starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Fraser, a highly successful therapist whose seemingly perfect life begins to fall apart when her husband (Hugh Grant) disappears, "The Undoing" was a certified hit for HBO ratings-wise (via Variety). And, although critical reception was a bit less warm on the whole (via Metacritic), one element that received across-the-board praise was the cast. Lily Rabe was particularly praised for her frothy, lovable turn as Grace's lawyer friend and confidante Sylvia Steinetz — a role which, despite limited screentime, seemed to consolidate Rabe as a critical-darling character actress, with TV Guide's Candice Frederick referring to her as "the always great Lily Rabe," and many outlets wishing she'd gotten to appear more.