Melanie Lynskey, Sienna Miller, Nicholas Braun, Zazie Beetz and More Dressed as Their Favorite TV Characters in W Magazine’s Third Annual TV Portfolio

Posted on August 16, 2022

In celebration of a year of incredible television, W Magazine released their third annual TV Portfolio in which they asked 21 of the most sought-after and influential television stars of the moment to pay homage to their favorite small screen characters by stepping into their shoes.



Anson Boon as James “Sonny” Crockett from Miami Vice

On all the various injuries he incurred while shooting Pistols: “…On our first day of shooting, we were re-creating one of the Sex Pistols’ real-life performances, and I had to do this huge kind of death drop that he does. I underestimated where I stood onstage, and I smashed my back into the drum kit and got a fracture to my coccyx that will be there for life. My jaw popped out of place multiple times because he speaks and sings two octaves higher than I do…I sprained everything under the sun.”




Coco Jones as Olivia Pope from Scandal

Whether she was afraid of the response to her 2018 song “Just My Luck” which clapped back at the entertainment industry: “I wasn’t afraid of the response. Honestly, I didn’t know what the response would be, but it felt like a weight off my chest to get to express how the industry has made me feel. But emotions are temporary. How I currently feel is different. Those songs are like journal entries I can look back on to help tell my story.”




Elle Fanning as Paris Hilton from A Simple Life

How she and her sister, Dakota, used to act out scenes from A Simple Life: “…It was so fascinating hearing in Paris’s documentary how she put on this persona for the reality show. It’s quite clever. My sister and I would watch it and act out the scenes. I would normally be Nicole Richie, and she would be Paris. We would say “That’s hot” and “Loves it.” Finally, I get to dress up as Paris now.”




Jessica Biel as Don Draper from Mad Men

How her husband got involved with Candy: “…Justin and I share scripts and ideas all the time; I’m giving him notes about his stuff, and he’s reading my stuff. He was reading my scripts, and he got to episode 4 and just loved that character. He came to me and said, “Who’s playing this?” And I said, “Oh, I don’t know. We basically spent our cast money already.” He said, “I wanna do it. I know what to do with this. This guy is a performer. He worked as a clown for kids/ parties in his off time.” This man is from the South, and Justin has that innate understanding of versions of a Southern man. I was a little stunned, like, “Really? Are you kidding?” He goes, “No, I’m serious.” I said, “We can’t pay you any money.” And he goes, “I don’t care. I just wanna be paid in a prosthetic tummy and a wig.” I said, “That I can do.”




Mackenzie Davis as Stath from Stath Lets Flats

On how she wasn’t initially interested in taking the role for Station Eleven: “It’s not that I didn’t want to take it—the log line of the show just felt similar to [Terminator: Dark Fate]. When I spoke to [director and producer Hiro Murai and creator Patrick Somerville], it became clear that this was not a post-apocalyptic show about a badass who kills everybody in her path; it was a show about humanity and connection, and how art can make life worthwhile, which really appealed to me…”




Melanie Lynskey as Susan Edwards in Landscapers

How she knows a role is right for her: “I have a voice in my head that tells me it’s the right thing to do. I had this therapist once who was like, “I wish you had the same kind of agency for yourself as you do for your characters.” Because I don’t question it. I know what feels right internally. You get a weird feeling in your stomach if something is not exactly right for you. It’s like when someone asks you to go to dinner and you say yes, and you feel like, I’m not that excited about this dinner. Why did I agree to give my time? I’ve never had any acting training or anything like that, so I rely 100 percent on my instincts.”




Nicholas Braun as Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights

On his real life football skills: “…I know how to play, because I played for three days in high school. It was the beginning of my freshman year. I thought, I’m gonna start playing football, and I’m gonna bulk up, because I was really skinny, really lanky, all bones. I got to practice, and these kids had been there for two weeks already, doing preseason. They were huge, nearly fully pubescent young men. They did a hitting drill I was like, Oh, fuck this. This is not what I want to do. I hated it. Putting pads on took me, like, 30 minutes. The whole thing sucked.”




Quincy Isaiah as Ted Lasso from Ted Lasso

How he went to therapy before playing Magic Johnson: “I wanted to have a good foundation and address some things in my past—make sure that I’m good and healthy emotionally, and understand myself more. Being able to talk to somebody who’s unbiased, having another pair of eyes, another brain, a set of ears to listen helps you through things. Booking this role was a major thing that I needed to wrap my mind around and understand what was about to happen. Everybody kept telling me: Your life is about change. I understood where it was coming from, and I also understood that all this new stuff was going to open so many doors. I don’t know if, without therapy, I would’ve been able to embrace that newfound—I don’t want to call it fame, but interest in me. This journey is about making sure that I can be as me as possible.”




Sienna Miller as Patsy Stone from Absolutely Fabulous

On the first time she saw Absolutely Fabulous: “I must have been, like, 8. I don’t remember a world without Ab Fab in it. If you are raised in England, it’s part of our culture. Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders [who play Patsy and Edina, respectively] are complete cultural heroes for us. One of my best friends made people come to her hen party as famous blondes, and made me come as Patsy. I don’t know if I’ve ever had more fun at a party than I did being her. I’ve got an inner Patsy that I like to channel [Laughs].”




Tom Blyth as Dr. Jack Shephard from Lost

On the one person he would choose to be stuck on a deserted island with: “It would have to be someone funny. If they’re too funny, they could get a bit annoying after a while. But you could always banish them to the other side [of the island]. So a great ridiculous, absurd comedian—someone like Jack Black. Someone who, no matter what the situation was, they could manage to make it ridiculous. You’d have to have the ability to laugh at yourself and the situation, even if you were in dire straits.”




Zazie Beetzas Fleabag from Fleabag

On the kinds of characters and stories she is drawn to: “…Narrative-wise, in general, I’m drawn to stories particularly about women. I find [I’m drawn to] characters who battle with their morality. Fleabag is constantly in this war-torn place within herself: Is she bad, is she good, what is she contributing to the world, have her actions rippled out, affecting those around her—like her best friend, Boo, or even her relationship with the Hot Priest. Her emotional turmoil, I was so attracted to and could empathize with, and could see and feel.”




[Photo Credit: Adam Scott – Photographed by Julien Sage; Anson Boon – Photographed by Lea Winkler; Coco Jones – Photographed by Alexander Cody Nguyen; Elle Fanning – Photographed by Elle Fanning; Jessica Biel – Photographed by Alex Lockett; Mackenzie Davis – Photographed by Tung Walsh; Melanie Lynskey – Photographed by Julien Sage; Nicholas Braun – Photographed by Lea Winkler; Quincy Isaiah – Photographed by Lea Winkler; Sienna Miller – Photographed by Tung Walsh; Tom Blyth – Photographed by Alexander Cody Nguyen; Zazie Beetz – Photographed by Julien Tavel]

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