May 25, 2015: The Dark Matter Rollout!  Introducing Melissa O’neil As Two!

Finishing up my overview of our wonderful cast, we finally come to the character of TWO.

Here’s the breakdown that went out for the role:

“AKA Boss Lady, AKA Portia Lin. NIKITA-ESQUE, BEAUTIFUL, SOFT- FEATURED. THE GROUP’S DE FACTO LEADER, SHE IS A MASTER FIGHTER and an unbelievably quick learner when it comes to any sort of weaponry. DETERMINED, TOUGH, AND MORE THAN A LITTLE HEADSTRONG, SHE IS NOT THE TYPE YOU WANT TO MESS WITH – OR DISAPPOINT. She can be cool and inscrutable. LOOKING FOR SOMEONE FIT, PREFERABLY WITH FIGHTING EXPERIENCE.  ALL ETHNICITIES.”

May 25, 2015: The Dark Matter Rollout!  Introducing Melissa O’neil As Two!

By far, this was the role that saw the most auditions.  When all was said and done, over 250 candidates had read for the part. We had a lot of interesting possibilities but one, for me, stood out amongst the rest.  I received her audition, a rare self-tape, from New York where she’d been on Broadway appearing in Les Miserables.

May 25, 2015: The Dark Matter Rollout!  Introducing Melissa O’neil As Two!

Her name was Melissa O’Neil and she was everything I was looking for in the character – someone with obvious strength and a commanding presence and yet, at the same time, sympathetic and possessed of an underlying warmth.  Too much of the former and one risked making the character unlikable.  Too much of the latter and one risked making her seem weak.  It was a very, very tough balancing act that most were unable to pull off, but one that Melissa managed to deliver with ease.  She also had MMA and martial arts experience which was a huge plus because, next to the character of FOUR, TWO was our most technically proficient fighter.  The rest of the crew were brawlers but she needed to be an expert in the use of weapons and hand to hand combat.

May 25, 2015: The Dark Matter Rollout!  Introducing Melissa O’neil As Two!

One of the things that impressed me about Melissa early on was her positive outlook and commitment to her craft and character.  She was a stunt coordinator’s (not to mention a director’s and show runner’s) dream, training like crazy, rehearsing complex action sequences on weekends so that she could nail them on the day.  The editors loved her because she was so good at fight choreography that we could actually stay on her in the wide shots rather than having to cut around to her stunt double.  Like the character she played, Melissa was an incredibly quick learner who picked up enough moves to give me pause whenever I debated story points with her.

May 25, 2015: The Dark Matter Rollout!  Introducing Melissa O’neil As Two!

When all is said and done, however, I’ll forever remember the enthusiastic emails exchanged shortly after we received her audition.  Some of the highlights: “I’m so excited about her”, “That second scene was near perfection”, “Top of my list”, “I think she’s really special and fresh”, and “She’s ready to break!”

We all knew we had a star in the making.  And, in about a month, I believe we’ll be proven right.

10 thoughts on “May 25, 2015: The Dark Matter rollout! Introducing Melissa O’Neil as TWO!

  1. Thanks Joe , this has been the one I have been waiting for! Melissa seems to be the shy one in the cast. Haven’t really seen much of her, so that adds to the mystery. In the trailer you can see she kicks butt, but also very caring. Cannot not wait to see her multiple layers.

  2. I already love Melissa (especially her boots!)! She is beautiful. She looks like the character in your comic book, whom I loved, and she can kick some butt! Your entire cast is a winner. Great casting!

    @ Chev – Happy Birthday Girl!!! Can’t wait to see what you create. I’m sure it will have as much Ivon in it as you can get! 😉

    @ CathyL – I think ONE is the shy one. TWO is the confident one.

  3. Happy Birthday Chev!!
    Joe, I would have thought the sweathshirt would have cinched the job,
    thanks for sharing! Have a good evening.

  4. Thanks Joe!! Now I don’t think I can watch. All I can say of Two is สวย มากๆ

  5. I just listened to her singing on Les Miserables. If anybody is interested, here is the link: https://youtu.be/rH02aSfmZbg

    She has a beautiful voice.

    And I’m a sucker for a female who can kick ass.

    I am sure having “O’Neil” in her name didn’t hurt. LOL.

  6. BTW, Jeff was listening along with me, not knowing what I was listening to, and he said, “That sounds like the singer in “Frozen” (Idina Menzel). I told him that Melissa would be highly flattered because Idina Menzel is…well…the queen of Broadway.

  7. I was just listening to Melissa sing on that link PBMom provided. Wow! She is so impressive! Beautiful voice. So talented.

  8. This is my favorite show on TV period. This cast is perfect much like another perfect show called “Firefly”. I just hope this show does not suffer the same fate. As I have known about Melissa for 10 years now I am really impressed with her in this role. I actually wrote about her when she was on Idol. But the rest of the cast is just as intriguing. I didn’t know any of the cast before except for Melissa and Roger Cross because of Motive and Continuum. It’s great to see new talent. Well at least new to me.

    Please do not let this show slip away. It is what I look forward to most in the week. If I only had one hour a week to watch TV “Dark Matter” is what I would choose to watch. Yes, it is that good!

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