In praise of Zazie Beetz (star of “Atlanta” and “Deadpool 2”)

photo by Adhat Campos

Dearest Miss Beetz,

I have come to know your work now through three “vehicles” and each turn of yours has led me to love you all the more.

I first happened upon your acting in the new television series “Atlanta,” from the talented Donald Glover. I was already a huge fan of his work and was pleasantly surprised to find he had cast a foil/love interest/ sparring partner of equally fascinating range.

Your chemistry onscreen has all the workings of great will-they-or-wont-they traditions but with none of the overused TV tropes. Your characters’ relationship feels real and grounded in a reality so raw — despite the fact that the show has given itself over (often hilariously so) to whimsy and fantasy.

Episodes where you are featured (without being glued to Glover’s Earn but) interacting with other characters are just as exciting. Though all the cast is stellar (‎Lakeith Stanfield and ‎Brian Tyree Henry are truly outstanding), the episodes with you shine.

I watched you next in Netflix’s strange romp “Easy.” The show is mixed at best —such is usually the case with vast stories-that-kinda-connect-type series. Yet, again, you bring the room up when you are on. You make even lesser skilled actors more palatable.

And now, someone with brains over at Marvel delightfully cast you in the newest superhero blockbuster “Deadpool 2.” I was happy to see you but on oh so many levels. They use your charm, your wit and even your moves to utter perfection.

You are not exploited as another hot chick in a skin-tight suit.

You are not a token person of color.

You are not the girl who the guy gets.

No, you kick ass, take names and steal scenes without ever upstaging anyone.

You are cool. You are subtle. You are sly.

I don’t know if any of that resembles you in real life, but quite frankly it doesn’t even matter. I appreciate your incredible talent, your likability and the honesty you bring to each person I have seen you portray. I look forward to seeing you on screen all the more.

I don’t know what role is next for you, but I know that I will be there to watch.

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photo by Adhat Campos

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