Career options: Actors would make great con artists


Most of is have never really hear of Inbar Lavi. But on Tuesdays, you can see her do terrific work as a con artist in Bravo's "Imposters." Here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Most actors need a
back-up plan, an alternate way to make money.

So this is
encouraging: Many would probably be really good at scams, grifts and
cons.

This year, we've
seen several of them skillfully portray con people. There's Giovanni
Ribisi in “Sneaky Pete” ... and Michelle Dockery in “Good
Behavior” ... and now Inbar Lavi in “Imposters.”

Lavi plays Maddie,
who uses love as a weapon. “Maddie is brilliant at ... seeng that
thing that the other person needs and (becoming what) the other
person has wanted,” said writer-producer Paul Adelstein.

This requires the
ability to change attitudes and accents. Actors are good at that ...
especially ones who have the sort of varied background that Lavi has.

“I grew up in
Israel,” she said. “My dad is Polish, my mom is Moroccan, and I
grew up around all kinds of different languages and I love playing
with it.”

In the opener, she
uses a Belgian accent – similar to what her grandmother spoke. From
there, she keeps adding new touches, proving that she can play a
strong scammer ... or could be one.

Adelstein is better
known as an actor, a regular in “Private Practice,” “Girlfriends'
Guide to Divorce” and more. But he's also done some writing and
directing and he started talking with writer Adam Brooks about their
favorite con films.

They concocted
“Imposters,” adding some detours. “The rug can shift under the
audience's feet every now and then,” he said. For Maddie, that
includes:

-- An unfaked
romance. “She meets somebody she may have actual feelings for,”
Adelstein said.

-- And revenge.
Suddenly, her old victims are linking and in pursuit.

That gives
“Imposters” an extra spin: Lots of shows offer people who are
skilled scammers; this one add her victims, who are (at first) quite
clumsy at cons.

“We get a bit
better at it,” said Rob Heaps, who plays one of the vengeful
victims. Still, he granted, they're far from being scam masters.
“That's a great thing about the show – it's accessible.”

Most viewers, after
all, would be really bad con artists ... unlike actors, who might be
great at it.

-- “Imposters,”
10 p.m. Tuesdays, Bravo; debuts Feb. 7, rerunning at 1:32 a.m.

-- Bravo also has
latenight reruns of the pilot on Thursday and Saturday nights
(technically, 12:30 a.m. Friday and 3 a.m. Sunday). Another rerun is
10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14,

-- Other channels
will also rerun the opener -- midnight Tuesday (technically, 12 a.m.
Wednesday) on USA; 8 p.m. Feb. 14 on E.