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Performer of The Month - Readers’ Choice Most Outstanding Performer of October - Amelia Eve

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This article was written by Aimee Hicks and Ellys Cartin. The article was edited by Donna Cromeans (DJRiter). The open and close of the article were written by Aimee Hicks. Prepared for publishing by Aimee Hicks.

The Haunting of Bly Manor surprised a lot of people when the central theme of the series ended up being more love story than ghost story. Yes, it had scares and jumps that one would expect from one of Netflix’s seasonal Haunting shows, but it also had a lot of heart. Despite the love stories encompassing the characters, it still had to accomplish its goal of being a series about a haunting. That required the cast to walk an exceptionally fine line to maintain suspense while guiding their characters through the development of complex relationships. The most complex of the relationships was between Amelia Eve’s Jamie and Victoria Pedretti’s Dani. Many viewers came into the series aware of Pedretti and her strong acting abilities, but Eve took many people by surprise. This relatively unknown actress, with a minimal resume, came in and took the show by storm. She held her own against a cast of gifted performers and despite limited screen time early on she still made Jamie feel meaningful and impactful to the overall story.

Eve was given great material to work with throughout the season, but The Beast in The Jungle (1x9) provided Eve with some deep content to bring to life. This episode spanned several years and showcased the importance of Jamie in Dani’s life. Eve leaned into the lighter moments between Jamie and Dani with a glint in her eyes and a wide smile while in the same episode delivering heart-wrenching performances in the deeper moments of emotion and loss that the character had to endure. Jamie was Dani’s rock and Eve’s performance was so relatable and honest she helped ground the audience in the love story. The performance she delivered throughout the season, and particularly in this episode, left an impression that will not easily be forgotten. For a relative newcomer to the industry, she took her first major role and rapidly became a name that will not be forgotten. She is charismatic and charming while also being honest and bold in her acting choices. These qualities made her a well-deserving winner of the title of SpoilerTV’s October Readers’ Choice Performer of the Month.

Continue reading below to find out our thoughts regarding her performance. After reading, please leave your thoughts in the comments.

Throughout most of the show, Jamie is presented as a supporting player, but the finale redefines her role, perspective, and participation in the tragic events and legacy of Bly Manor. How does Eve's portrayal of Jamie in this episode tie together the show's story and reframe it as both a ghost story and a love story?

Aimee: While Jamie didn’t get a lot of story early on, she was always a pivotal character in the overall arc of the story. Her place in this final episode helped to shrink in the overarching story and focus it on Jamie and Dani. Eve was pivotal to making Jamie’s critical role in the finale play exactly right and hit all the necessary emotional points. While all the characters were subject to the scares and trauma of the ghosts, it was Jamie’s role to bring stability to Dani’s life in a time of chaos. Jamie is Dani’s rock and no matter the moment, Eve always made sure that Jamie’s unwavering love for her was apparent and unquestionable. She remained stoic and supportive when Pedretti was having to portray Dani slowly falling into the iron grip of the dark beast living inside of her. Eve’s strong and heartfelt work helped shift the finale away from horror to love. The love story didn’t end with them having a traditional happily ever after, but the strong sense of love and loyalty that Eve infused into Jamie helped to really showcase the profound connection these two characters shared. Her portrayal arguably is what allowed the final scene to have such a profound impact. Carla Gugino (Older Jamie) brought Jamie’s story to a conclusion, but had Eve not so perfectly set everything up, that final surprise would not have worked nearly as well as it did.

Ellys: Jamie being the narrator completely shifts the story from just being Dani’s to being the story of her and Dani’s love. We realize in fact that everything we have seen (or are seeing if we are rewatching) is through Jamie’s perspective of her memories. Throughout this episode, Eve shows us an especially important part of who Jamie is. She doesn’t look away from or try to rewrite the truth, and she doesn’t shy away from the darkness. Denial is something that hurts many other Bly Manor characters in ways they can’t recover from, but Jamie is different. She doesn’t retreat when Dani talks about Viola’s (Kate Siegel) presence still lurking. She doesn’t hesitate to dive into the water to confirm her worst fear. Eve carries herself with such frank boldness, her heart proudly displayed on her sleeve, in this role that we trust Jamie as immediately as Dani does. These traits also demonstrate why Jamie is the only person who can be the narrator, as she alone can-do justice to the full scope of what happened at Bly Manor and how the survivors were affected.

Jamie, in many ways, at first appears to us as a classic love interest, with the show's narrator announcing her as such from her first appearance. How does Eve's performance throughout the show reintroduce stakes and suspense into the love story? How does she find space between the lines to color in who Jamie is outside of her connection to Dani?

Aimee: It was clear from the first meeting of Jamie and Dani that love was on the horizon for them. Just the promise of love is enough to up the stakes in a horror genre production. Relationships in this genre very rarely end well. It felt certain as the story started to unfold that this couple would likely not get a happily ever after in the traditional sense. So, then it became about everything that came in the middle of the story. How would they fall in love? How long would they get to bask in that love? How would they each cope without the other? Eve did an exceptional job of bringing to life the answer to each of those questions. She made subtle acting choices that showed Jamie falling in love with Dani. From soft smiles and flirty glances to bold gestures, not even one of these pivotal moments went by without Eve really locking into the essence of the moment. Even when she was just reacting to the lines Pedretti was delivering, she didn’t let a single minute go by where Jamie’s attraction and growing love for Dani wasn’t front and center. After their love was declared and they were together, Eve kicked her performance up a few extra notches. She showed how protective Jamie was over Dani. When Jamie raced into the lake to be at Dani’s side, the anxiousness was visible in Eve’s eyes, yet she kept her voice strong and supportive, so Dani knew she wasn’t alone. The same happened when they began their lives together as they left Bly Manor. In every scene they had together, Eve captured the moment perfectly, even the smallest of gestures, and used them to portray how in love Jamie was with Dani. Then came the heartbreaking end at the lake when Jamie had to accept that the love of her life was the new Lady of the Lake and they were to be forever separated. The way that Eve looked at her ring so longingly allowed the audience to see that even without Dani’s physical body at her side, these two women weren’t ever going to truly be separated. Eve let the audience see that Jamie was never going to let go of Dani. She has this brilliant ability to make every single instance, verbal or not, matter. There is never a single scene where she wasn’t beautifully selling the love story.

Ellys: Two scenes that particularly stand out to me are Jamie’s introduction and the proposal scene. In the first, Eve saunters casually into the kitchen and makes a great display of washing her hands, as Jamie is purposely avoiding any interaction with the others at first. It’s such an interesting tableau because Dani ought to be the outsider here, as the newcomer. Eve’s performance, though, with Jamie’s carefree mingling, her slightly roguish demeanor, tells us that Jamie is the outsider, that she’s untouched by the ghosts of Bly Manor, her shadow is her own. She’s the master of her destiny, free in a way that no one else in the kitchen is at that moment. This state of being makes Jamie our constant, the one person we and Dani can trust to be exactly who she appears to be. Later, in the proposal scene, there is an absolutely charming bit where Jamie drops her cooking efforts to tend to the plant Dani rescued. Eve handles the plant with such tender expertise, gently lifting the leaves and rummaging through its soil to make sure the plant is comfortable. When Jamie finds the ring, Eve turns around with such unfettered hope and adoration on her face that it takes your breath away.

Eve shares most of her scenes throughout the season with Pedretti, but they are surrounded in this series by some extraordinary performers. Besides Pedretti, who else did you enjoy watching her act opposite of? What were some of your favorite scenes between them?

Aimee: I really enjoyed watching Rahul Kohli bring Owen to life. Owen was such a reliable character and Kohli did some fantastic work in his own right. Eve and Kohli did share several scenes together, but I would have loved to see them work together much more than they did. One of my favorite scenes was when they are at Owen’s restaurant just talking and catching up. There was such a natural ease they brought to their performance that showcased the shared experiences the characters had been through. Another favorite scene was just a short moment in time, but it was after they found Hannah’s (T’Nia Miller) body. Not a word was spoken, but the way the characters seemed to find comfort in each other was truly touching. These two were great scene partners and I would have liked to have seen more of them working together.

Ellys: In my mind, all Eve’s scenes are with Pedretti, because there is always a sense that Jamie is subconsciously thinking of Dani, even when they’re apart. You always feel that invisible thread between their hearts, drawing them together, writing their stories on the same page. While choices of direction and music also help create this feeling, Eve’s performance also conveys this connection as we observe Jamie’s body language gradually shift to reflect that she isn’t a person alone anymore, that there’s someone else she’s carrying with her in her mind. This quality forms quite the foil for Dani’s far less romantic haunting later in the series. 

This was Eve’s first major role, but surely won’t be her last. What type of character would you like to see her portray next? Do you think there is one genre or another that would suit her the best as she moves forward with her career?

Aimee: Just based on the wide range she displayed in this show, I don’t think there is much she can’t do. She has incredible timing with her line delivery, and she can brilliantly deliver snarky lines. I think she’d be good in a comedy if the right role ever came her way. I think the sweet spot for her right now would be something in the fantasy or drama realm. A role that allows her to cover a wide range of emotions and really dive into the depth of her character would really highlight some of her great strengths. She knows how to convey emotion and make it feel raw and real, so that could really serve her well in a more dramatic type of role. With her range, she could honestly go in almost any direction and make it work for her style. She seems like a very versatile actress and that will serve her well as her career grows and evolves.

Ellys: Amelia Eve’s interviews about this role have been a delight to read. She approaches her craft not just as an actress but also as a storyteller, and the Jamie that has captured viewers’ hearts is the product of Eve’s commitment to detail and excellence. Eve deserves her pick of roles, and I think original characters especially will be her forte. Directors and showrunners should give her enough latitude to put her stamp on the role, to find the beating heart of her characters as she did with Jamie. I can see her tackling just about any character type.

Eve was given a major part to play in the final episode of the season. She was front and center as Jamie and Dani’s love story played out over several years before coming to a tragic end. That gave her a lot of amazing material to work with. What do you think were Eve’s most outstanding scenes from this episode? What made those scenes stand out to you the most?

Aimee: I honestly loved every single scene that Eve was in during this episode. I thought the writers did an amazing job highlighting the Jamie and Dani love story in this episode. Eve delivered an inspired tour de force performance. There are a few scenes that I’d like to highlight. First up is the scene at the lake where Jamie charges into the water. Eve displayed so much anxiety and panic through her eyes, yet she was so sturdy and supportive as she had Jamie try to calm down the traumatized Dani. Then there was the flower shop scene where Jamie confesses her love. The fact that I adore the movie Imagine Me and You probably helped make this scene a little extra special. Rumor has it that the movie inspired the writer regarding that scene and before I even knew that as soon as I saw it, I immediately thought of that movie. The way Eve enacted Jamie’s love confession was brilliant. She portrayed Jamie as a bit shy and uncertain yet confident and proud. Then her knowing smile just before the characters kiss was a fun lighthearted moment that she nailed. Another standout scene was the proposal scene. When Dani asked Jamie to be her wife, despite not being able to legally be married yet in that era, the overwhelming wash of emotions that consumed Eve’s face as she showed how much the proposal meant to her was heartwarming. I also really appreciated the return of stoic and supportive Jamie during the dishwashing scene where Dani freaked out after seeing the Lady of the Lake in the water. Eve’s eyes expressed Jamie’s concern for the woman she loves, but her voice and embrace were strong and steadfast. That scene really showed how much Dani means to Jamie. The final scene that allowed Eve to really showcase Jamie’s immense pain and hurt over losing Jamie was at the lake’s edge. She had just swum to the bottom of the lake essentially begging Dani to take her too only to emerge defeated and heartbroken. She had Jamie look down at the ring on her finger and while she was still in immense pain over losing Dani, Eve allowed a small moment of acceptance and solace to consume Jamie in her time of mourning, that ring meant the world to her and was the last real physical connection she had to her true love. This entire episode was a real showcase for Eve, and these were just a few of the scenes that stood out the most, but every scene she had in this episode was noteworthy.

Ellys: If I must pick a favorite scene, it’s when Jamie offers to stay with Dani, completely accepting that it will mean living alongside Dani dealing with a burden that will never go away. In Eve’s face, you see Jamie thinking through this decision before stepping forward, checking it against her own heart and strength. When Eve lifts her head defiantly, letting the tears fall unhindered, it’s a moment of triumph for the character and for the love story. We see Jamie realize without a doubt that she can be everything Dani needs her to be and more. If there’s a scene that absolutely blasts my soul into smithereens, Eve’s performance in the scene where Jamie and Dani are kneeling by the tub is emotional warfare on a level for which no one could have been prepared. Words aren’t sufficient to describe the force of Eve’s sincerity, the authentic desperation she imbues Jamie’s words with when she begs Dani to hold on to her, to let Jamie feel everything for both. You know wholly and completely that Jamie would sacrifice anything, pay any price, to keep Dani safe and happy. And so, we understand why Dani can’t give the love of her life that opportunity. The entire finale of the show rests on Eve’s depiction of Jamie’s devotion.

What are your final thoughts on her winning this recognition?

Aimee: She is relatively new to the industry and she made a big splash in her first major role. I think being able to hold her own against such a standout cast was impressive in and of itself. She made Jamie so much more than just a character, she made her feel like a real person whose story you were watching play out before your eyes. When Jamie was happy, Eve made sure that joy translated in such an immense way that the viewer couldn’t help but smile. When Jamie was sad or hurting, she made the audience feel Jamie’s pain. She’s a very versatile actress who took a big opportunity and made it her breakout role. She is someone we will be hearing about for an awfully long time to come, so I’m extremely excited that she won this recognition for her first major role. Between her incredible range and impressive ability to convey emotion she was perfectly suited to this role and definitely deserving of this win.

Ellys: The best love stories and the best ghost stories are the ones that reach out and grab our hearts, that give us a knot in our chests that makes it hard for us to breathe. The stories that accomplish this feat are the ones that draw us in with equally strong joy and sorrow; these are the stories we want to revisit. Fittingly, Amelia Eve is the best kind of storyteller, and I think our readers would agree that she has captured the hearts of her audience in that most permanent of ways.

Amelia Eve was introduced to a broad audience via her role as Jamie. Nobody had any expectations of what to expect from her or any preconceived idea of what kind of performer she was. From the moment she stepped on screen as Jamie she had a prime opportunity to make a name for herself and she did just that. In the process, she set an extremely high bar for herself in her first major role. If this is the sort of performance that she delivers right out of the gate, then there is unlimited potential for her as her career grows. She is charismatic and doesn’t hold back. She gives every word and every movement meaning and a purpose to aid in the evolution of her character. It’s not only her own character about whom she is concerned. She always seems so in-tune with her scene partner and does her best to help support them. A performer like her who gives so much to a character and is so present when in character and conscious of the societal importance of her character is sure to be a name that will only become more prominent within the industry. For her first major role as Jamie in the finale of The Haunting of Bly Manor, Amelia Eve is SpoilerTV’s October Readers’ Choice Performer of the Month.

Please use the comments to discuss all your favorite parts of Amelia Eve’s performance in The Beast in The Jungle.

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