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How ‘The Incredible Hulk’ TV series influenced Rian Johnson and Natasha Lyonne’s new detective series ‘Poker Face’



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Natasha Lyonne as Charlie Cale in Poker Face. (Photo: Evans Vestal Ward/Peacock)

Natasha Lyonne as Charlie Cale in Poker Face. (Photograph: Evans Vestal Ward/Peacock)

Cease us in the event you’ve heard this one earlier than: a tough touring hero with a really particular superpower goes on the run, traversing America’s highways and byways and combating crime alongside the best way. That is the plot of Peacock’s new thriller sequence Poker Face, starring Natasha Lyonne as fugitive card sharp Charlie Cale, who pulls into small city after small city in her classic Plymouth Barracuda and solves homicide circumstances because of an uncanny skill to see via lies with (metaphorical) X-ray imaginative and prescient.

However as followers of old-school “case of the week” tv know, it is additionally the premise of The Unimaginable Hulk — the classic ’70s TV present starring Lou Ferrigno as Marvel’s resident rage monster and Invoice Bixby because the mild-mannered scientist David Banner, who tries to maintain his inexperienced alter ego in verify. Throughout its five-season run on CBS, Banner traveled all around the nation actively making an attempt to keep away from confrontations that might set off the Hulk… solely to inevitably put these issues apart when there have been innocents in want of rescuing.

Talking with Yahoo Leisure, Poker Face creator Rian Johnson fortunately admits that the Hulk smashed so Charlie might… uh, smash some extra. “Completely it is bought Unimaginable Hulk vibes in it,” the Glass Onion writer-director says, including that episodic reveals like Columbo, Freeway to Heaven and Quantum Leap have been additionally reference factors. “Natasha within the Barracuda is the equal of [Bixby] strolling down that dusty avenue in each episode onto the subsequent city.”

Watch our inteview with the creator and stars of Poker Face beneath 

Lyonne says she’s gotten that very same response from pals who’ve watched the present forward of its Jan. 26 premiere — to the purpose the place she feels as if Charlie is extra like Ferrigno’s not-so-jolly inexperienced big than Peter Falk’s perpetually rumpled detective. “Simply because Peter Falk and I look a lot alike, that is what folks assume,” she jokes. “And but actually, there’s an Unimaginable Hulk high quality to it.”

Not for nothing, however Charlie even has her personal distinctive set off for remodeling into her crimefighter self. Each time she catches a criminal in a lie, she actually calls “bulls***” on them, and that kicks her sleuthing expertise into gear. Johnson and Lyonne each agree that if this have been the previous Unimaginable Hulk TV sequence, her “bulls***” could be accompanied by flashing lights and the sound of garments tearing as Charlie’s muscular tissues broaden to Hulk-ian proportions.

“Season 2, child,” the actress teases. “I am making an attempt to persuade Rian that we have to see that. I wished to do all of it because the Pink Panther, however y’know…”

It is price noting that the onscreen rights to the Hulk are presently shared by Marvel Studios and Common Studios. That is why Mark Ruffalo’s model can seem in Marvel Cinematic Universe-adjacent motion pictures and Disney+ TV reveals like She-Hulk: Legal professional at Legislation in a supporting position, however a solo Hulk function or tv mission must be distributed by way of Common. Requested whether or not he’d do a straight-up Unimaginable Hulk TV reboot if a Common-owned outlet like Peacock or NBC approached him, Johnson retains his personal poker face firmly intact.

“I believe they’re doing simply fantastic,” he says, laughing. “I have never seen the She-Hulk present, nevertheless it seems to be superior. [Marvel] is doing fantastic with out me. But when we’ve Natasha Hulk out in one in every of these Poker Face episodes sometime, you may know the crossover has occurred.”

Lyonne, however, has the pitch able to go… with an help from her Poker Face co-star Benjamin Bratt. “If it was known as Her Hulk, [I’m in],” she says. “Hear, I am simply amassing initiatives so certain, why not?”

Lou Ferrigno as the title character in The Incredible Hulk. (Photo: ©Universal Television/courtesy Everett Collection)

Lou Ferrigno because the title character in The Unimaginable Hulk. (Photograph: Common Tv/courtesy Everett Assortment)

Moreover classic Marvel tv, the Orange Is the New Black star says that her Poker Face portrayal is modeled after a contemporary Marvel star: Jeff Goldblum, who coincidentally sufficient appeared reverse the Ruffalo’s Hulk in 2017’s Thor: Ragnaork. Lyonne credit the fan-favorite actor with offering the inspiration for the best way she moved out and in of character on set.

“I noticed him on set after I was doing a Portlandia episode, and he does this factor the place he retains it form of chatty with all people, however by the point motion is named, there is not any lapse. He isn’t deviating from the individual he was earlier than, he is discovered a solution to create an area round him the place no person is aware of the place he begins and the character ends. He would not must grow to be a 3rd individual when he is instantly appearing: he is simply dwelling it that method.”

“It is a funnier, weirder model of Methodology appearing,” Lyonne continues. “It makes you much less self-conscious since you’re staying gentle in your ft. I’ve requested Jeff about it since, as a result of I used to be like, ‘It is a actually savvy factor to do.'” Identical to life, let’s hope one other Goldblum-Lyonne collab finds a method… to the large display.

Poker Face premieres Jan. 26 on Peacock.