Iconic Disney Villain Makes Surprise ‘Appearance’ in Hit New Show


When renowned actress Cherry Jones stepped into episode eight of the hit Peacock series Poker Face (a popular crime series that stars Natasha Lyonne as a human lie detector named Charlie) as said episode’s captivating villain, she made a strong impression on viewers — and apparently, that was partly down to Disney!

According to an interview with Variety, the show’s hair and makeup duo (Amy L. Forsythe and Marcel Dagenais) teamed up with Trayce Gigi Field (the Poker Face costume designer) to specifically create the Emmy Award-winning actress’s villainous style with 101 Dalmatians villain Cruella de Vil as a direct inspiration.

emma stone as cruella

Photo Credit: / Disney

The goal was apparently “to transform Jones’ usual earth-mother beauty into something stark and haughtily haute couture”, which ties in well with the more recent high-fashion-focused adaptation that we saw of Cruella de Vil’s story when Emma Stone played the Disney villain in the well-received movie Cruella (2021).

Cruella certainly has more and more competition these days when it comes to being the most popular Disney villain (after all, there are villains like Prince Hans, Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent, Yzma, Mother Gothel, and Agatha Harkness to contend with), but her aesthetic is still an instantly-recognizable one — a fact that the Poker Face team were very aware of.

Laura was meant to be “perfectly dressed, sinister, [and] oh-so-chic” like Cruella, according to Field.

cruella de vil in the original 101 dalmations

Cruella de Vil Credit: Disney / Empire Online

“I wanted ‘Laura’ to feel like money just entered the room. Perfectly tailored. Expensive taste. Visual storytelling is key with a character like Laura – you want her to be an instant read,” Field added.

Because the characters in this crime drama are mainly appearing for only one episode per character — and Cherry Jones, therefore, was only around for one episode of the show — the team also had to “build each character in [their minds]” and do “as much in-prep as possible” before filming.


Cherry Jones plays the murderer Laura in the episode “The Orpheus Syndrome” from the show ‘Poker Face’ on Peacock (which stars Natasha Lyonne). Her character design was directly inspired by Cruella de Vil. Credit: Peacock

This made the decision to focus on Cruella de Vil even more appropriate, since Cruella truly does make an instant impression on audiences (and since the hair, makeup, and costumes that match Cruella de Vil are an easy playbook to follow for anyone who has seen the original 101 Dalmatians or Cruella)!

Have you been watching Poker Face? What do you think of the Disney villain Cruella de Vil from the 1996 original animated movie?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!

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