With less than a month on Netflix, “Chambers” appears to be piling up reviews that label it mediocre at best. Rotten Tomatoes critics gave the show an average rating of 5.6 out of ten. But after bingeing the ten episode first season, I thoroughly enjoyed the dark and mysterious show. Sure, it was a slow buildup and literally almost every character seemed to have a secret of their own, but in the end it all tied together.
“Chambers” follows Sasha, a Native American girl who after a sudden heart transplant, begins to see memories from her donors past life. Everyone around her brushes her off and even her doctor diagnosed her with anxiety due to her recent trauma. But as the visions begin to happen more frequently, Sasha begins to realize they may hide answers to her donors mysterious and sudden death.
Before catching up on the show, I have a breakdown of the cast of “Chambers.” You may be surprised at the big names who accepted roles in this Netflix original. But also, the young and new faces about to climb the Hollywood ranks.
Meet the cast:
Sivan Alyra Rose - Sasha Yazzie
Sivan Alyra Rose, who portrays protagonist Sasha Yazzie, is making history as the first Native American women to star in a Netflix series. According to IMDB, she is both Puerto Rican and of Apache descent. She attended the Institute of American Indian Arts to study studio art before moving to Los Angeles to pursue her acting and modeling career in December 2017. Sivan plans to use her platform to raise awareness about Native American issues. Before her breakthrough role in “Chambers,” Sivan appeared in two short student films, “The Entrada” and “Running Shadow.”
Griffin Powell-Arcand -TJ Locklear
TJ Locklear, Sasha’s love interest, is played by actor Griffin Powell-Arcand. Even though “Chambers” is his first high-profile role, he seems to have been in front of the camera since a young age. According to IMDB, his first role was back in 2003 as a child actor in a film titled
“Dreamkeeper.” Since then, he’s had other roles, including a six episode arc in a “Little House on the Prairie” tv mini-series reboot in 2005. If you’re like me, and love social media stalking new actors, we are all out of luck. Unfortunately, Griffin Powell-Arcand has no social media presence at all!
Actress Lilli Kay, who portrays Penelope Fowler, is also a newer face to the industry. Having only previously appeared in a small role in HBO movie “Paterno” and a one episode role in the hit CBS drama “Madam Secretary.” Fictional character Penelope Fowler was the childhood best friend of the mysterious heart donor, Becky. It’s hard to know when Penelope is telling the truth. Everyone at school said she was obsessed with Becky, and it doesn’t help when Sasha discovers Penelope had placed a hidden camera in Becky’s bedroom. Despite all the lies and mystery, it’s discovered that Penelope, despite not knowing Sasha yet, helped her by performing CPR after her heart attack.
Lilliya Scarlett Reid - Becky Lefevre
Actress and artist, Lilliya Scarlett Reid brings the fictional character of Becky Lefevre alive in “Chambers.” Reid hasn’t had a lot of screen time but she does have a few projects, both on and off the screen, that you may have heard of. You may not recognize her face, but her hands, have been all over Canadian singer songwriter, Shawn Mendes. Yes, you heard that right. Reid portrayed the mysterious girl, whose face you never really see, who ran her hands over Shawn Mendes chest and hair repeatedly in the music video for his song “Nervous”.
Lilliya, we all wish we were you. Reid was also the face of Versace’s SS18 Versus campaign as well as being included in Yeezy’s Supermoon campaign. Reid is also an artist and her work was on display at the Chain Gallery in Los Angeles. According to her IMDB, she has had acting roles in “Alyeska: So Long” and “Vienna and the Fantomes,” the latter alongside Dakota Fanning and Zoe Kravitz.
Kyanna Simone Simpson - Yvonne
Yvonne, Sasha’s best friend in “Chambers,” is portrayed by actress Kyanna Simone Simpson. She will appear in the film “Ma,” releasing late May 2019, as a young Sue Ann, who will be portrayed by actress Octavia Spencer. Simpson has also had a role in an episode of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” as well as roles in movies: “White Girl,” “White Boy Rick,” and “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” One of her most notable roles being a recurring role on the television series, “Black Lightning” that airs of The CW.
In “Chambers,” Yvonne lives across the street from Sasha in their low income neighborhood. She’s very intelligent and has a knack for everything computers and technology. When she’s not helping Sasha, Yvonne is at home caring for her mother who appears to be in the early stages of dementia.
Nicholas Galitzine - Elliott Lefevre
Since 2014, actor Nicholas Galitzine has had roles in six films. His most recent role was in a thriller titled “Share” that premiered at Sundance Film Festival in early 2019. Galitzine, a british actor, appears in “Chambers” as Elliott Lefevre, the twin brother of heart donor, Becky. Elliott is a heroin addict with a troubled past. When Sasha discovers that he attacked Becky days before her death, she accuses him of her “murder.” Elliott must prove that he didn’t kill his sister and that he wants nothing more than to be clean and move on.
Sarah Mezzanotte - Marnie
Best known for her roles in the TV series Royal Pains as Lena and NYPD Officer Brenda Patimkin in Blue Bloods, actress Sarah Mezzanotte appears as Marnie in Netflix’s “Chambers.” Marnie is first introduced as Sasha’s transitional partner at Crystal Valley High School. Despite being the popular girl, she seems sweet and wanting nothing more than to help Sasha settle in to a new and foreign community. But, Marnie proves to be hiding her own secrets.
Lili Taylor - Ruth Pezim
Emmy award winning American actress, Lili Taylor, appears as Marnie’s mom, Ruth Pezim. Ruth is close friends with Becky’s parents and helps them with their grief after Becky’s passing. Ruth also happens to be the leader of the fictional Annex Foundation. The Annex Foundation presents itself as a spiritual country club where members can find guidance and escape their societal problems. Without even watching the show, I think it’s safe to say that the Annex Foundation screams: Cult!
Marcus LaVoi - Big Frank Yazzie
Big Frank Yazzie is Sasha’s uncle and legal guardian in “Chambers,” he is portrayed by American Indian actor, Marcus LaVoi. One of his most recent roles was in “Den of Thieves” alongside Gerard Butler. Before acting, LaVoi was a former Marine, San Diego police officer, and even a corrections officer at a supermax prison. He began his acting career appearing in stand-in and background roles whenever he was needed at the San Diego based studio where he worked as a security guard. LaVoi has had recurring roles in “Days of Our Lives” as well as “The Young and the Restless.”
In an interview with Newsday, Marcus LaVoi said “I'm honored to be at Netflix right now because it is cutting edge and spearheading this whole paradigm shift in terms of cultural diversity and awareness. Take 'Chambers,' where Native Americans finally get a show where we're represented, and not just running around on horses and shooting arrows into people — just normal everyday people living our lives (albeit) in some very strange circumstances.”
Uma Thurman - Nancy Lefevere
Legendary actress Uma Thurman needs no introduction. She joined the main cast of “Chambers” as Nancy Lefevere, Becky’s grieving mother and a member of the Annex Foundation. Nancy struggles with her grief and even beings to have symptoms of a phantom pregnancy due to the loss of her daughter. She begins an unhealthy relationship with Sasha, the recipient of her daughter's heart. Nancy wants nothing more than the truth behind her daughter's tragic death. Uma Thurman has starred in films such as “Dangerous Liaisons,” both “Kill Bill” movies, and of course, “Pulp Fiction.”
Tony Goldwyn - Ben Lefevre
In one of his first roles since “Scandal,” where he portrayed President Fitzgerald Grant for seven seasons, Tony Goldwyn co-stars as Uma Thurman’s on screen husband, Ben Lefevre. Ben is also a member of the Annex Foundation but his role within the community may be more than what he led his wife to believe. Ben begins to use an extreme form of meditation to control his grief. When his wife, Nancy, reveals that she believes Becky is still alive inside Sasha and is trying to communicate, this means more to Ben than Nancy could ever begin to believe. Ben is the first to notice when Sasha begins to display the same characteristics of his daughter, Becky.
“Chambers” is a thrillingly weird series. I enjoyed watching a show that starred young actors, from all different backgrounds, that haven't had their Hollywood breakthrough. Although critics seem to bash the show, I would say that if you like shows like “The Haunting of Hill House,” you’ll enjoy “Chambers.”
Does “Chambers” deserve the negative reviews, or were you won over by the acting and desert cinematography?