Bearing an uncanny resemblance to a famous person can be a blessing. Just ask any Elvis impersonator. But can you imagine going through life getting weird looks because you look like a widely reviled politician, or an actor whose career was ruined by scandal, or—let’s say—a notorious, recently deceased cult leader and convicted murderer whose crime spree in the summer of 1969 cast a shadow over the then-nascent hippie movement and shattered America’s innocence forever?
And, to be fair, Australian actor Damon Herriman doesn’t look exactly like Charles Manson. There’s obviously acting involved. But Herriman is apparently convincing enough in the role to get hired for two very high-profile projects: Season two of David Fincher’s Mindhunter, and Quentin Tarantino’s new film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. That’s according to Collider, which reported yesterday that Herriman would be playing Manson in both of those projects.
Herriman apparently filmed his scenes for Mindhunter back in July, more than a month before he was cast in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. That being said, there’s no indication that Tarantino saw footage from the Netflix series before making his decision, and Netflix declined to comment. Regardless, it’s got to be a pretty convincing portrayal to catch the eye of both of those respected auteurs. Interestingly, Herriman will play the role across two different time periods: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood takes place in 1969 and Mindhunter season two in the early ‘80s, as Vice points out.
Manson is an auxiliary character in both Mindhunter, where he’s one of several serial killers interviewed by FBI profilers Holden Ford and Bill Tench throughout the season, and in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, in which the Manson murders play a small part in a larger ensemble drama. The real Charles Manson, who was a real narcissistic piece of shit as well as a homicidal racist, would have hated that. Oh well.