The Playlist is reporting that director David Cronenberg has been cast in Sarah Polley’s upcoming Netflix series, Alias Grace. Cronenberg—whose resume is peppered with small acting roles in both his own films and movies like The Stupids and Jason X—will appear in a supporting role in Polley’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel, which she’s developing alongside American Psycho director Mary Harron.
Cronenberg—whose past roles include “Psychiatrist,” “Hospital Lawyer,” and “stabbed shoulder” in his own Shivers—is one of several high-profile directors who drift their way into acting from time to time. Stretching from Roman Polanksi’s nose-slicing Chinatown performance to Francois Truffaut’s turn as a UFO spotter in Close Encounters Of The Third Kind to Werner Herzog’s inspired casting as a finger-chomping villain in the recent Jack Reacher, it’s a time-honored tradition (with a surprisingly high tendency for people’s extremities to get damaged in the process). Still, it’s rare for a director to be cast as a principal cast member of a TV show, outside of Cronenberg’s fellow horror auteur and Cleveland Show co-star, David Lynch. So it’ll be interesting to see what he brings to Polley’s tale of 19th-century repression.