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SYFY WIRE Poker Face

Joseph Gordon-Levitt on his 'Anthony Perkins-Hitchcock moment' in Episode 9 of 'Poker Face'

Never trust someone who drinks coconut rum without a mixer.

By Josh Weiss
(l-r) David Castañeda as Jimmy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Trey Mendez in Poker Face

Never trust a person who likes to drink coconut rum without a mixer. The preferred alcoholic libation of Trey Nelson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character in the most recent episode of Poker Face (now streaming on Peacock), was a dead giveaway of his psychopathic tendencies.

"Whether we want to admit it or not, there’s a part of us that is just a totally selfish spoiled brat on the inside,” the actor noted during an interview with Variety. "And then there’s those of us who strive to be kind because we’ve learned to overcome the beast within. And so this guy is just a total dick through and through. It’s the fun thing about acting, just letting the worst part of human nature take surface."

While director Rian Johnson gave him the role of a cold-blooded killer in 2012's Looper, Gordon-Levitt always harbored an ambition of landing a role that allowed him to stab someone "through the chest with a knife," he admitted. Given that most of Episode 9 of the hit Peacock series takes place at an isolated motel hiding a deadly secret, the actor likened it to Alfred Hitchcock's proto-slasher, Psycho.

RELATED: Rian Johnson & 'Poker Face' showrunners on almost killing Charlie, reuniting with Joseph Gordon-Levitt

In particular, Gordon-Levitt described Trey's attempted murder of Charlie Cale (Natasha Lyonne) as a "full-on Anthony Perkins-Hitchcock moment, raising the knife high above my head." He continued: "The way we shot it to maximize the silhouette effect. It’s a Dr. Caligari moment. It’s such a classic cinematic image, the stabbing, and I’d never done it before, so it’s appropriate that I ended up doing it on Rian’s show."

Despite the fact that the penultimate episode hints at a lengthy prison stint for Mr. Nelson, Gordon-Levitt is of the belief that if enough palms are greased, the unscrupulous sleaze-bag will get a slap on the wrist from the rigged justice system that granted him a cushy house arrest in the first place. 

"I imagine there’s a lot of very high-priced lawyers involved," he concluded. "Maybe some lobbyists. There could be a call to a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. There’s a lot of moving and shaking that happens afterwards and he serves no time. That’s the world we’re living in, isn’t it?"

The Season 1 finale of Poker Face arrives on Peacock this Thursday, March 9. Click here to watch the first eight episodes streaming now.

Looking for more gumshoe work? All seasons of Columbo and Murder She Wrote are now streaming on Peacock!