|Image from Pop Power|
Don't get me wrong. I'm not on the Dushku-bashing band wagon so many other viewers are perched upon. Love her, seriously. But up against the acting of co-stars Olivia Williams, Amy Acker, Fran Kranz, Dichen Lachman, Alexis Denisof, Tamoh Pinekett, Harry Lennix and especially Enver Gjokaj, Dushku was bound to find herself a bit dwarfed. The premise of the show--if you don't already know--is that a shady business called "Dollhouse" takes wayward souls, wipes their memories (consensually, mostly), and reprograms them for use as, well, just about anything. Mostly as fantasy fulfillment for the rich, but also for more useful purposes.
So it was either lucky or by design that Gjokaj (along with other co-stars) is so gifted as so many different types of characters. The first time he was introduced, it was as a Russian, and we weren't as an audience aware that he was a "doll" at all. Later, he was put into other roles including as a secret lover to boss lady Williams. But it was his stunningly good impressions of other actors on the show where he really shone. First the contents of the brain of one of the characters, Laurence Dominic (Reed Diamond) was dumped into Gjokaj's Victor character. Dominic was a mole, and had his real self sentenced to "The Attic" for punishment. Through Victor, they found out what Dominic was up to.
The thing is, Gjokaj's take on Dominic's/Diamond's character was so spot-on, if you weren't watching the screen, you'd have sworn it was Diamond and not Gjokaj in the scene. Later, Victor was programmed with the memories of a serial killer. Here again, the acting nuances were so perfect, he almost became the other actor. Later in that same episode--through a mishap with the technology--Victor became Kiki, the empty-headed party girl Echo (Dushku) had been portraying. It was comedy gold.
Most recently, Victor was called upon to help brainy (and amoral) Topher be in two places at the same time. Gjokaj's performance as Topher blew every other attempt at mimcry out of the water. Other than hair color, the difference between Gjokaj's and Kranz's "Tophers" was almost indistinguishable. And again, the scenes managed to inject a significant amount of humor.
Dollhouse may sadly be cancelled, but I have no doubt that Enver Gjokaj will have a bright future. And given Whedon's propensity for using his actors again and again, hopefully it will be in something as entertaining as Dollhouse. Let's just hope it's more popular.