HBO’s Lovecraft Country has made for fascinating viewing since it arrived in August but just who was Josephine Baker and who plays the character?
HBO’s Lovecraft Country has been one of the most intriguing drama series of 2020.
The show, which is based on the Matt Ruff novel of the same name, couldn’t have arrived at a better time as it explores the horrors of 1950s America – where racial segregation was commonplace – and blends it with the horrors of actual monsters pulled straight from the writings of H.P. Lovecraft.
Lovecraft Country’s most recent episode, I Am, takes its premise to even further extremes as the focus is placed firmly on the character of Hippolyta as she’s transported through time and space through a mysterious wormhole.
Hippolyta’s exploits eventually lead to an extraordinary encounter with a woman by the name of Josephine Baker but just who was this inspirational figure and who plays her in Lovecraft Country?
Lovecraft Country episode 7
Lovecraft Country arrived on HBO in the US and Sky Atlantic in the UK in mid-August and has been airing weekly since.
The series has primarily followed Atticus Freeman, his friend Letitia and his Uncle George as they have travelled across 1950s America in search of Atticus’s missing father.
In episode 7, titled I Am, the focus is placed firmly on Atticus’s wife, Hippolyta as she sets out on her own only to end up half a universe away.
Hippolyta is transported to a mysterious new planet through where she is faced with a giant afro-sporting extraterrestrial who demands to know her name and where she would like to be.
Sarcastically, Hippolyta suggests that she wants to be dancing in Paris with Josephine Baker and, out of the blue, that’s exactly where she ends up and after several episodes of seeing a cautious and uptight Hippolyta, we finally get to see her let her hair down.
Who was Josephine Baker?
- Josephine Baker was a star of the screen, stage and civil rights movement who rose to fame in the 1920s.
Born in St Louis, Missouri in 1906, Josephine Baker was destined for stardom from an early age.
In 1921, at the age of just 15, her career began when she appeared on stage in several New York shows and quickly began making a name for herself after she moved to Paris at just 19.
It was in the French capital where Josephine’s career truly began in earnest as she made headlines for her almost erotic dancing style with her standout performance coming in the Wild Dance where Josephine wore next to nothing apart from a skirt made of artificial bananas.
Josephine’s love affair with France was solidified in 1937 when she renounced her American citizenship in favour of French nationality, which she earned when she married industrialist, Jean Lion, one of four husbands she had during her life.
During the Second World War, Josephine worked as part of the French Resistance, using her celebrity status to gain information about the Nazis and even earned a medal for her efforts.
Following the war, Josephine returned to performing but it wasn’t long before the Civil Rights movement in the US caught her attention after being subject to segregation upon a visit to the country.
Josephine refused to perform at segregated venues and was even asked to lead the Civil Rights movement following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr but turned down the opportunity for the sake of her children.
On April 12th, 1975, Josephine Baker passed away at the age of 68 after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage. Baker is the only American-born woman to receive full French military honours at her funeral and she was finally laid to rest in Monaco’s Cimetière de Monaco.
Who plays Josephine Baker in Lovecraft Country?
- Josephine Baker is played by Carra Patterson in Lovecraft Country.
Carra Patterson, who made her acting debut in 2008, has appeared in almost 20 acting roles in her career to date according to IMDb.
Her most prominent roles to date have come in the likes of Straight Outta Compton, Bloodline and The Arrangement.
It is understood that Patterson is slated to appear in the TV series Turner & Hooch as well as Patty’s Auto so it shouldn’t be too long before Carra is back on our screens.
Until then, Lovecraft Country airs weekly on HBO in the US and Sky Atlantic in the UK until the 10-episode series ends on October 18th/19th.