Who is each character based on?
Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Don’t look.
by netflix Do not seek is a satirical review of real life – and each character was inspired by real life characters. Although Comet Dibiasky is not rushing towards Earth at this time, it is easy to see parallels between our reality and Do not seek. With climate change and COVID-19 looming, Do not seek provides a humorous but sobering image of our current reality.
that of Adam McKay Do not seek follows a pair of astronomers as they fight to make the world take its own impending doom seriously. After the doctorate Candidate Kate Dibiasky discovers a comet on a collision course with the Earth, it becomes a race to save the world. However, they quickly discover that the world – the President, the scientific community, the media, and much of America’s citizens – just doesn’t care. With a six-month deadline, Dr Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Kate Dibiasky are tasked with trying to save a world that doesn’t believe it’s in danger. Instead of ending with the clichÃ©, happy Hollywood ending, Do not seek ends with the total annihilation of planet Earth – a clear warning of the fate that awaits Earth if climate change is not tackled soon.
Do not seek is filled with a star-studded cast; greats like Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence round out the main cast, while well-known names like Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry and Sir Mark Rylance round out the supporting cast. Do not seek doesn’t hold back when it comes to criticizing the current political climate, and no one – from the president to senior government officials to the average Trump supporter – is safe in this satirical Netflix flick.
Kate Dibiasky – Greta Thunberg
Dibiasky’s character is not a perfect mirror of the young environmentalist, but there are a lot of parallels between the two. Dibiasky, naturally, is passionate about the fate of the world, and she’s not afraid to show it. Yet when Lawrence Do not seek the character gets angry and tries to force the world to take her fate seriously, they ignore her and turn her into a meme. When Greta Thunberg first burst into the public eye in 2018, she received a similar reception; his righteous anger and concern were exploited by many who disagreed with his message. Instead of focusing on the solid science she presented, she was ridiculed for expressing genuine emotion surrounding the plight of the planet – just like Dibiasky.
Peter Isherwell – Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg
Do not seek BASH Cellular CEO Peter Isherwell (Mark Rylance) can be seen as the odd child in love with millionaire tech moguls like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and more. He begins the film as a quirky and oddly charming genius trope, but as the film progresses it becomes clear that there is something more sinister underneath. Isherwell, like many real-world tech moguls right now, is fascinated by space travel. Isherwell prioritizes money and profit over the looming climate crisis – a common criticism that the world’s richest face today as they spend billions of dollars on personal space projects as the planet is facing catastrophic climate change. Isherwell also uses his mobile phone company to peddle intrusive data – enough to accurately predict people’s deaths – which is a clear comparison to Zuckerberg, who has faced serious backlash for Facebook’s history of data mining.
President Janie OrlÃ©ans – Donald Trump
President Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep) is a clear caricature of former President Donald Trump. From narcissism to nepotism, President OrlÃ©ans has it all. When Dr Mindy and Dibiasky approach President Orleans with news of Comet Dibiasky, she easily rejects and manipulates science to fit her own agenda. Even when clear evidence of the comet arrives, âDon’t Lookâ becomes a rallying cry during its massive rallies, which eerily mirror Trump’s rallies, cheesy baseball caps and all. As Trump and his supporters have denied and played down the COVID-19 pandemic despite a myriad of evidence, Orlean and his supporters ignored a comet they could see with their own eyes. While some minor points of Orleans could be inspired by other presidential figures – like his Clinton-style fashion sense – his portrayal is clearly a satirical mirror image of Donald Trump.
Jason OrlÃ©ans – The Trump Children
If Janie Orlean is a parody of Donald Trump, Jason Orlean (Jonah Hill) is a composite of the Trump children – Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. All four benefited from Donald Trump’s position as president, being given seats of power they were otherwise unqualified for, just like Jason. Jason’s character traits are based on a rumor or scandal surrounding the Trump children and their spouses; Trump Jr.’s recreational drug use, Trump’s obsession with Ivanka’s appearance, and Kushner’s need to be Trump’s number one hypeman are all rolled into one character.
Brie Evantee and Jack Bremmer – Morning Talk Shows and The New York Times
Brie Evantee (Cate Blanchett) and Jack Bremmer (Tyler Perry) could easily be derived from any morning talk show host. Their bouncy morning attitude and preference for the good weather over the hard news can be found on almost every channel in the morning. Evantee closely resembles Mika Brzezinski, the co-host of Morning Joe. Perry’s character Jack Bremmer gives the impression of a Michael Strahan (Hello america) and Joe Scarborough (Morning Joe) lovechild, which makes sense since Perry admits to consulting the two on the role. However, McKay says his media figures were not meant to satirize one person but entire institutions. In an interview (via Vanity Fair), McKay admitted that the New York Herald in Do not seek was inspired by the New York Times.
Riley Mina – Ariana Grande
This inspiration is one of the most obvious, mainly because the star herself played the part. Ariana Grande made a satirical appearance of herself in Do not seek starring Riley Mina, a pop star whose relationship drama made headlines about the inevitable destruction of the planet. Grande’s past connections have already made headlines; however, the real pop star is much more politically active than his fictional counterpart. In the past, Grande has spoken out against other celebrities who do not use their platforms for good. Grande fought for LGBTQ rights, voter turnout, feminist issues, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
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