ByGenevieve Van Voorhis, writer at
Game of Thrones, ASOUE, and all things '00s. Twitter: @gen_vanvee Email: [email protected]
Genevieve Van Voorhis

Updated 11/17/2016:

Daniel Handler himself has confirmed it! Alfre Woodard will be playing the fearful grammar fanatic of Lake Lachrymose, Aunt Josephine! Get a look at her on set, completely falling hook, line and sinker for Count Olaf's disguise.

Clues and traces of mysterious information about 's new original show, 's A Series Of Unfortunate Events, have been blowing around with all the ferocity of Hurricane Herman, and we've been devouring every last drop like Lachrymose leeches hunting a whiff of banana. There are questionable "fanmade" trailers and Very Flammable Dandelions, not to mention the Easter eggs lurking behind Patrick Warburton in the first official teaser. But even as the volunteer fiction decoders unlock more and more secrets, there's still one secret that had yet to be answered: Who will be playing Aunt Josephine?

Meryl Streep as Aunt Josephine in ASOUE (2004)
Meryl Streep as Aunt Josephine in ASOUE (2004)

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Currently, IMDB lists Bernadette Peters as the well-meaning and perpetually frightened grammar fanatic. However, after the release of the latest trailer, it is clear that Bernadette's name appearing in the cast list is no more than a red herring.

We've already heard from several sources (including this snap from Malina Weissman (Violet)) that Alfre Woodard will appear in the new series, however all of these sources neglect to say exactly which character she will be playing. But now, after the latest trailer has dropped, it seems pretty clear that Woodard will be playing Josephine Anwhistle.

Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard in Luke Cage / Netflix
Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard in Luke Cage / Netflix

The clever researchers of Reddit discovered that when watching the trailer on Netflix with the subtitles on, the character name is mentioned before the voiceover line. This makes it clear that the line "Villain! Wretch!" is actually our first time hearing the voice of Aunt Jo. And it's clearly not the distinctive Bernadette Peters.

Aunt Josephine's lines in A Series Of Unfortunate Events Trailer
Aunt Josephine's lines in A Series Of Unfortunate Events Trailer

Watch the trailer now to hear for yourself. The line happens after the 0:25 second mark.

Now, compare that to this clip of Woodard as Mariah Dillard in . (Spoiler Warning: If you're worried about Luke Cage Spoilers, you might want to skip this clip.)

The voice is spot on, isn't it? One thing's obvious: It's definitely not Bernadette Peters.

Plus, at 64 years old, Woodard is the perfect age to play Aunt Josephine. And since she's already such a well-established actor, it's unlikely that she'd be playing a smaller part. Meryl Streep's Aunt Josephine from the 2004 film is going to be a tough act to follow, but Woodard is a seasoned pro that is no doubt up to the challenge.


Are you happy to see Alfre Woodard as Aunt Josephine?


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