Melissa Benoist has stolen our hearts as the star of DCTV's Supergirl, but it looks as though she's ready to trade in her cape for a far more sinister role. The actress may be known as the personification of "adorkable," but Benoist has tremendous skill and range as an actress — as fans of Homeland and Whiplash will attest. Now, she's set to shine as a dark cultist leader in Paramount Network's Waco!
Meet Rachel Koresh
No Girl of Steel, Rachel Koresh was a pretty blonde who became infatuated with cultist David Koresh. Koresh founded a Seventh-Day Adventist sect known as the Branch Davidians, and he presented himself as their final prophet. Rachel married David Koresh when she was just 14, and a year later gave birth to their first child, Cyrus. As the years passed, Rachel seems to have remained unfaltering in her loyalty to her husband, not even reacting when her younger sister Michelle joined his harem.
The story of David Koresh is one of the most sinister and disturbing in American history. Koresh set up his headquarters at the New Mount Carmel Center outside of Waco, Texas. Koresh created a cult whose everyday lives revolved completely around himself, and who were taught that they had to build an "Army of God" to prepare for the end days and fight for the world's salvation. He warned that the authorities would oppose him, and commanded his followers to defend him with force.
The Tragic End
In February 1993, ex-members of the cult began to go public with claims that David Koresh was physically abusing children, and had taken underage brides. Also troubling were allegations that the group was illegally stockpiling weapons, and the ATF attempted a raid on February 28th. The Branch Davidians's response was as inevitable as it was terrifying, with the raid descending into a firefight, and the ATF forced to retreat. The raid turned into a 51-day siege. Rachel's father died in that first battle.
Rachel and her family are central figures in the tragic tale that followed, as devoted followers who stuck with Rachel's husband through the entire horror story. The siege would end with the FBI launching a fresh assault using tear gas on April 19th, and we'll never quite know what happened at the end. Somehow, the ranch was set alight; 76 people died, including David, Rachel, and their children.
A Chilling Tale To Tell
The premise of Waco is darkly fascinating, not least because the end of the siege is one of the USA's most disturbing mysteries. The series is currently in production in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and seems to be centered around the Koresh family. Melissa Benoist is taking on one of the starring roles, and she'll be joined by Julia Garner as her younger sister, Michelle.
It's clear that the whole team believe in digging deep into the characters and history of the tragedy. The Dowdle brothers — writers and directors of Waco — have earned a strong reputation after the success of Quarantine, and they're joined by Michael Shannon and Taylor Kitsch as executive producers. Considering the sheer quality of the talent the team is assembling, this should be a tremendous — if chilling — series.
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Waco promises to be an unmissable series, and it's just attracted some phenomenal star-power in Melissa Benoist. The last few years have seen us grow increasingly comfortable with her portrayal of Kara Danvers, a.k.a. Supergirl — but there's a lot more to this talented actress than the "adorkable" Girl of Steel. She's about to remind the world just how much more...
Are you looking forward to 'Waco'?
(Source: Cinemablend; Poll Image Credit: The CW)