'Truth Be Told': Haneefah Wood as Cydie delivers one of the most heartbreaking performances and we need to talk about it
You can't help but feel for this character, who has made it clear that she wants no trouble with the law, and wants to be left alone in return.
'Truth Be Told' will be one of the most important series you watch this month, primarily because of the context and narrative of the show. Starring Octavia Spencer, Aaron Paul, and Lizzy Kaplan, the Apple TV + show also promises brilliant performances, and it does deliver, but the performance that stood out for me personally was that of Haneefah Wood who portrays Cydie Scoville.
On Episode 3 of the series, we see one of the most powerful and impactful scenes ever, after she gets arrested for unpaid parking tickets, and what makes this scene so shocking is the fact that Cydie till that point existed in the periphery of the protagonist Poppy's (Spencer) life. We expected her to be snarky and quick-witted and call Poppy out when need be, and we also expected her to offer some comic relief and even play out a certain stereotype of a black woman. What we do not imagine is for her to go through something so dehumanizing when she was least expecting it.
The fact that cops came into her father's bar, a place that is like home to her, and took her downtown for something as minor as unpaid parking tickets, and treated her like a criminal is truly heartbreaking. We see the various ways in which she defines her identity, including her hair, her nails, her earrings, and her makeup are stripped off of her, and with each of these dehumanizing acts that are performed on her, we see her hopes and will to fight back getting chipped away.
As amazing as the writing is the direction of these particular scenes and the way Wood carried herself through it makes it one of the best cinematic portrayals of a prison scene. You can't help but feel for this character, who has made it clear that she wants no trouble with the law, and wants to be left alone in return.
If not for the gripping story or the star quality of the show, you need to watch 'Truth Be Told' on Apple TV+, which premieres on Friday, December 6.