There's a lot we don't know about the characters on HBO's masterful new series The Night Of. As the season unfolds, we're sure to find out more information about the main players in the case. But for now, we're still piecing together the little bits of information we've been given so far. And devising some theories along the way. Let's talk about Andrea Cornish, the 22-year-old victim at the center of this series. What do we really know about her? Yes, spoilers lie ahead. She's a mysterious figure who appears in Nasir "Naz" Khan's life as if in a dream. When we first meet her, she's sitting in the back of the cab that Naz borrows from his father, asking to be driven to "the beach." She's quiet and dark. She adorns herself in a layer of cheap jewelry and wears smudged eyeliner. Internally, she is struggling; she warns Naz that she can't be alone, and asks if he's ever wished to just disappear. And then she's dead, the bedroom in her brownstone covered in her blood. In an interview with HBO on Medium, Sofia Black D'Elia, who plays the central character, talked about the role and what viewers can expect from the series. Early on, D'Elia made clear that no one should cling to any first impressions they have of Andrea. From her wistful yet dark presence, it's tempting to peg her as a manic pixie dream girl. But D'Elia said that was one of the major struggles in identifying with her character. "My job was to tell this story in the best way that I could and also not make her a trope of a manic pixie dream girl, because that is absolutely not what she is in my opinion," she explained. "I think she is troubled; she is bizarre."
When asked about the "femme fatale" stereotype, she urged patience, because the real story of Andrea will come to the surface soon enough. "I would say to anybody who is voicing concerns about this being a female character trope of a classic femme fatale, I think in coming weeks you’ll find that she’s not as one-dimensional or as general as you might imagine her to be," she said. "Trust the really amazing people that created this show to give you a real, fully formed female character as the weeks come." She was, however, aware of her character's intoxicating, siren-like affect on Naz. "I felt as if I was baiting him; come into my world, come to my level, be with me on this ride," she said. D'Elia also revealed that she is pretty clueless about what happened to her character, but she wanted it that way. She's excited to solve Andrea's murder along with the audience. "I did not want to know anything, so I asked [series creator] Steve [Zaillian] to tell me only what I absolutely needed to know to shoot the pilot and to shield me from the rest," she said. "So part of the fun for me is that I literally will be watching along with everybody else and finding things out as they do. I have no predictions and I’m planning to keep it that way."