After going through the motions of highlighting everything that was good, bad, amazing, or generally confounding about the year that was 2013, we felt it was time to move on, to look ahead; to not only make note of things we want in the form of resolutions, but to set a course for the deserved to get their due course. So we’ve decided to highlight these perfect TV storms to let you know who’s on the cusp of making it big in 2014. To kick off this series we’ve chosen Masters of Sex actress Heléne Yorke as one to watch, and one who deserves to have 2014 be her breakout year.
If you haven’t seen Showtime’s incredible new drama Masters of Sex, remedy that immediately. The series is at the top of most people’s best of lists, mostly thanks to the brilliant work of its creator Michelle Ashford and the stars Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen (if it’s not on your binge-watch list, remedy that immediately). But their work would be for naught if not for an impressive roster of supporting players, of which Yorke has proven herself the top of the heap.
As the trailblazing and honorable secretary Jane Martin, a progressive woman that holds a pivitol role in Masters and Johnson’s sex study, Yorke shines. Her portrayal of Jane is rich with a nuanced honesty that’s both exciting and engaging to watch her on screen. Conversations with Caplan’s Virginia Johnson and study-paramour Dr. Austin Langham (played by Teddy Sears), play up the societally-rich themes of love, lust, progress, and self-identity in an ever-changing world with a frank and disarming charm.
Her budding relationship with socially awkward AV director Lester Linden feels natural and authentic — and you really, really root for them to make it work. And no, we’re not talking about her sex scenes — although there are several moments that find Yorke in the literal nude. Her vulnerability is palpable, and proves that she’s no one-note actress.
Which is also evidenced in her appearance in the hilarious web series, High Maintenance. On Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair’s web series, Yorke plays the roll of an overindulgent and narcissistic party princess with the sort of realism that makes you wonder about whether or not the actor is just playing him or herself. And, as a former inhabitant of New York City I can say with swift certainty that I was exposed to far too many of these types — perhaps maybe even a bit of an expert. Regardless Yorke nails it with comedic aplomb. Her affected apathy feels picked up off the bathroom floor of the Boom Boom Room (and yes that is totally a compliment in this instance).
Oh, and did we mention that Yorke is also an accomplished Broadway actress? In addition to performing in the tour of Wicked, she’s also danced around the Times Square stages of Grease and will star alongside Zach Braff in Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway, which looks like far too much fun and a way-glamorous turn for the actress.
Besides, her Twitter photo is surrounded by cheese and goddamn if cheese isn’t the greatest thing in the world. So lets have another TV win for the cheese lovers — night cheese happened in 2009, after all.