Watch Lovecraft Country’s Creepiest Twins Come To Life

lovecraft country topsy and bopsy

If you happened to watch HBOs Lovecraft Country episode 8 “Jig-A-Bobo” last week you’ve already met Topsy and Bopsy, the zombie-like Picaninny Twins based on the characters Topsy and Eva from Harriett Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The most bone-chilling twins since The Shining’s O’Grady Twins, see how they were conceived and created.

Lovecraft Country’s Topsy and Bopsy

Lovecraft Country's Topsy and Bopsy

lovecraft country episode 8

Probably the creepiest and most frightening TV villains we’ve seen in decades, the dancing duo took a lot of combined effort to bring to life. You don’t need to be a watcher of the show to appreciate all the talent, hair, makeup, music, choreography and costume design that went into creating these nightmare-inducing characters.

Bianca Brewton and Kaelynn-gobert-harris as Bopsy and Topsy on Lovecraft Country Photograph by Eli Joshua Ade HBO

lovecraft country @kaelynnharris & @_Biancabrewton

In this episode, directed by the brilliant show’s creator Misha Green, Dee is haunted by two dancing archetypes of racial stereotyping.

The title page from the 1908 Story of Topsy from Uncle Tom's Cabin
The title page from the 1908 “The Story of Topsy from Uncle Tom’s Cabin”
evil picaninny twins
photo @eli_joshua

Dressed as half-dead Picaninny caricatures and played by talented actress/dancers Kaelynn Gobert-Harris as Topsy and Bianca Brewton as Bopsy, the two are references to characters Eva and Topsy from the 1852 novel and are seen together in a foreboding hint on the book’s cover in the episode.

In the story Eva is a blonde, angelic white girl, while Topsy is a mischievous Black slave who involves Eva in her schemes. This is echoed in the episode as the white “twin” with blue eyes tends to follow the lead of the Black “twin.”

early depictions of Topsy in Literature
early depictions of Topsy in Literature

Dee meets Topsy and Bopsy for the first time on the episode:

music from lovecraft country episode
Even the music for the episode, Stop Dat Knocking, is taken from the racially charged period.

The two actresses playing the twins, Bianca Brewton and Kaelynn Gobert-Harris are superb dancers.

lovecraft country Jig-a-bo

The fabulous choreography is by Jamaica Craft.

Topsy and Bopsy
photo @eli_joshua
photo @eli_joshua
twins choreography by Jamaica King
photo @eli_joshua

The Look:

Topsy character design
Topsy character design

It took a slew of talented people; prosthetics, makeup, hair and clothing stylists to bring Topsy and Bopsy to life.

Kaelynn Gobert-Harris becomes Topsy:

topsy wig

lovecraft country topsy makeup contact lens
photo by @eli_joshua
kaelynn harris as topsy
photo eli_joshua
halloween inspiration
photo @eli_joshua

Bianca Brewton becomes Bopsy:

lovecraft country behind the scenes

prosthetic for Lovecraft Country Topsy

in full bopsy makeup

Topsy and Bopsy, off set:
Topsy and Bopsy twins from Locecraft Country episode 8

Actresses/Dancers: Bianca Brewton and Kaelynn Gobert-Harris

Brian B Badie  and  Edythina Smith

Choreography: Jamaica Craft  and Draico

Writer and Director: Misha Green 

Writing Team: Kidd/Winton 

Still photography: Eli Joshua

About the show:
Based on Matt Ruff’s novel of the same name, Lovecraft Country follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he meets up with his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father (Michael Kenneth Williams). This begins a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback.

Lovecraft Country is executive produced by showrunner Misha Green along with J.J. Abrams, Jordan Peele, Bill Carraro, Yann Demange, Daniel Sackheim, and David Knoller.

Lovecraft Country aired on HBO, Sunday nights at 9pm