Aug. 18, 2023 – From the outset, the hook of Dead Ringers was reimagining David Cronenberg’s sinister 1990 film by gender-flipping the twin gynecologist characters, played by Jeremy Irons in the original and by Rachel Weisz in the Prime Video series. Weisz is of course outstanding in the dual role, blending intimidating brilliance with infantile codependence, playing two women on a collision course with the realization that they can’t live with or without each other. There’s another standout performance in the series, though: Jennifer Ehle as Rebecca Parker, the billionaire investor who puts both her money and bullying business tactics behind the Mantle sisters as they try to get their proposal for a paradigm-shifting birthing and reproductive research center off the ground.

Rebecca Parker isn’t meant to be a stand-in for a Sackler. Not solely, anyway. Series creator and showrunner Alice Birch says she based the Parker family on several inspirations. “We talked about the Sacklers,” Birch told Vulture. “The Tetra Pak family. Both me and Susan Stanton had written on Succession, so we talked about that family quite a bit.” And while you can see shades of the fictional Roy family in Rebecca’s Munsters-esque extended circle, one particular biographical detail does tie Rebecca to the Sacklers most specifically. “She’s responsible for a f*cking opioid crisis,” Elliot Mantle says of Rebecca a few scenes before she’s introduced. “She’s Satan fishing dollars out of corpses.”