The Two Great Geek Characters Emily Swallow Has Played – Without You Seeing Her Face

The animated Netflix "Castlevania" series has no shortage of talented voice actors, including Richard Armitage, Lance Reddick, and Bill Nighy, but one familiar voice might be harder to put a face on. Actor Emily Swallow is no stranger to genre storytelling, breathing life into characters from major geek properties in animation and live-action, but two of her most recent major roles have kept her face completely out of sight. 

In "Castlevania," which expands on the lore from the Konami video game franchise, she voices the beautiful and tragic Lisa Tepes. Lisa is the beloved wife of Vlad Tepes (Graham McTavish), better known as Dracula, and together they have a son, Alucard (James Callis), who serves as one of the main protagonists of the series. Lisa was vital to the series, as her death causes Dracula to curse all of humanity and begin his war against them. She serves as the catalyst for incredible destruction, despite being a doctor who sought to improve the lives of her fellow humans. Swallow brings Tepes to life with her voice talents, imbuing her with maternal warmth, a serene confidence, and pure empathy. 

But Swallow is a prolific performer with a career spanning just over a decade, and she's played some pretty high-profile roles in geeky properties that might surprise fans of her performance in "Castelvania." In fact, she recently played another character where no one could see her face, and she was a far cry from the sweet-natured Lisa. That's right, Dracula's wife is voiced by the same woman that plays The Armorer on "The Mandalorian."

From mommy to Mandalore

The Armorer on "The Mandalorian" is a mysterious character who helps the series' hero, Din Djarin (played by Pedro Pascal), by forging a gift for his foster child Grogu out of beskar, a special metal known for its resilience to blaster fire and lightsabers. She wears a gold helmet and cuts an imposing figure, though she has to as one of the last surviving keepers of the old ways. She follows the strict belief system of the Mandalorians, known as "the Way," and as such never removes her helmet around others for any reason. Showing someone else your face is a big Mandalorian no-no, and she completely condemns Djarin when she discovers that he once allowed another person to see his face. It's kind of hard to blame him for taking his helmet off to get some face-time with the always adorable Grogu, but the Armorer is a bit more old-fashioned and doesn't see it that way. Besides, it seems almost criminal to have someone as handsome as Pedro Pascal hidden beneath metal for the entire series. 

There's a huge difference between voicing the doomed wife of Dracula and portraying an ancient armorer who holds the mysteries of Mandalore, but Swallow pulls off both with her voice talents. She manages to give both characters life without ever showing her face. Fans might be surprised to find out that she's starred in another geeky series, however, and she had plenty of fabulous face-time. 

Here comes the Darkness

In 2015, Swallow joined the cast of "Supernatural," the long-running series on The CW that followed brothers Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) as they go from being monster hunters to tangling with angels, demons, and gods themselves. Swallow portrayed something even more terrifying than a god: the Darkness. No, not the band who sang "Do You Believe in a Thing Called Love?", but the embodiment of darkness itself, a creature who can destroy all over creation. Sam and Dean (and their pal Crowley the demon, played by Mark Sheppard) help raise the young Darkness as a girl named Amara, but she eventually grows into a destructive adult who can consume souls. She's the central character of her season, and one of the series' most compelling Big Bads. 

Swallow has also played her fair share of characters in serialized prime-time dramas as well, starring as Detective Elizabeth Saldana in the CW murder mystery series "Ringer," FBI Agent Kim Fisher on the CBS crime series "The Mentalist," Dr. Michelle Robidaux on the TNT surgical drama "Monday Mornings," and as research physiologist Natalie Pierce on the CBS action drama "SEAL Team." The actor has stayed busy, popping up all over television in just about every kind of role imaginable. Fans might not always recognize her because she's hiding underneath a helmet or voicing an animated character off-screen, but with all of the incredible work beneath her belt, maybe she'll soon be a household name.