The OA season 2 cast: Who is Ian Alexander? Who plays Michelle Vu in The OA?

Season two of The OA dropped on Netflix on March 22 with a story set mere hours after the finale of the first series. This year The OA introduced us to new characters including private investigator Karim Washington (played by Kingsley Ben-Adir), who was drafted in to find missing girl and gamer Michelle Vu (Ian Alexander). Karim teamed up with OA (Brit Marling) as they embarked on an epic journey through dimensions.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from The OA season 2

The OA season two started off with the case of Michelle Vu, who had gone missing.

OA realised Michelle was the spitting image of her friend Buck Vu (Ian Alexander) from season one and was the second dimension’s version of the same person.

Michelle’s disappearance led Karim and OA down a rabbit hole to a mystical house on Nob Hill, San Francisco which held secrets about inter-dimensional travel.

Season two saw actor Alexander taking on a dual role as both Michelle and Buck with audiences taken across dimensions.


Who is Ian Alexander?

Ian Alexander is a transgender American actor best known for his role as Buck Vu in The OA who is also trans.

Prior to The OA, Alexander, 17, did not have any formal acting experience but had featured in plays and productions.

Nevertheless, Alexander has always had a strong passion for performance and joined community theatre and took lessons in singing.

Along with starring in The OA, his IMDb page lists his other credits as short film Every Day as Vic/A and Déjà Vu, which he also wrote.

In an interview with NBC News from 2017, he said: “I have childhood memories of writing scripts and putting on shows in the house while forcing my family members to perform with me.”


Alexander went on to say: “I’m normally very quiet and shy, but when I sing or act I transform into this confident person, and I’m always so shocked when it happens.”

Speaking about the importance of representation and diversity within the entertainment industry, Alexander said in a Netflix video: “It’s really important to case trans people in trans roles.

“The beginning of my discovery of my gender identity was because I had access to the internet and I was researching and seeing other trans men on YouTube.

“It’s important that people see themselves represented on screen. I think it means a lot to other trans men who are trying to find someone to look up to, someone they can relate to and feel like they’re not as alone.”

Reflecting on his character, Alexander explained: “I actually identify similar to Buck. I identify as transmasculine and I only use he, him pronouns just like Buck.


“In part two of The OA I play Buck Vu, who is the character that everyone knows from part one in one dimension and then in a second dimension I play Michelle Vu, who has not asked anyone to use Buck or he, him pronouns yet.”

He continued: “And this is just my personal interpretation of the story but I believe that Michelle is a pre-transition version of Buck and has not come to terms with their gender identity yet.”

Alexander added: “Michelle is a bit of a mystery, so they’re not sure what part of her social transition she’s at yet.”

The star stressed he was comfortable playing the role of Michelle and had conversations with the director beforehand.

He said: “The OA was really my first opportunity to be in an environment where everyone respected my gender identity and that made me really excited about my future moving forward in the film industry and also work with the family I made on set for The OA.”

The OA is available to watch on Netflix now

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