NXIVM Survivor Bonnie Piesse Has Been Cast in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' Series on Disney Plus
By Stacy Lambe
Bonnie Piesse, a survivor who escaped from NXIVM, has been cast in the Disney+ original series Obi-Wan Kenobi, starring Ewan McGregor as the Jedi Master.
The Australian actress and singer-songwriter most recently appeared on TV in the HBO docuseries The Vow, which chronicled her escape from NXIVM and her attempts to get others out while exposing founder Keith Raniere’s personal development company as a pyramid scheme and cult.
Prior to being associated with NXIVM, Piesse was most famous for being part of the Star Wars film franchise. She appeared in the second two prequels, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, as a young version of Beru Lars, Luke Skywalker’s aunt and surrogate mother.
The latest Star Wars spinoff marks her first major acting role in nearly a decade and is set a decade after the events of the third prequel, when Anakin Skywalker turned into the villainous Sith Lord, Darth Vader. Piesse is expected to reprise her role as Beru alongside Joel Edgerton, who played Owen Lars and is also returning to the franchise.
“So this is happening! I don’t have words to express my excitement/gratitude,” Piesse wrote on Instagram after the casting news was announced.
Additionally, Hayden Christensen is returning as Darth Vader, while Moses Ingram, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell and Benny Safdie have joined the cast. Deborah Chow will direct the limited series.
After McGregor revealed the series had been delayed in January 2020, Obi-Wan Kenobi is slated to start production in April.
After appearing in the Star Wars films in 2002 and 2005, Piesse eventually met director Mark Vicente, who was already a member of NXIVM, and turned to the organization as her music and acting career stalled. The two got married and became the poster couple for others to follow.
As recounted in The Vow, Piesse eventually became suspicious of NXIVM’s practices and wanted out. Despite trying to leave on good terms, especially since Vicente remained an active member, she was blacklisted. The couple’s marriage suffered as a result. But once Vicente decided to leave, the two got back together and teamed up with Sarah Edmondson and Catherine Oxenberg to get others out.