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|“||The Giving is here. Now, now we must do our duty. We help sinners release their hatred. We step out of our flesh and become vessels by which to carry their sins. The earth, children, will reap the rewards of our selflessness and we will exit righteously, escaping the darkness of our lives and reaping the rewards of The Invisible, my children. This one last moment of suffering will lead to eternal love.||„|
|~ Words of Good Leader Tavis (about The Giving/The Purge).|
Good Leader Tavis is the name of a somewhat sincere but dangerously zealous founding figurehead of a small but growing modern-day suicide cult called the Mercy Cult (though they do affectionately and religiously called themselves the "Givers") sacrifice themselves during The Purge which they devoutly called "The Giving", believing that the act they ceremoniously perform every year will benefit them and others in a near-future dystopic United States of America. She is one of the antagonists the anthology horror TV series The Purge based on the sci-fi action horror movie franchise The Purge serving as the central antagonist in the first season. A U.S. Marine named Miguel Guerrero pursues Tavis' blue bus in an attempt to save his sister Penelope from the cult group and their reigning "prophet" before it was too late.
What is known about the enigmatic woman Tavis, commonly known as Good Leader Tavis, was that she worked as a social worker at Kantrow Rehabilitation Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was also hired by the NFFA to establish and lead the Mercy Cult at the behest of the said ruling civic cult who believes that drug addicts and alcoholics as well as poverty-stricken people were disposable for the sake of America's economic health.
This alternative religious movement (preferred to as a religion by Tavis and her devotees) was used for her to recruit young people, and brainwashed them with unusual religious views, so these Givers, under their "Good Leader" and under her "guidance", would sacrifice their lives for Purgers, believing it was a sacred duty and it earns them martydom via acceptance into what she and the Mercy Cult called "The Invisible" and/or "The Indivisible" (two names, including one referring to God, for what many called "Heaven") and a positive afterlife.
On the 10th Annual Purge (in the year 2025 A.D.), Good Leader Tavis led a group of chosen Givers to sacrifice their lives, but her plan failed after the truth was uncovered by one of the formerly chosen Givers, "Sister" Penelope, a former drug addict who with a same tragic past as her brother Miguel Guerrero due to the double homicide of both their parents on a Purge Night when they were children. Tavis was eventually gunned down and killed alongside her bus driver Sam by Joseph "Joe" Owens, a preppy factory wielder with a somewhat hard knock life since his high school was turned into hell by a young bully named Charles "Kick Charlie" Kiek at Thomas Palne High School in the year 2002 where Joe (also once nicknamed "Joey") finally purged him there after many years.
The Mercy Cult was ultimately disbanded after the death of Good Leader Tavis herself.
Although a mystifying figure, Tavis herself is a very adored, charismatic cult leader. Appearing to be apathetic, but unorthodox, she dispenses blessings to her fawning followers.
- Producers of The Purge television series initially sought a male actor for the role, but eventually allowed women to audition as well. Fiona Dourif was cast immediately after she read for the part. Tavis has received positive reviews from television critics.
- While developing the TV series, The Purge creator James DeMonaco envisioned a nontraditional set of characters whose intention was sacrifice, rather than survival. He pictured the leader as a charismatic man whose followers "offer themselves up as martyrs to people who want to Purge."
- Around this point in the production, Fiona Dourif had gained popularity for her performances in horror-based projects; Bloody Disgusting labeled the actress a "genre fan-favorite".
- Producers eventually reconsidered their stance on the character's gender and invited Dourif to audition. She won the part after one reading.
- In May 2018, Deadline Hollywood announced that Fiona Dourif would join the series as a "much-adored, charismatic cult leader" who would command a number of "fawning followers."
- Dourif's casting drew quick recognition from Entertainment Weekly, Yahoo!, and other media outlets, with iHorror praising her "knockout talent as an actress."
- Though listed as a recurring player, Tavis was featured prominently in promotional material, including the series' first trailer, and on USA Network's website.
- Having viewed the first two The Purge movies, Dourif came to see the franchise as a "fun, scary ride [that] makes you think about these bigger issues".
- When introduced, Tavis is presented as a zealous and unwavering motivator. "Her charisma just takes everybody over," said Dourif, who was primarily drawn to the part because of the influence that the character wields. "It just became this experiment of, what it would be like to be so fully convinced of something, and so passionate and righteous that I can command attention like she does. It was just so fun," she said.
- To prepare for the role, actress Fiona Dourif watched "hours of preaching, and inspirational videos," while basing the character in part on her real-life mother, a former psychic.
- To further immerse herself in the part, she chose not to view Tavis as a villainess. "I play her as someone who believes in the righteousness of what she's doing. There may be some doubt sometimes, like there is with everything that people do. She's like a painter, who is devoted to her art. She's gonna make the world a better place," she said.
- Dourif noted that more information on Tavis would be revealed throughout the series, and stated that playing the character "was maybe the most fun I've had on a job, ever.".
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