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Why Ellie From Netflix's The Watcher Looks So Familiar

If you've been, uh, watching "The Watcher," the latest horror and true crime series phenomenon to hit Netflix, it's possible you've taken notice of Ellie, the teenage daughter of the beleaguered Brannock family, who finds themselves targeted by a terrifying and sinister letter writer known only as The Watcher. If so, that's an impressive feat on the part of the young actress who plays Ellie, since the cast of "The Watcher" features such familiar faces as Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale, Mia Farrow, and Richard Kind.

It's also possible that you've seen Ellie's actress in something before, despite the fact she only started her acting career in the last few years. But even given her relative youth, she's still racked up a handful of acting credits over the last decade, and there's one such credit that's the most likely answer to why she might be ringing a familiar bell in your TV and movie memory.

Isabel Gravitt's first major TV credit is the Disney XD series Walk the Prank

While older viewers of "The Watcher" aren't likely to recognize Isabel Gravitt, who plays Ellie Brannock on "The Watcher," from her first appearance on television, it's just possible that those who were young enough to have been watching Disney XD in 2016 might. Her first major credit listed on her IMDb page, outside of an obscure short film and a TV movie called "The History of Us," is for the Disney XD series "Walk the Prank," notable for having been co-created by the late "Whitest Kids U' Know" member Trevor Moore.

Gravitt plays Lisa in the show's second episode, titled "Crushed." She made no further appearances on the show, though, so you would have had to be a pretty devoted viewer of the sitcom to recognize her from her appearance here. But she had a more prominent role on another TV show shortly after.

She's in five episodes of American Housewife

The sitcom "American Housewife" ran for five seasons and 103 episodes on ABC (IMDb). Six of those episodes starred Isabel Gravitt in the role of Alice McCarthy, starting with the Halloween episode "Westport Zombies," the 3rd episode of the show's 1st season.

Gravitt went on to appear in five more episodes of the series, all in its first season. So if you're an "American Housewife" fan going way back, it's a possibility that you remember her multiple appearances on the show, and that this caused a twinge of familiarity as you watched "The Watcher," despite its much scarier and darker tone making it about as far as you can get from an ABC family sitcom starring Katie Mixon and Diedrich Bader.

But it was a few years after her appearances on Season 1 of "American Housewife" that Gravitt got her most high-profile role (before "The Watcher") to date, and the one most likely to ring a bell of familiarity for viewers of the popular Netflix limited series.

She plays April on Little Fires Everywhere

Isabel Gravitt has a respectable list of film and television credits to her name, especially for such a young performer, but her most high-profile project before "The Watcher" was probably Hulu's "Little Fires Everywhere," based on Celeste Ng's 2017 book of the same name. Gravitt plays April Jarvis in four episodes of the show, the secret and sometimes cruel girlfriend of Izzy Richardson (Megan Stott). Their relationship comes to be defined by Izzy's desire to reveal it and April's desire to keep it a secret, a dynamic that probably qualifies this as Gravitt's most complex role to date.

"Little Fires Everywhere" also stars Kerry Washington, Lexi Underwood, and Reese Witherspoon, so it's yet another example of Gravitt holding her own with a powerful cast. In an Autostraddle interview, "Little Fires Everywhere" showrunner Liz Tigelaar cited her performance as a highlight. "And when we reveal [Izzy's] backstory with April, both Megan and Isabel Gravitt played their relationship so truthfully and bravely," she said.

The series hit Hulu in 2020, so if you watched it, it's exceedingly possible you'd recognize Gravitt on "The Watcher," released just a couple of years later. And as her most high-profile role before her part in "The Watcher," it's also a safe bet for the source of any familiarity she might have in the latter.