Why Veronica From Young Sheldon Looks So Familiar

One of the challenges that likely presented itself the minute Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro came up with an idea for a show like "Young Sheldon" was that they would need to come up with a whole new slate of characters. Adult Sheldon Cooper of (Jim Parsons) "The Big Bang Theory" establishes early on in the show that his journey into the world of physics started when he was living in East Texas, and he didn't even know the rest of the group of Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar), and Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) until well after Sheldon had moved to Pasadena. 

And so the cast of "Young Sheldon" was, with a couple of exceptions (Sheldon's mom Mary, played by Zoe Perry in "Young Sheldon" and Laurie Metcalf in "TBBT," as well as a few short cameos from others of the original cast), a whole new ensemble of characters needed to be created. This included, for a couple of seasons anyway, Veronica Duncan, played by Isabel May. Initially, a rebellious young woman who is among the many Sheldon (Iain Armitage) tutors, she later becomes the love interest of his older brother Georgie (Montana Jordan) before being essentially scared straight into devout Christianity. 

She's only there for Seasons 2 and 3, but she's definitely a memorable recurring character. Part of that might also be that Isabel May is, despite having a relatively short list of credits to her name, has done some pretty notable work.

She played Katie in 'Alexa & Katie'

Back in 2017, when Netflix was still relatively new to the sitcom business, the streamer greenlit their first multi-camera sitcom in "Alexa & Katie." Geared mostly toward a tween-aged audience, the show went in a direction slightly heavier than your typical teen sitcom fare. 

Alexa (Paris Berelc), is a determined high-schooler with a love for basketball, is diagnosed with cancer. Strong-willed as she is, she absolutely hates the amount of pity that seems to be showered on her and trying to live a normal life, she inspires her best friend Katie, played by Isabel May, to shave her head alongside her early on in the series. Katie is portrayed as notably goofier and even a bit awkward compared to Alexa, and in contrast to her athletic best friend, tends to skew more in the direction of theater and the arts. She is, however, intensely loyal to Alexa.

Airing roughly concurrently with her appearances on "Young Sheldon" between 2018 and 2020, "Alexa & Katie" was one of the first notable television roles Isabel May snagged, and while she herself was still a teenager. Even the Deadline article announcing the series announced May as a "newcomer." The series ran for three seasons — including a two-part final season — and thirty-nine episodes. May was in all of them.

She played Leighton in 'I Want You Back'

Isabel May is a bit more in the background in Amazon's 2022 romantic comedy "I Want You Back." The story revolves primarily around two recently dumped thirty-somethings, Peter (Charlie Day) and Emma (Jenny Slate) who, realizing that their respective exes have already found new partners, team up to help essentially sabotage their new relationships. 

Naturally, the respective conspiracies of the two dumpees entail a certain amount of embarrassing hijinx. One of them involves Peter, having befriended Emma's ex-boyfriend Noah (Scott Eastwood), introducing him to a trio of club-going young women. The three invite the two back to one of their large homes, where Peter intends to egg on Noah to hook up with one of them. The problem is that, as the two men find out, the girls are underage. Noah and Peter quickly flee.

One of the three young ladies, Leighton, is played by Isabel May. It's her house they invite the guys back to. Or, to be more specific, it's her father's (Ben McKenzie) house. And it's his arrival home that blows the girls' cover. Not to mention mortifies Noah and Peter. In all, May is on screen for about five minutes.

She is Elsa in '1883'

Isabel May's career has taken a bit more of a prestigious turn in the past couple of years. In 2021, she appeared as the primary protagonist, Elsa Dutton, in Taylor Sheridan's "Yellowstone" prequel "1883." Strong-willed and completely enamored with the harsh beauty of the wild western prairies, it is arguably Elsa's actions in the westward caravan that allow the Duttons to sink roots in the wide-open wilderness of Montana. Though she tragically dies at the miniseries' end, it's Elsa's voice that narrates the events of the sequel series "1923," indicating she is something of what makes the Duttons the Duttons.

Though her previous work had obviously earned her modest recognition, May's turn as Elsa put her on a whole different level. Speaking with the Hollywood Reporter's "Awards Chatter" podcast, May revealed that Sheridan himself had actually written the part of Elsa expressly for her, after May auditioned for a part in Sheridan's series "Mayor of Kingstown." After flying to Texas to read with Sheridan one-on-one, she immediately had to fly to Atlanta to start filming "I Want You Back." 

That's when her manager called. As May recounted, "She said, 'You didn't get it. But he has written an email for you. Please read it. Take it in. Process.' So I read it and it was basically him saying, 'You've auditioned for me for the last time. It is my job to find your next job.'"