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Why Yennefer From The Witcher Looks So Familiar

Viewers have found a lot to like about the Netflix original series The Witcher, which stars erstwhile Superman Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, the protagonist of the well-loved series of video games. It's well-written, briskly paced, lovingly rendered fantasy fun — and while some critics have tried to rain on fans' parade (including a few who inexplicably failed to even watch most of the episodes that were provided to them before penning reviews), those fans have been quick to write off these half-baked criticisms. Rightly so, in our humble opinion; a goodly number of these negative notices appear to have been fielded by critics who either don't care for the fantasy genre in general, or can't keep from comparing The Witcher to the recently-ended Game of Thrones, which is frankly a ridiculously weak comparison. (News flash: not all fantasy television series are alike, nor should they aspire to be.)

Cavill acquits himself nicely in the lead, but viewers have been particularly taken with the character of Yennefer, a sorceress with a troubled history and decidedly mixed feelings about Geralt. The show-stealing magic user, who becomes ever more powerful as the first season goes on and eventually has occasion to use her formidable powers to take on an entire army single-handedly, is portrayed by young actress Anya Chalotra, a relative newcomer whom you might nevertheless find to be a bit familiar. If you can't quite put your finger on where you've seen her before, well, we're here to help.

You might have seen Anya Chalotra on Netflix before

Chalotra hasn't been in the business for very long, but her talent has laready earned her some pretty high-profile gigs. Since you are (we assume) a fan of The Witcher, you obviously have a Netflix subscription, meaning that you might have caught her debut credit: 2018's Wanderlust, a drama series which is a joint production between the streamer and BBC One.

The series stars Toni Collette (Hereditary) as Joy Richards, a therapist whose life goes into a downward spiral after the suicide of one of her patients and a terrible car accident in which she's badly injured. The series is the brainchild of British playwright Nick Payne, who recently branched out into feature film work with his screenplay for the 2017 adaptation of Julian Barnes' novel The Sense of an Ending; its well-received first season introduced Chalotra in a minor role, and gave her the opportunity to work alongside the always-excellent Collette as well as co-stars Steven Mackintosh (Rocketman) and Zawe Ashton (Velvet Buzzsaw).

While the series' first season left a number of narrative threads dangling, there hasn't yet been any word on whether a second has received the official greenlight, let alone whether Chalotra will return. Whether or not the young star is tapped for another round of Wanderlust, though, it appears likely she'll be kept plenty busy.

Anya Chalotra has already worked with some greats

Also in 2018, Chalotra appeared in the BBC One miniseries The ABC Murders, an adaptation of the classic Agatha Christie novel of the same name. Once again, she had the privilege of working with an outstanding cast, led by the great John Malkovich as Hercule Poirot; featured players also included Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter series), Eamon Farren (Twin Peaks), Shirley Henderson (Babu Frik in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), and Andrew Buchan (The Crown). The miniseries is available for streaming in the U.S. on Amazon Prime Video.

Interestingly, Chalotra has also shown an early talent for voice acting. The only other credit on her resume: the YouTube Premium animated series Sherwood, an ambitious, futuristic adaptation of the Robin Hood legend set in the 23rd century. Chalotra leads the series as the gender-swapped Robin Loxley; her co-stars include Tyler Posey (Truth or Dare), Jamie Chung (The Gifted), Rachel House (Thor: Ragnarok), and Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid's Tale).

She may be a relatively new face, but with credits this interesting, Chalotra has already proven her versatility — and with The Witcher, she's proven that she can win over fans and hold her own against the charismatic likes of Cavill. We think it's safe to say that we'll be seeing much, much more of her in the years to come; while her IMDb page doesn't currently list any upcoming projects, we already know that we'll be getting a second season of The Witcher, as it was renewed by Netflix before the first season even dropped. Given fans' warm response to the character of Yennefer, we'd be surprised if Chalotra weren't given an expanded role for the series' second outing.