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Why Sydney From The Invisible Man Looks So Familiar

The Invisible Man has been thrilling audiences since its release earlier this year. Despite its truncated theatrical run due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the modestly-budgeted flick managed to score $123 million at the worldwide box office, and it was also among the first major releases to be made available to watch at home after all of us entered lockdown, which only added to its already sizable buzz.

We expected a modern horror classic after the first trailers for the film dropped last year, and The Invisible Man delivered. Writer-director Leigh Whannell's ultra-modern reimagining of the classic Universal monster is equal parts riveting, relevant, and nerve-shreddingly terrifying thanks to a smart script and assured direction, not to mention the committed performances of its cast. Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale) stars as Cecilia "Cee" Kass, whose world is turned upside down when her abusive, manipulative boyfriend — wealthy optics expert Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) — apparently commits suicide. But while staying with her childhood friend, police officer James (Aldis Hodge) and his teenage daughter Sydney, Cee begins to get the distinct feeling that Adrian is still around — an invisible, malicious presence that begins to threaten her sanity, not to mention her life.

The movie's cast just nails the material all around, and if you've never caught Moss on TV series like The Handmaid's Tale and Mad Men or in features like Her Smell and Jordan Peele's Us, her work here will be a revelation. The young actress who portrays Sydney likely caught your eye as well, not just because she absolutely radiates talent, but because you've probably seen her face before. Her name is Storm Reid, and lucky for us, her career is just getting started. Here's why Sydney from The Invisible Man looks so familiar.

Storm Reid made her feature debut in a Best Picture Oscar winner

Like most child actors, Reid got her feet wet in showbiz with minor roles in little-seen projects, including the 2012 TV movie A Cross to Bear and a couple of short films. Unlike most child actors, however, her career trajectory took a sharp upward swing almost immediately. In 2013, she made her feature film debut in 12 Years a Slave, director Steve McQueen's compelling, unflinching historical drama. In it, she portrayed Emily, the daughter of Eliza (Adepero Oduye), who is cruelly separated from her mother by slave trader Theophilus Freeman (Paul Giamatti). 

Reid's role may have been a relatively minor one, but the film was anything but minor. It was nominated for a whopping nine Academy Awards, winning three: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o) and Best Picture. It's safe to say that Reid's appearance in the film raised her profile considerably. It also afforded Reid the opportunity to work with such legendarily skilled actors as Nyong'o, Giamatti, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alfre Woodard, Brad Pitt, and Michael Fassbender, to name just a handful. It would be a couple of years, however, before Reid would appear on the big screen again. In the meantime, she built her résumé and her skill set with an impressive and diverse selection of television roles.

Storm Reid landed plenty of television work in between features

Being only ten years old after her breakthrough role in 12 Years a Slave, Reid had no trouble beefing up her résumé with roles on TV movies and series aimed at children and tweens. Between 2013 and 2015,  she guested on shows like Nickelodeon's The Thundermans and Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn, and popped up in made-for-TV family features such as Twang and White Water. During that same time, though, she also demonstrated her willingness and ability to take on roles in more adult fare. She appeared in a couple episodes of the sketch comedy show Adam Devine's House Party, and also landed guest roles on the network crime procedurals NCIS: Los Angeles and Chicago P.D.

Today, the small-screen roles Reid accepts tend to be a little chunkier. She appeared in a main role in the first season of the Zendaya-starring HBO drama Euphoria, and in two episodes of the Ava DuVernay-created historical crime drama When They See Us, which was a smash hit for Netflix. She's even branched out into voice acting with the co-lead role of Nia in Hulu's The Bravest Knight, a series that has drawn accolades for its representation of non-traditional families.

Storm Reid starred in a major adaptation of a beloved YA novel

Between 2015 and 2017, Reid's feature career began to take off in earnest. During that time frame, she appeared in no fewer than five features: The supernatural horror flick The Summoning, the sci-fi drama Sleight, the family adventure Lea to the Rescue, the holiday comedy Santa's Boot Camp, and the Judy Greer-directed dramedy A Happening of Monumental Proportions. In 2018, however, her first collaboration with DuVernay saw her land her first-ever lead role as the ultra-bright, fearless Meg Murry in Disney's adaptation of the beloved Madeleine L'Engle YA novel A Wrinkle in Time.

The wildly ambitious flick received mixed reviews and underperformed at the box office, but this was in no way the fault of Reid, who gave an assured and nuanced performance as a young woman dealing with the sudden appearance of interdimensional entities following the disappearance of her scientist father. It's a testament to the young star's talent that at only 15, she found herself leading a cast packed to the brim with consummate professionals the likes of Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Peña, and Oprah Winfrey.

Since that star turn, Reid has popped up in the supernatural drama feature Don't Let Go opposite Get Out's David Oyelowo, and she has a couple more flicks in the pipeline. She'll appear in the dark comedy Killing Winston Jones, and she's also scored an unspecified role in writer-director James Gunn's DC film The Suicide Squad. With talent like Reid's, there's no limit to where her career could take her — up to and including the top of the A-list, which seems like a pretty likely destination.