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Why Debbie From Desperados Looks So Familiar

Netflix's new romantic comedy Desperados is the kind of light summer watch you didn't know you wanted to see. Reminiscent of director Nicholas Stoller's 2008 flick Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Desperados is a delightfully predictable, quirky, and sometimes cringe-worthy film mostly shot in a tropical setting. New Girl fans are also in for a surprise with Desperados: The film features three of the series' actors in its cast, and two of them who became a pair on New Girl also couple up in Desperados. Hey, Closer writer Patrick Marber wasn't wrong when he said that "everything is a version of something else."

Directed by LP from a screenplay by Ellen Rapoport, Desperados follows Wesley (Nasim Pedrad) as she and her two best friends (played by Anna Camp and Sarah Burns) embark on a mission-filled journey to Mexico to erase a lewd, mean-spirited email that Wesley drunkenly sent her love interest Jared (Robbie Amell). At the Mexican resort where the three friends stay, they meet Debbie, the kind of mother you don't want to get in trouble with. 

Actress Jessica Chaffin plays Debbie in Desperados — and there's a good reason why her appearance may have made you stop in your tracks wondering why she looks (and sounds!) so familiar.

Jessica Chaffin is part of an iconic duo

Born and raised in Newton, Massachusetts, the 38-year old actress is best known as Ronna, one half of the iconic duo Ronna and Beverly, who got their start in 2006 at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles. Chaffin and her comedic partner Jamie Denbo grace audiences as two Jewish women in their 50s who generously (and gratuitously) impart their opinions on anything from British morals to relationship advice.

Evocative of cringe-worthy, detail-oriented humor à la The Office or Larry David, Ronna and Beverly's theatric performances led to cross-platform spin-offs in the form of the eponymous Earwolf podcast Ronna and Beverly as well as two other podcasts, Beverly in LA and Ask Ronna. In 2012, the duo took the screens for a chat show on the British Network Sky Atlantic. The six-episode run was directed by the same Paul Feig who in 2009 directed a television pilot based on the two women to be run on Showtime.

Chaffin's artistic versatility transcends mediums — and also jobs. She not only embodies theatre, television and podcast characters, but she also lends her voice to animated characters and writes stories into existence.

Jessica Chaffin's voice and presence graced various Nickelodeon shows

A Nickelodeon queen, Chaffin has done various guest voice appearances on its animated programs. From 2008 to 2009, she partnered with Parks and Recreation alum Amy Poehler as a writer and voice actress on the animated series The Mighty B! – bringing to life several characters including Chelsea, the cousin to Portia Gibbons (Grey DeLisle).

Beyond voice acting, Chaffin also embodied Coco Wexler, an insecure and troubled girls' dorm advisor whose anxiety permeated all four seasons of Zoey 101. The show followed teenager Zoey Brooks (Jamie Lynn Spears), her younger brother Dustin (Paul Butcher), and their friends as they attend Pacific Coast Academy (PCA), a fictional boarding school in California. It's worth noting that Zoey 101 was one of Nickelodeon's highest-rated and most successful shows in the 2000s decade, winning three Young Artist Awards, two Kids' Choice Awards, and a Neox Fan Award.

While these weren't huge roles for Chaffin, they established her as a versatile actress and creative talent whose audience spans generations. Continuously seeking to diversify her experience, Chaffin went on to land roles in major productions, steadily expanding her IMDb roster.

Jessica Chaffin has popped up in many widely watched TV shows and films

If you appreciate popular American series and films, you've most likely spotted Chaffin before. One appearance led to another following her role as Cracklynn on Weeds in 2008. The actress then made other guest appearances on a variety of TV shows — including 90210, New Girl, Entourage, Veep, and Curb Your Enthusiasm – and graced big screens with minor roles in Spy, Pitch Perfect 3, and Fun Mom Dinner.

Given the breadth of her experience so far, it's exciting to imagine what will be next in store for Chaffin. While her 20-plus-year career has featured a lot of smaller roles, her presence and versatility on the screen (and beyond) is persistent and undeniable. Here's to hoping her next gig will see her taking a leading role once more following her success as Ronna.

Tune into Netflix to see Jessica Chaffin play the disgruntled Debbie in Desperados, available to stream right now.