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Why Kayla From The F**k-It List Looks So Familiar

The Netflix original film The F**k-It List, based on Julie Halpern's 2013 novel of the same name, has recently landed on Netflix, and audiences are finding the heartfelt comedy to be a pleasant diversion from the midsummer heat and the fact that it is somehow, inexplicably, still 2020. The movie stars Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists' Eli Brown as Brett, a high school senior whose sterling GPA and college plans go down the drain when he takes the fall for a senior prank that goes terribly wrong. With all of his college acceptances withdrawn, Brett draws up the titular list: things that he might have done had he not been so focused on fulfilling his parents' version of his future. Of course, he almost immediately becomes a viral online sensation — and with the help of his best friend and aspiring model girlfriend, he begins to chart his own path.

The F**k-It List sports an excellent supporting cast which includes the likes of Jerry O'Connell, Camryn Manheim, and rising star Marcus Scribner. But among them is one face which you probably found to be naggingly familiar — that of Brett's girlfriend Kayla, who is inspired by his newfound philosophy of living in the moment to stand up to her abusive mother. The actress who portrays her is Madison Iseman, and if her recent career trajectory is any indication, we can expect to be seeing a lot more of her in the near future. Here's why Kayla from The F**k-It List looks so familiar.

Madison Iseman has been all over the small screen in recent years

Like a lot of up-and-comers, Iseman's early resume is dotted with small guest roles on television, her first being an appearance as Sam on a 2014 episode of Modern Family. Aside from those one-off gigs, though — which included spots on the Disney XD series Kirby Buckets and the ABC sitcom The Real O'Neals — Iseman also managed to land a number of recurring roles which helped to keep her in the public eye. She appeared in multiple episodes of the Nickelodeon comedy series Henry Danger and the TruTV comedy Those Who Can't. In 2016, she scored her first main role in the CMT sitcom Still the King.

The series starred Billy Ray Cyrus as Vernon Brownmule, a former one-hit wonder whose scandalous behavior has earned him an informal ban from the world of country music. He reinvents himself as an Elvis impersonator, but his new career hits a snag when he's forced to return to his old hometown to perform community service after damaging some property during a raging bender. There, he connects with the 15-year old daughter he never knew he had — Charlotte, portrayed by Iseman.

CMT canceled the series in 2017 after only two seasons, but as far as Iseman's career was concerned, that may have been for the best. The cancellation happened to come right around the time that her feature film career was starting to heat up in earnest.

Madison Iseman has popped up in several indie features

Before the major studios began to take notice, though, Iseman paid her dues with an impressive number of indie feature credits over just a few years. In 2015 alone, she went before the cameras for writer-director Cagan Kayi's crime thriller Despair Sessions (although it didn't get a release until 2017), the dramedy The Better Half, the family spook-fest Ghost Squad, and the underrated horror anthology Tales of Halloween (in the gruesome segment "Sweet Tooth"). 

Additional roles in unheralded flicks such as Marriage of Lies and 48 Hours to Live followed, and in 2017, Iseman was handed her first feature lead in Beauty Mark, the directorial debut of writer-director Harris Doran. Iseman portrayed Pam, a young mother who finds herself forced to accept help from her onetime abuser when her house is condemned and her family forced out onto the streets. While the flick did not receive a stateside theatrical release, it burned up the festival circuit, winning a slew of awards and earning unanimous critical raves. That same year, Iseman was cast in a feature that came completely out of left field, was far better than it had any right to be, and spawned an unlikely franchise — while affording the actress the opportunity to work with some of the biggest stars in the business.

Madison Iseman has landed roles in two major franchises

Iseman's blockbuster breakthrough came in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, a direct sequel to the 1995 flick Jumanji which defied all expectations by grossing nearly a billion dollars at the global box office. The movie centered on four high school students who are sucked into the titular jungle-themed video game during an afternoon of detention which suddenly becomes a heck of a lot less boring (and more dangerous) than they had bargained for. Iseman starred as Bethany, the snooty popular girl who in-game finds herself transformed into the portly Professor Sheldon "Shelley" Oberon (Jack Black), an avatar whose strengths and weaknesses seem to be whatever will be the least helpful for the situation at hand. The flick also featured mega-stars Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Iseman reprised her role in 2019's Jumanji: The Next Level, wherein Bethany's avatar received a bit of an upgrade (she appears in-game as a horse named Cyclone).

Also in 2019, Iseman joined the Conjuring franchise with her role as the ever-so-slightly careless babysitter Mary Ellen in Annabelle Comes Home, the third film to center on the sinister doll from the first Conjuring movie. With appearances in two major tentpole franchises now under her belt, we only expect her roles to get bigger and meatier from here on out — and, as it turns out, she has a few such roles already in the can. She'll soon appear in the drama Clouds (based on the Laura Sobiech novel Fly a Little Higher), which is completed and expected to drop sometime later this year. She'll also take the lead in a pair of upcoming thrillers: Nocturne, in which she'll play a prodigiously gifted pianist who makes a Faustian bargain, and Fear of Rain, in which she'll portray a young woman suffering from schizophrenia who begins to suspect a terrible truth about her neighbor.

Iseman has already proven herself to be a versatile and charismatic screen presence, and we have the distinct feeling that a lot more of those juicy lead roles will be coming her way in the years to come.