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Why Toni From Monsterland Looks So Familiar

Hulu's anthology series Monsterland is sure to scare you with psychological twists and horror right in time for Halloween. Created by The Neon Demon co-writer Mary Laws, the show is based on a collection of short stories by author Nathan Ballingrud called North American Lake MonstersThe first episode jumps right in with its unique take on horror, with Kaitlyn Dever playing single mom Toni, who comes face to face with a monster (Jonathan Tucker) while working a shift waitressing at the local diner. While the show has plenty of classic monsters you'd expect from the horror genre, the show spends a lot of time exploring what makes humans monstrously flawed. 

While there are plenty of familiar actors on Monsterland (including Taylor Schilling of Orange is the New Black and Mike Colter of Luke Cage), Dever should definitely be a face you recognize. The Golden Globe-nominated actress has quickly risen through Hollywood with a bunch of diverse roles both on television and in film. If you can't put a finger on exactly where you've seen Dever before, don't worry — this will jog your memory.

Dever plays Tim Allen's daughter Eve on Last Man Standing

When she shot the pilot of Last Man Standing in 2011, Dever probably couldn't have guessed she was signing on for a job that would last eight seasons and counting. The half-hour comedy about the all-American Baxter family originally aired on ABC for six seasons before getting cancelled in 2017. About a year later, Fox decided to revive it, and it was recently renewed for a ninth season. Dever's Eve is the youngest Baxter sibling, a tomboy who is very close with her father. She tries to get into West Point but is rejected, later joining the Air Force Academy. 

Of course, in the time between the show's initial cancellation and the reboot at Fox, the cast picked up some other work, with Dever finding herself increasingly in-demand. She did return for the new seasons of Last Man Standing, albeit with a reduced role — she's now a recurring character on the show, instead of a regular like before.

Kaitlyn Dever played a troubled teenager in Short Term 12

The 2013 indie film Short Term 12 was a career jumpstart for much of its cast and crew, including Brie Larson, who would go on to win an Oscar for Room before becoming Captain Marvel, and Lakeith Stanfield, who you might recognize from Atlanta and Sorry to Bother You. Meanwhile, director Destin Daniel Cretton is currently at the helm of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings for Marvel. It was also a jumping-off point for Kaitlyn Dever, who co-stars in this drama about a staff of young 20-something counselors working at a short-term care facility for at-risk teens.

Dever's Jayden, an antisocial teenager with a history of self-harm, shows up one day and quickly connects with Larson's Grace. Jayden, who puts on an abrasive exterior, opens up to Grace about her difficult relationship with her father, reminding Grace of her own history and helping her face past trauma. Dever's performance in Short Term 12 boosted her career, landing her supporting roles in films like Detroit and Beautiful Boy.

Kaitlyn Dever starred in the comedy Booksmart as a no-nonsense high school senior

In 2019, Dever got a ton of attention for starring alongside Beanie Feldstein in Olivia Wilde's directorial debut, Booksmart. The hit comedy is about two best friends who have spent their whole high school career focusing strictly on grades to get into the best colleges. On their last night before graduation, they finally decide to let loose and try to experience all the high school partying fun they missed over the past four years. 

The film won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and has been praised for its queer representation, with Dever's character Amy spending a lot of the film crushing on skater girl Ryan. At their first (and only) high school party, both Amy and Feldstein's Molly scrounge up the nerve to approach their crushes, to mixed results. The movie is bold and inventive, offering a fresh and modern take on a classic coming-of-age formula.

Dever played a survivor on Netflix's Unbelievable

Netflix's 2019 limited series Unbelievable stars Dever as Marie Adler, a teenager who is sexually assaulted and goes to the police, only to be accused of lying. Thankfully, two female detectives (Toni Collette and Merritt Wever) investigate the case, uncovering the truth and bringing justice to the survivors of a serial rapist, including Adler. 

The series is based on the true story of Adler who, in 2008, told the police that a man had broken into her apartment and sexually assaulted her. When pushed by the officers about supposed inconsistencies in her story, she eventually said that she made the story up, and the police charged her with filing a false report. In reality, she hadn't lied, and the man who did this to her did it to more than 25 other women. Detective Stacy Galbraith and Sergeant Edna Hendershot, the real women who solved the case, eventually traced the evidence back to one man, who would be caught and sentenced to 327.5 years in prison — the maximum.

Dever gives an amazing performance in the Emmy-nominated series, and it's already led to even bigger roles. Along with starring in Monsterland, Dever has signed on to co-star in the movie adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen, and you'll soon see her in another Hulu show, the upcoming miniseries Dopesick.