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Why Leah From The Walking Dead Looks So Familiar

Contains spoilers for The Walking Dead season 10, episode 18 – Find me

On the latest episode of The Walking Dead, "Find Me," fans finally find out what Daryl (Norman Reedus) was up to after Rick's disappearance. The episode also gives audiences a taste of the upcoming Daryl and Carol spin-off, but the real takeaway is that Daryl had previously met a lady named Leah. Of course, since the episode is mostly flashbacks, it leaves audiences wondering what could have been. It also leaves them wondering where they had seen Leah before. 

In "Find Me," Leah is portrayed by Viola Lynn Collins, or just Lynn Collins for short. She is a classically trained Shakespearean actor who has appeared in plays such as Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet. But, Collins has also starred in plenty of television shows and movies before appearing on The Walking Dead. After all, not many performers jump straight from A Midsummer Night's Dream to A Zombie Apocalypse Day's Nightmare. Here are a few highlights from Lynn Collins' acting resume.

Virginia Hayes on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

Lynn Collins' first on-screen role was Virginia Hayes in the Law and Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Wanderlust." The episode starts with the murder of travel writer Richard Schiller, and it becomes quickly obvious that Collins' role as Virginia is anything but minor. As the episode progresses, Virginia finds herself at the center of the Schiller death mystery, which only deepens with the introduction of her boyfriend, Thomas Dayton — real name Scott Dayton. Also, he's a sex offender, but in a plot twist, it turns out he has his impulses under control and Schiller was the one sexually harassing Virginia. 

Or was he? Eventually the truth comes out: Virginia had an affair with Schiller and killed him because he refused to take her with him on his travels. Even though Virginia Hayes was Collins' first TV role, Collins demonstrated her solid acting skills that likely helped her land her more jobs.

Linda in 50 First Dates

Lynn Collins appeared in several films shortly after her debut, but her first gig in a big movie was 50 First Dates, although it wasn't an equally big role. 50 First Dates opens with a bunch of women swooning over marine veterinarian Henry Roth (Adam Sandler). While they all fondly remember their time with Henry, they provide conflicting reasons as to why he never contacted them again, and we see why thanks to Collins. In 50 First Dates, she plays the latest woman to fall for Henry. Linda is naive and believes Henry's obvious lie about being a secret agent; her only real narrative purpose is to give audiences a reality check on the main character. However, because of this bit part, Linda helps establish Henry's personality early in the movie, which helps build his character arc.

Since Linda only appears in 50 First Dates for 45 seconds, the character doesn't have any room or time to grow. But it's a better experience than what characters named Linda have dealt with in previous Sandler films. At least Collins' character didn't cause Van Halen to break up.

Dawn Green in True Blood

Who remembers True Blood? Despite being developed in the middle of a vampire/werewolf craze, the show enjoys glowing reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Now, one thing audiences know is that it's difficult to make a story about vampires work without normal humans to bounce off of, and Lynn Collins served that purpose — although she only lasted a few episodes until she was demoted to "women in refrigerator" status.

In True Blood, Collins portrays the waitress Dawn Green, who has a relationship with protagonist Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten). Many scenes involving Dawn and Jason, or just Dawn in general, consist of them talking about or actually making out. Jason eventually discovers bite marks on Dawn's neck, but that plot thread goes nowhere. Moreover, Dawn's role quickly changes from love interest/potential vampire to corpse; she is killed in the episode "Mine," and Jason is blamed for her death. True Blood quickly reveals that Dawn was killed by the serial killer Drew Marshall (Michael Raymond-James), and that vampire Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård) bit her.

Collins' run on True Blood only lasted six episodes, but another thing fans know is you can't make a vampire story without spilling some blood, and she served that purpose too.

Kayla Silverfox in X-Men Origins: Wolverine

A universal law of acting is that an actor or actress, no matter how talented, will eventually sign up for a bad show or movie, even if it's a high-profile one. And it's difficult to get a greater high-profile-and-bad-movie quotient than X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Unlike many of Lynn Collins' prior gigs, she played a leading role in the film: mutant Kayla Silverfox, who has the power to persuade people just by touching them. Moreover, she is the love interest-slash-manipulator of Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), and even gave him his moniker. While Kayla was supposed to only trick him into joining the Weapon X project (by faking her own death), she eventually helps him free all the mutants captured for the project, but not without sacrificing her life.

In what can only be described as fitting irony, audiences seemingly forgot about Collins' role in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, just like Wolverine forgot about Kayla Silverfox in chronologically future movies. Or maybe they're just trying to forget the film altogether.

Tanya Barrett in Elementary

Lynn Collins started her television and movie career as a murder suspect on a popular police procedural drama, so it's only fitting that she eventually returned to that trope of a role in another police procedural drama, once again playing a suspect with a strong alibi who turned out to be the perpetrator all along. Collins appears in the Elementary episode "Solve for X," based on the Dorothy L. Sayers novel Have His Carcase. Collins portrays Tanya Barrett, a mathematician trying to solve the "P vs. NP" code problem with $1 million on the line. The episode's first murder victim was close to a solution, and Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock Holmes hopes Barrett can shed some light on potential suspects. Unfortunately, the prime suspect is also murdered, which turns Barrett into another suspect. But, she has an airtight alibi...

After some serious detective work and a surprise witness, Holmes uncovers a hole in Barrett's alibi and manages to convict her of the murders. Why did she kill someone over a math coding problem? Well, she wanted to use it to rob banks, but that plan would only have worked if she solved it first. Instead, Holmes does the solving.