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Why Olivia From Animal Kingdom Looks So Familiar

Throughout its four-seasons and counting run on TNT, the network's electrifying crime drama "Animal Kingdom" has managed to succeed where so many series prior have failed, managing to successfully adapt to the small screen a story taken from a feature film. And for those not in the know, "Animal Kingdom" is indeed based on the critically-adored 2010 Australian about a young man sent to live with distant relatives after his mother's tragic death. Once moved in, he soon discovers those relatives (the Cody family) are legitimate outlaws who make their living via all manner of criminal activity including armed robbery.

TNT's "Animal Kingdom" keeps that general framework, transplanting the story from Melbourne to Southern California, and positing the Codys as thrill-seeking bandits who get their kicks breaking bad in every way possible. Like the original film (which featured blistering turns from Guy Pearce, Jackie Weaver, Ben Mendelsohn, and Joel Edgerton), the "Animal Kingdom" series also boasts an impressive ensemble that, to date, has fronted the talents of Shawn Hatosy, Ellen Barkin, Scott Speedman, and Finn Cole.

The action-packed drama has also featured a notable list of supporting players, including Emily Deschanel, Dichen Lachman, and Gil Birmingham to name a few. One of the more intriguing "Animal Kingdom" short-timers was undoubtedly Kelli Berglund, who appeared in five Season 4 episodes as J's (Cole) brief romantic interest Olivia. If Berglund looked familiar to you on "Animal Kingdom," it's because she's become a legit star on the rise of late. Here's why Olivia from "Animal Kingdom" looks so familiar.

Kelli Berglund played a super teen on Disney XD's Labrats

That "star on the rise" tag is no joke. In the last couple of years alone, Kelli Berglund has appeared in high-profile projects like FX's Emmy-winning mini-series "Fosse/Verdon," Adam Sandler's star-studded Netflix hit "Hubie Halloween," and The Russo Brothers' Apple TV+ drama "Cherry." She's also soon to debut opposite former "Arrow" star Stephen Amell in the Starz wrestling drama "Heels." As it happens, Berglund's star has been on the rise for a while now. And if you did recognize the young star on "Animal Kingdom," it might be because you're not too far removed from binging on Disney Channel's vast array pre-teen offerings.

And Kelli Berglund got her first real break in Hollywood on such a series in 2012 when she landed a key role among the ensemble cast of a Disney XD comedy called "Lab Rats." That series followed the adventures of a scrawny teen named Leo (Tyrell Jackson Williams), who discovers his new billionaire inventor step-father has created a team of bionic, super-powered teens and is keeping them stashed away in his secret underground lab. Once Leo introduces those bionic teens to the real world, all manner of kooky adventures ensues. Over the course of several seasons on Disney XC, "Lab Rats" made the most of that clever, often hilarious setup, earning legions of young fans along the way. And yes, it did so with Kelli Berglund portraying the charismatic super-teen Bree Davenport in every single episode. 

Now Apocalypse found Kelli Berglund tackling a very adult role

Kelli Berglund didn't wrap her "Lab Rats" run until 2016. Once she did, the young actor was clearly ready to tackle more adult-oriented fare, claiming dramatic roles in a handful of film and TV projects. Circa 2019, the words "adult-oriented" took on a whole new meaning for Berglund with the actor scoring a lead role in a new series from cinematic button-pusher Gregg Araki ("Doom Generation," "White Bird in a Blizzard," "13 Reasons Why"). That series was none other than Araki's arresting, sexually explicit, and beautifully bonkers sci-fi tinged dramedy "Now Apocalypse."

For those not acquainted with "Now Apocalypse" — and judging from its ratings-starved, one-season-and-done run on Starz that's most of you — the series followed a group of wayward young adults struggling with love, sex, and fame in the weird wilds of Los Angeles. Without spoiling the fun, we'll say that over its 10-episode run, "Now Apocalypse" was about as Gregg Araki an event as a series could be, fronting all the graphic sex, wild narrative twists, and unsettling turns into the darker corners of humanity you'd expect.

"Now Apocalypse" was quite often funny as all hell, too, with the series' esteemed cast going all-in on Araki's particular brand of narrative insanity. And among that cast, few made more of the moment than Kelli Berglund, who portrayed the series' snarky online sex worker Carly with such style, wit, and humanity she nearly stole the show from everyone involved.

Kelli Berglund got totally awesome on ABC's The Goldbergs

For the record, 2019 was a very big year for Kelli Berglund. Not only did it find her making waves on "Now Apocalypse," but also making her first "Animal Kingdom" appearance, and portraying a young Gwen Verdon (Michelle Williams) in "Fosse/Verdon." Turns out 2019 had yet another high-profile surprise in store for Berglund, who also scored a multi-episode arc on one of television's best-loved sitcoms.

That series was ABC's pop culture-centric '80s comedy "The Goldbergs," which follows the titular family on a series of adventures in small-town Pennsylvania. Since making its debut in 2013, "The Goldbergs" has become a prime-time staple for ABC, scoring troves of fans over its 185-episodes and counting run. Berglund first appeared on "The Goldbergs" in the series' seventh season as Barry Goldbergs' (Troy Gentile) fun-loving lady-friend Lauren (better known as "Ren").

Thanks largely to Berglund's quirky, down-to-earth presence, "Ren" quickly became a fan favorite on the show. Unfortunately, the actor's time in the role was short-lived. So much so that Berglund actually left the show before "Ren" was even written out of the series. And fans of "The Goldbergs" no doubt noticed a different actor was playing "Ren" when season 8 debuted, with Carrie Wampler claiming the role for a three-episode arc. It doesn't appear there was any bad blood between Berglund and "The Goldbergs" team, however. Rather, the young actor was just too busy booking other work to stay on with the series. And given where her career has gone since, it's hard to argue with her decision to opt out.