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Why Georgi From Sleight Looks So Familiar

In the 2016 sci-fi film "Sleight," Bo (Jacob Latimore), the protagonist, is struggling to financially support he and his sister, following the death of their parents. He makes money by performing street magic during the day and dealing drugs by night. The former is possible thanks to a large electromagnet he attaches to his arm and hides under a long-sleeved sweatshirt or jacket. The latter is thanks to a working relationship with a supplier named Angelo (Dulé Hill). When said working relationship goes sour, however, Bo's electromagnet turns out to be a valuable asset in his very survival.

One of the key figures in "Sleight" — which was the sophomore release of director J.D. Dillard, and ultimately earned him a major role behind the scenes of an upcoming "Star Wars" film – is Georgi. She is not the central character of "Sleight," of course, but as a supporting player, she serves as a parental figure to Bo: though not related by blood, Georgi is an adult neighbor who acts as Bo's caretaker. 

Georgi was played by actress Sasheer Zamata, who most likely looks familiar to you not from crime dramas or quasi-superhero films like "Sleight," but due to her work as a comedic performer.

Sasheer Zamata was a prolific sketch comedy writer and performer

Much of Sasheer Zamata's earliest work was not in TV or film, but in sketch comedy. Early on in her career, Zamata first trained, and then regularly performed, at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater. During that time she appeared live on stage in addition to working on a number of filmed sketches, such as "Be Blacker" with Nicole Byer. Subsequently, Zamata also shared videos to her own YouTube channel, many of which showcased celebrity impressions. Her YouTube channel no longer exists, but an old Hollywood Reporter article outlines the content of some of those videos, which include impressions of Barack Obama, Beyonce, Tyra Banks, and others.

Outside of her work as a UCB performer, Zamata appeared in the Food Network parody series "Fodder," as well as online sketches for College Humor, and then on "Inside Amy Schumer." She also co-created and co-starred in an original web series titled "Pursuit of Sexiness," again alongside Nicole Byer.

Sasheer Zamata was a cast member on Saturday Night Live

Following her success as an independent comedy performer, Sasheer Zamata was hired to "Saturday Night Live" in 2014, where she became a featured player. The following year, Zamata was upgraded to a repertory cast member (via Vulture). Her tenure on the series didn't last much longer, however. She ultimately departed "SNL" in 2017, only two years after her promotion.

Zamata's work as an impressionist, showcased on her YouTube channel prior to her "SNL" hiring, came in handy during her tenure on NBC's flagship comedy series. In one memorable sketch from her "SNL" tenure, Zamata portrayed first lady Michelle Obama opposite Vanessa Bayer's Hillary Clinton. In a "Scandal" parody, which has been viewed upwards of 3 million times on YouTube, Zamata portrays the central role of "Scandal," protagonist Olivia Pope, alongside host Lena Dunham. She also appeared in sketches like "28 Reasons to Hug a Black Guy" and "Dance Vlog," as original characters.

Sasheer Zamata played a supporting role in I Feel Pretty

Amy Schumer starred in "I Feel Pretty" as Renee, a woman who sustains head trauma during a SoulCycle class, and subsequently finds a new degree of self-confidence, due to her overall perception of herself changing due to the injury. Sasheer Zamata appeared in a supporting role as Tasha, an employee of the SoulCycle studio where Renee hits her head. Tasha, then, serves an important narrative purpose as one of the first people with whom Renee interacts following her accident, and thus against whom Renee's change in attitude is measured.

In an interview with The Knockturnal, Zamata described Renee as a being a "straight man," or in other words, the comedic archetype of a voice of reason that traditionally counterbalances an absurd character. In "I Feel Pretty," then, Zamata provides rational responses to Renee's transformation, intended to highlight her absurdity. Zamata told The Knockturnal that "straight man" characters are well within her wheelhouse. She was also given room to improvise in her "I Feel Pretty" appearance, likening it further to an improv comedy performance.

Sasheer Zamata is a series regular on Home Economics

"Home Economics" is a sitcom about three siblings, all of whom live in San Francisco, but between each of whom is a significant wealth gap. The three siblings central to the series are Tom (Topher Grace), Connor (Jimmy Tatro), and Sarah (Caitlin McGee). Sasheer Zamata is a member of the regular cast of "Home Economics" as Sarah's wife, Denise.

Sarah and Denise are struggling financially, which is contrasted with fiction writer Tom's firmly middle class lifestyle, and private investor Connor's significant wealth. Sarah works as a child psychologist and Denise is a school teacher. They also raise two children in their San Francisco apartment.

"Home Economics" was renewed by network ABC for a second season in May 2021 (via Deadline) only six episodes into its first season. If the series remains a hit, then, "Home Economics" very well may remain Sasheer Zamata's regular gig moving forward.