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Why Francesca From Sex/Life Looks So Familiar

Created by Stacy Rukeyser, the new Netflix original "Sex/Life" centers on a suburban wife and mother, Billie (Sarah Shahi), who is becoming bored in her home life. Despite a loving husband named Cooper (Mike Vogel) and two lovely kids, Billie finds herself fantasizing about her past party lifestyle — and her ex-boyfriend Brad (Adam Demos), with whom she had all these wild adventures.

While Billie reconnects with Brad and begins questioning the life she chose, Cooper struggles with his wife's wandering mind. One of the ways Cooper copes is by turning to his boss, Francesca (Li Jun Li), for comfort. Francesca makes it known to Cooper that she has feelings for him and, by the end of the series, a future relationship between the two seems a possibility if the show gets renewed for a second season.

In the midst of watching all the drama unfold, viewers may notice that the actress playing Francesca looks somewhat familiar. The fact is that it's totally likely you may have seen her before: Li has had an extensive television career thus far, showing up in both popular shows and hidden gems. Here's a rundown of some of Li's most notable work.

Minority Report and Chicago PD gave Li some early roles

Acting since 2008, Li landed her first lead role in 2015 with the Fox science fiction drama "Minority Report." The show was set in Washington DC in the year 2065, where the existence of Precogs — those with the ability to predict crimes before they happened — has changed the world as we know it. At first held by the government against their will, three Precogs eventually gain freedom and try to live a normal life. Li played Akeela, a crime scene technician for the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia. As the series went on, Dash (Stark Sands), a Precog, started his own mission with detective Lara Vega (Meagan Good) to prevent crimes using his ability. Lara, best friends with Akeela, convinced Akeela to join their mission and act as their technician. The series unfortunately only lasted one season.

In the same year, however, Li also appeared on the police procedural drama "Chicago P.D." for a guest role stint in the fourth season. Li played Officer Julie Tay, the new partner to main character Officer Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati). Having had a bad experience in her last patrol assignment due to her commander pursuing her romantically despite her clear disinterest, she was glad to be partnered in her new assignment with Burgess. However, just a few episodes in, Julie was reassigned to her previous position after her old commander found out about her new placement.

Li continued in TV with Quantico and Blindspot

Li began her stint on "Quantico" in 2016, during the show's first season. "Quantico" introduced the incoming FBI recruits at the Quantico base in Virginia; soon, however, one of the recruits, Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra), became a suspect in a terrorist attack. Li played Iris Chang, a trainee from another team, who (along with her teammates) was integrated into the Quantico facility to foster a competitive element between the two training teams. Considered one of the top recruits, she eventually became an FBI agent after finishing the training.

In 2017, Li began a recurring role on the NBC crime drama "Blindspot." The show centered on a mysterious tattooed woman named Remi (Jaimie Alexander) who has no recollection of her past or identity. After being found in Times Square by the FBI, they begin an investigation and find out her tattoos offer clues about who she is. Li came into the series in Season 2 as psychiatrist Karen Sun. Brought in to evaluate Remi's brother Roman (Luke Mitchell), she pointed out his lack of empathy. Her role eventually evolved into her becoming his psychiatric counselor.

Li moves to horror TV with The Exorcist

Li became a main cast member during the second season of the supernatural horror series, "The Exorcist," in 2017. "The Exorcist" acted as a direct sequel to the 1973 classic horror film of the same name. The series followed three priests as they faced a demonic presence showing up in people's homes. Li played Rose Cooper, a woman who worked in social services. Rose was brought in to evaluate Andy Kim (John Cho) as a caretaker and to determine if he was a good fit as a foster parent. She and Andy soon became love interests and their relationship took a tumultuous turn when Andy became possessed. Rose developed a parent-like relationship with Andy's foster kids as well and when Andy tragically met his demise at the end of the season, Rose took over as the children's caretaker.

The series was canceled after just two seasons. Despite the short run, Li said that her role in "The Exorcist" was special to her. She told Downtown magazine, "Not a lot of people even knew about it, but it's one of the best things I've ever done. I loved it so much."

Li's recent work includes Wu Assassins

With 2019's "Wu Assassins," a supernatural action thriller on Netflix, Li took on another main role in a series. "Wu Assassins" centered on Kai Jin (Iko Uwais), a young Chinese-Indonesian chef working in San Francisco's Chinatown, who took on the role of Wu Assassin after an encounter with a mystical spirit gave him the supernatural powers to restore balance and peace in San Francisco. Li played Jenny Wah, a friend of Kai's who was also in the restaurant business, running her family's Chinese-American restaurant.

In her chat with Downtown magazine, Li described her character: "She is a young businesswoman with a BA who had her own dreams but had to put them on the back burner when her parents all-of-a-sudden decided to move back to Hong Kong and left her with the family restaurant ... She definitely carries a lot of burden of expectations from her parents of what it means to be a good Chinese daughter, what it means to be a loyal daughter to your parents' wishes."

Li will next be seen alongside Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt in "La La Land" director Damien Chazelle's upcoming film, "Babylon," slated to come out in January 2023.