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Why Sgt. Denise Wade From The Guilty Looks So Familiar

The Jake Gyllenhaal-led Netflix thriller "The Guilty" has been taking the streaming service by storm ever since it made its early October debut. The film centers around LAPD officer Joe Baylor, who is tasked with answering 911 calls. When an abducted woman calls in looking for help, he does everything in his power to try to save her while only be able to work from his desk. Of course, things aren't all that they seem to be in this twisty, hair-raising flick, and there are plenty of curveballs thrown in the mix to keep things interesting.

"The Guilty" is also unique because it's a thriller that doesn't rely on action scenes. In fact, most of the film takes place inside its central 911 call center, with Gyllenhaal taking up the majority of its screen time. However, while most of his co-stars are merely heard and never seen in the film, there are a few characters who actually appear on-screen in it. One of those characters is Baylor's boss Sgt. Denise Wade, played by actress Christina Vidal.

As Wade, Vidal makes a lasting impression in "The Guilty," so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the actress has been a working figure in Hollywood for decades. Here's where you may have seen Vidal before.

Christina Vidal starred in a cult classic '90s dark comedy

Christina Vidal has been starring in films and TV shows since the 1990s. Her first acting credit was as Angie Vega in "Life With Mikey" starring Michael J. Fox (via IMDb). Notably, she also took on the role of Cynthia in the 1995 dark comedy "Welcome To The Dollhouse," which helped launch actress Heather Matarazzo's career. The film follows Dawn (Matarazzo), a young girl who is having a tough time in middle school and desperately wants to feel included. Written and directed by Todd Solondz, the coming-of-age film turned out to be a critical success (via Rotten Tomatoes) when it was first released.

Vidal, meanwhile, has a brief but important role in "Welcome to the Dollhouse." She plays Cynthia, one of the popular cheerleaders who bullies Matarazzo's Dawn in the film. While Vidal's character is only seen briefly, her turn as Cynthia helps elevate the relentless despair that Dawn experiences while trying to get through adolescence as a lonely girl eager to belong.

She starred in her own Nickelodeon sitcom

Coming off a string of roles in the '90s, Christina Vidal landed her own short-lived Nickelodeon sitcom in the 2000s. The series in question, "Taina," ran for just two seasons — wrapping up in 2002 — and starred Vidal as the titular character. The show followed Taina Morales, a Puerto Rican teenager who dreams of making it big in Hollywood. In the show, Vidal's Taina attends a performing arts school in order to pursue her dreams of becoming a professional singer and actress.

While "Taina" was short-lived, it did help prove that Vidal was worthy of starring in more leading roles, particularly in shows and films aimed at younger audiences. The series' cancellation may not have had anything to do with the show's viewership numbers either, which actually grew in its second season. Instead, Vidal revealed to the Los Angeles Times that the cancellation of "Taina" likely had more to do with her getting a record deal at the time and not complying with the network's unreasonable demands.

She starred opposite Lindsay Lohan in Freaky Friday

To top off her early 2000s success, Vidal had a major role as Maddie, a close friend of Lindsay Lohan's Anna in the 2003 Disney smash hit film, "Freaky Friday." The character is Anna's bandmate and friend in the film, which meant that "Freaky Friday" allowed Vidal to show off her musical talents as well as her acting chops. Most memorably, Vidal's character sings the song "Take Me Away" during the film's battle of the bands sequence, all while being accompanied by Lohan's Anna on the guitar, though, Anna's body is actually be occupied by her mom, Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis), in the scene. The film was well-received by critics at the time of its release (it currently holds an 88% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes).

According to Billboard, Kelly Osbourne was initially selected for the role of Maddie in the film, but dropped out due to personal reasons. She was replaced with Vidal, who took on the character's angsty attitude and made it her own. That, notably, included donning the character's punk rock-inspired outfits and wild hairstyles, which perfectly communicated Maddie's rebellious spirit.

Vidal also has experience playing law enforcement officers

In addition to her role in "The Guilty," Christina Vidal has played a number of different law enforcement characters throughout her career. For example, she portrayed Deputy Gabriela Lopez in the 2003 ABC series "10-8: Officers On Duty," and also starred as Detective Valeria Chavez in the "Training Day" TV series. In that short-lived CBS show, Vidal starred as Det. Valeria Chavez, a lead investigator who is good at her job and knows it. 

More recently, Vidal also portrayed Detective Ayala in the ABC original drama, "Grand Hotel," which follows the lives of the employees at a family-run hotel in Miami. Vidal appears in a handful of the show's episodes as a mysterious detective helping Danny (Lincoln Younes) find his long-lost sister all while dealing with various run-of-the-mill crimes at the hotel.

All of which is to say that Vidal was clearly well-prepared and experienced heading into "The Guilty," and it shows. As one of the only actors who actually appears in the film opposite its star, Jake Gyllenhaal, Vidal brings a presence to the Netflix thriller that helps make its central location feel lived-in and real.