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Why Fallon From Dynasty Looks So Familiar

Reviving a successful old show and updating it while keeping to the spirit of the original is always a monumental task, but the CW's "Dynasty" does a commendable job. The revival, which has been going strong since 2017, takes the central concept, characters, and vibe of the classic 1980s soap opera, and successfully updates the various struggles of the Carringtons and the Colbys. Instead of taking itself too seriously or jumping head-first in telenovela territory, the new "Dynasty" has also been able to carefully balance the classic soap opera twists and turns with a carefully cultivated air of modern drama. The end result is a gem of a guilty pleasure. 

A lot of the show's allure comes courtesy of the actors, many of whom have to walk the line between honoring the original versions of the characters, and making them their own. Perhaps no one carries this burden better than Elizabeth Gillies, who plays arguably the closest thing to the show's main character — businesswoman and heiress Fallon Carrington (played in the original "Dynasty" by Pamela Sue Martin). Gillies' Fallon is a truly formidable, morally somewhat ambiguous presence, and at some point, you're virtually guaranteed to start wondering where you've seen this talented actress before. Let's take a look at why Fallon from "Dynasty" looks so familiar.

Elizabeth Gillies is Jade West in Victorious

Nickelodeon's teen sitcom "Victorious" might be best remembered for a certain Ariana Grande, who portrays the eccentric Cat Valentine in the show and its spin-off, "Sam & Cat." However, she's far from the only memorable character in the show. Fans of "Victorious" will likely remember Elizabeth Gillies as Jade West, the competitive goth girl who immediately develops a complex relationship with main character Tori Vega (Victoria Justice). While Jade becomes a regular and valued member of the central group, she's also a rather dark and even tragic character who isn't afraid to play the antagonist, should the situation so require.

In an interview with Seventeen, Gillies discussed Jade's peculiar nature. "Jade is a very unique kind of mean girl," she said. "She's not as conventional as the majority of the mean girls I encountered growing up and going to school. She's much darker, much more acerbic. I think dealing with mean girls is just a part of life. I never really took people like that too seriously."

Elizabeth Gillies is Gigi in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

Apart from her acting chops, Elizabeth Gillies is also a talented singer. This talent is already on full display in "Victorious," but if you really want to hear her belt out some rock 'n' roll tunes, look no further than Denis Leary's "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll." The comedy show, which ran for two seasons from 2015 to 2016, stars Leary as a has-been musician called Johnny Rock. Johnny gets a new lease in life when he finds out that he has a daughter, Gigi (Gillies). The father and daughter form a peculiar pact: Johnny's old band will reform and Johnny himself will continue to write songs for them, but the younger, more talented, and less troubled Gigi will take over as the vocalist. 

Knowing that the role required both tremendous vocal abilities and some pretty impressive acting talent, Gillies chose to go all in for her audition (per Collider). "I was in L.A. and they were casting in New York, so I did my audition tape," the actress described the process. "I tried to pick the hardest song I could find off of the song list because I thought maybe that would help, so I picked an Aretha Franklin song. And then, I heard I was going to be screen testing opposite Denis, and we had really great banter. We both speak very quickly and we have a biting sarcasm with the way we speak. People bought that I was his daughter. The chemistry test really sealed the deal, I think."

Elizabeth Gillies is Kelsey in Arizona

In 2018, Elizabeth Gillies got to work with some of the finest minds in offbeat comedy, when she teamed up with Danny McBride ("Eastbound & Down," "This Is the End"), Kaitlin Olson ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"), and Luke Wilson ("The Royal Tenenbaums," "Old School") for Jonathan Watson's "Arizona." The darkly comedic thriller about a murderously desperate man during the late-2000s housing crisis made the rounds at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival (per Variety), where it was touted as a horror comedy with an intriguing premise. One particular scene featuring Gillies and Wilson was named among the movie's most effective satire moments.

Unfortunately, "Arizona" ultimately failed to impress the majority of critics or audiences, as shown by its meager Rotten Tomatoes critical score of 43 percent and audience score of 45 percent. Still, critics like Noel Murray of the Los Angeles Times have praised the movie — and being a part of such an all-star cast can't exactly have hurt Gillies' career prospects.