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Why Squirrel Girl From New Warriors Looks So Familiar

In July 2017, the Freeform network announced that Milana Vayntrub will play the popular Marvel Comics character Squirrel Girl in its superhero comedy TV series, New Warriors. If you're like a lot of Marvel fans, you're excited to see Squirrel Girl on screen. And it's entirely possible that when you heard the name "Milana Vayntrub," you had no idea who that was. But when you saw her picture, she probably looked familiar. For an actress so young — she was 30 when she earned the Squirrel Girl role — Vayntrub's already had an incredibly long career in television, web video, and of course commercials. Just so it will stop bugging you, here's a list of the places where you may have seen future Squirrel Girl Milana Vayntrub.

ER (1995)

Vayntrub was born in 1987, fled from the USSR to the USA with her parents in 1989, and had her first memorable TV role in 1995, before she'd even turned eight. In the first season of the classic hospital drama ER, Vayntrub plays Tatiana, an HIV-positive little girl from Russia who is abandoned in the hospital. Carol Hathaway, the nurse played by future Good Wife Julianna Margulies, wants to adopt Tatiana, but her boyfriend is resistant to the idea. In the end it doesn't matter, because Carol's suicide attempt in the series premiere disqualifies her from adopting, and the young Vayntrub exits the series after three episodes. The actress went on to earn occasional roles in shows like Days of our Lives and Lizzie McGuire over the next few years, but never quite broke out.

Let's Talk About Something More Interesting (2011)

In the last decade, Milana Vayntrub reemerged as a star of various online videos. Most notably, in 2011 she and fellow actress Stevie Nelson started a web series called Let's Talk About Something More Interesting, in which the pair disdainfully and disinterestedly interviews celebrities to comedic effect. She also appeared in a number of College Humor videos during this period, as well as other memorable web videos like Bitchy Resting Face and Roommates Enemies.

The Clandestine (2012)

One of the most extensive web series Vayntrub took part in during this period was The Clandestine, a UK-based comedy about a group of nerds who start a motorcycle gang. She plays Anna, the only member of the gang who's even a little bit cool or intimidating. The series gave her a chance to play both glamorous and tough, and she stood at as the performer with the most potential in the series.

AT&T Commercials (2013-present)

In 2013, Milana Vayntrub received the role that would define her career for years to come: Lily, the friendly and patient wireless store clerk in a popular series of commercials for AT&T. Lily is friendly, helpful, a little awkward, lightly sarcastic, and occasionally flirtatious. She's more girl next door than spokesmodel, resembling someone you might actually encounter in an AT&T store. As Lily, Vayntrub has shared scenes with regular wireless customers, as well as celebrities including Gordon Ramsay and James Van Der Beek. It's Vayntrub's natural charisma that make the spots work, and that's surely the key to the campaign's long run.

Key and Peele (2013)

In complete contrast to Lily, Vayntrub made a mostly silent but very memorable appearance on the 2013 Halloween episode of Comedy Central's sketch comedy series Key and Peele. She's nearly unrecognizable as the gorgeous vampire girl hanging on the arm of Jordan Peele's gothic lord of the undead. The sketch pokes fun at the overwraught aesthetics and exaggerated sexuality that surround vampires in pop culture. When the vampires get a makeover at the end of the sketch, she becomes slightly more recognizable as Milana Vayntrub.

House of Lies (2014)

In 2014, Vayntrub appeared in the Showtime series House of Lies, in which she plays Christy, a consulting firm employee who's both fired and arrested after stabbing her boss Monica Talbot, played by Dawn Olivieri. Although she only appears in two episodes, the memorable part showcased a very different kind of character from what she does in those AT&T ads.

Silicon Valley (2014)

Vayntrub has also made guest appearances on the HBO comedy series Silicon Valley. Her character Tara is the girlfriend of Martin Starr's cynical Bertram Gilfoyle. Like Bertram, Tara is a practicing LaVeyan Satanist. She also has a gothic aesthetic that stands out against Vayntrub's usual look, although it's much less exaggerated than when she was a vampire on Key and Peele.

Other Space (2015)

Other Space, a sci-fi comedy created by Paul Feig, was part of the 2015 launch of Yahoo! Screen, a new streaming service from Yahoo. Vayntrub plays Tina Shukshin, a flighty and unpredictable starship navigator. The show's a lot of fun, and Vayntrub is great in it. Unfortunately, Yahoo! Screen failed to generate profits for the struggling company, and the whole thing was shut down in early 2016, taking the show along with it. Fortunately, as of this writing, the first season is still available to stream online.

Love (2016)

Vayntrub has a crucial if short-lived role in the first two episodes of the Netflix original series Love. She plays Natalie, the ex-girlfriend of the male romantic lead Gus, played by Paul Rust. Her messy breakup with Gus sets the events in motion that lead him to a relationship with Mickey (Gillian Jacobs), the other lead of the show.

Can't Do Nothing (2016)

Milana Vayntrub and her parents were refugees, fleeing religious persecution in the USSR in the 1980s. Having built an acting career as an adult, Vayntrub found herself in a position to help other refugees around the world. In 2016 she founded Can't Do Nothing, a charity dedicated to helping refugees from Syria and elsewhere. As part of the launch, Vayntrub made a documentary short called Milana Can't Do Nothing: Refugees in Lesbos. Amid a turbulent presidential election in which the refugee crisis was an ongoing issue, it made news that "the AT&T girl" had a personal interest in the plight of refugees.

This is Us (2016-2017)

Milana Vayntrub's most visible role to date has been in an eight-episode arc on the massively successful NBC drama This Is Us. She plays Sloane Sandburg, first introduced as the writer of a play in which former TV star Kevin Pearson, played by Justin Hartley, is performing. Over the course of the story, Sloane finds herself playing opposite Kevin in the play, and then beginning a romance with him in real life. But because the show is essentially a soap opera, their relationship ends in dramatic fashion, as does their professional involvement, leading to Vayntrub's exit from the show.

The role on such a high profile show is exactly the sort of guest part that leads to bigger things. So it's not too surprising to see Milana Vayntrub move on to New Warriors. Right now it feels like she'll always be Lily from those commercials. But considering how popular the character already is in the comics, Squirrel Girl may turn out to be the character Milana Vayntrub is best remembered for.