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Why Fatin From The Wilds Looks So Familiar

After marking itself as one of the best shows on Amazon Prime, fans are clamoring for Season 2 of Amazon Prime's "The Wilds" — a survival tale about a group of teenage girls mysteriously stranded on an island after a plane crash. The series finds its strength in its diverse cast of characters and exploration into their trauma, through flashbacks and that special brand of survivor bonding audiences know well. Among them is the flirty and fashionable Fatin Jadmani, a student and cellist from the Bay Area with a large helping of family drama.

If Fatin looks familiar, that's because she is played by the up-and-coming actress Sophia Ali, who's been on screen since she was just eight years old. In an interview with Elle, Ali said that at the beginning of her career, she played many characters of ethnicities that are not her own. That led her to make a decision about her career: "I set this goal that I wanted to be what I am, which is Pakistani, and be able to represent those people as an American on TV — to try to make roles specifically Pakistani if they're not, or wait for the opportunity to play something that would represent my people," she said. She's since reached that goal, so here's where you might recognize her from.

Sophia Ali got deep into teen drama on Faking It

Fans of "The Wilds" may have seen Sophia Ali on another teen show, MTV's "Faking It." Like "The Wilds," it's got LGBTQ+ storylines, but the teens are snug at home and school rather than surviving on an island. "Faking It" begins with two best friends, Amy (Rita Volk) and Karma (Katie Stevens), pretending to be a couple for the social clout, but gets complicated once Amy develops real feelings for Karma.

Ali's character Sabrina doesn't show up until Season 3, in the 2016 episode "Spooking It." She's an old friend of the girls from camp and becomes a love interest for Amy, but there's tension between her and Karma. Though she's only in the last five episodes of the series, her arrival spins exciting new drama into the show. For Ali, this was her first recurring role on a TV series, and she's only gained more success since filming it.

Ali was a guest on an episode of The Mindy Project

Just a month before getting her true breakout role, Sophia Ali had a brief guest spot on Mindy Kaling's rom-com series "The Mindy Project." In Season 6's episode "May Divorce Be with You," Ali plays Parvati, the girlfriend of Mindy's rapper brother, Rishi (Utkarsh Ambudkar). Mindy meets her at a family dinner and accidentally eats the engagement ring Rishi was going to propose to Parvati with, proving once more that hiding a ring in a dessert is a terrible idea.

Parvati doesn't appear in any further episodes — she's mainly there just to contrast Rishi's life with Mindy's: For the most part, Rishi has been framed as the unsuccessful sibling, compared to his doctor sister, but now he's marrying a pediatric oncologist while Mindy is in the midst of a divorce. Ali doesn't get to show Parvati's doctoral expertise, but she was able to don the white coat in her next performance.

Ali was Dr. Dahlia Qadri on Grey's Anatomy

Until Sophia Ali hits theaters as Chloe Frazer in "Uncharted," she is best known for her recurring role on the medical drama "Grey's Anatomy." She joined in Season 14 as the dedicated, but slightly awkward surgical intern Dr. Dahlia Qadri, before leaving the series in 2019. Dahlia appears in 27 episodes, but is fired in Season 16 for expressing her support of Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo).

This was the kind of role Ali had been dreaming of, she told Elle, so she put a lot of work into her audition. "When I found out I got it I was just like, this is huge," she said. "This is a hijabi surgeon on 'Grey's Anatomy.' It's literally all of my cousins — this is someone that I want to portray so badly." Amidst very few Muslim women on TV, Ali appreciates how Dahlia is portrayed in real life situations, with "crushes and qualms between her beliefs and desires." She added, "I love the fact that my character's Muslim and she wears a hijab, and it's not a prominent factor of who she is. She's got so much more to her."

The episode "You Really Got a Hold on Me" has one of Dahlia's most notable scenes, in which she shows her quick thinking by taking off her hijab and tying it around a patient's leg to slow his bleeding. When Dr. Hunt (Kevin McKidd) later expresses surprise at her actions, she says that while her hijab is a symbol of her faith, her faith "is about service and compassion." In an interview with Parade, Ali said of the scene: "I think it shows the true dynamic of what it means to wear a hijab."

She played a deadly game of Truth or Dare

In 2018, Sophia Ali joined "Pretty Little Liars" star Lucy Hale and "Teen Wolf" lead Tyler Posey for the slasher film "Truth or Dare" — not to be confused with 2017's "Truth or Dare" that has a very similar premise. In Blumhouse's movie, a bunch of college friends find themselves trapped in a supernaturally binding version of the game Truth or Dare that kills them if they don't complete the given truth or dare. Ali plays the kind, but frightened Penelope Amari, who is trapped in the game with her boyfriend Tyson (Nolan Gerard Funk) and their friends. After discovering that they can't only pick truth, Penelope is forced to walk along a roof's edge while drinking an entire bottle of vodka. Posey's character Lucas joins her up there for moral — and potentially physical — support.

Although Posey's character is in a love triangle with Hale's Olivia and Violett Beane's Markie, giving the movie a layer of interpersonal drama, he and Ali hit it off after they wrapped filming and began dating, according to ET Online. So, anyone who hasn't seen "Truth or Dare," still might recognize Ali from photos with Posey.

Ali starred in India Sweets and Spices

2021 saw Sophia Ali star in the coming-of-age dramedy "India Sweets and Spices," written and directed by Geeta Malik, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Ali plays the newly independent Alia Kapur, an Indian American college student from a wealthy family who's visiting her parents after being away at school. When she meets the son (Rish Shah) of the local grocery store owner and invites him to an extravagant dinner party with her family's friends, she begins to uncover long-kept secrets about her own parents.

At the center of the film is the clash between Alia's rebellion against tradition and her mother Sheila's (Manisha Koirala) insistence on perfection and appearances. "I felt my whole life like a rebel," Ali said, about relating to her character, in an interview with ComicBookMovie. "What was cool about reading the script was that someone else wrote that character and I related to it so much. It was almost like she had written me." 

Tomris Laffly of Variety said Ali gave a "memorably zesty lead performance," while others have compared the film to "Crazy Rich Asians."