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Why Alicia From The Sex Lives Of College Girls Looks So Familiar

Created by Mindy Kaling and Justin Noble, the comedy-drama "The Sex Lives of College Girls" premiered its first season on HBO Max in November 2021. The series follows four college roommates — work-study student Kimberly Finkle (Pauline Chalamet), aspiring comedy writer Bela Malhotra (Amrit Kaur), wealthy legacy Leighton Murray (Reneé Rapp), and soccer star (and daughter of a senator) Whitney Chase (Alyah Chanelle Scott) — as they navigate their freshman year of college.

The first season sees Leighton struggle with coming out as a lesbian to her friends and family. While she isn't ashamed of being gay, she's reluctant to tell anyone because she doesn't want her sexuality to define her. Her desire to keep it a secret becomes more complicated when she meets and falls for Alicia (Midori Francis), one of the volunteers of the college's Women Center, where Leighton is forced to do community service. Once things between the two get serious, Alicia gets tired of having to keep their relationship a secret and breaks it off, leaving Leighton heartbroken. In the aftermath, Leighton comes out to someone, Kimberly, for the first time.

Fans were rooting for Leighton and Alicia and, when Season 2 of "The Sex Lives of College Girls" rolls around, will be itching to see if Alicia might forgive Leighton and reignite their romance. In the meantime, viewers may be curious where they've seen Leighton's love interest before. So let's break down why Alicia from "The Sex Lives of College Girls," played by Midori Francis, looks so familiar.

Francis played a supporting role in the comedy Good Boys

After beginning her acting career in 2015 with the short film "Killing Machine," Midori Francis appeared in a series of guest roles in various TV shows (such as "Younger" and "Gotham") before landing her first big role with the comedy "Good Boys" (via IMDb). Directed by Gene Stupnitsky, "Good Boys" follows sixth-grade best friends — Max (Jacob Tremblay), Thor (Brady Noon), and Lucas (Keith L. Williams) — as they experience a series of mishaps in their attempt to make it to a party hosted by a popular classmate. Francis plays Lily, the friend of Max's teenage neighbor Hannah (Molly Gordon), who both get caught up in the trio's misadventures. 

In an August 2019 interview with FilmisNow, Francis explained how the film's message resonated with her when she read the script. Francis said, "[The boys] are at this age where it's like, do I grow up or do I stay a kid? And there's something about that that really hit hard for me. And even though it's a very jokey movie, it's also about friendship, and I'm just a big sucker for that. I find it really moving." She also discussed the fun of working with a first-time director, especially as it was her first major role in a feature film, noting that Stupnitsky allowed them leeway to improv and adlib within the scenes.

Francis starred in Dash & Lily

In 2020, Midori Francis landed her first protagonist role when she played the female lead in the Netflix rom-com series "Dash & Lily," which is based on the young adult novel series "Dash & Lily's Book of Dares" by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Set during the holiday season, the series follows two teens, Christmas-hating Dash (Austin Abrams) and hopeless romantic Lily (Francis), who begin communicating by writing messages to one another in a red notebook. From there, the two form a bond through the series of dares that they plan for one another and, despite never having met in person, begin falling for one another.

In a November 2020 interview with Who What Wear, interviewer Jessica Baker asked Francis to describe what made "Dash & Lily" a unique holiday rom-com. Francis responded by noting that, while the show is unique because most stories that take place during the holiday season are movies rather than TV shows, "Dash & Lily" is much more than just a holiday story.

Francis summarized the heart of the project: "It's about two people at a crucial age when they are trying to figure out who they are. They are both lonely in their own ways, and they are both set in their own ways, and through this red notebook, they challenge each other and grow and change."

Francis co-starred in Afterlife of the Party

Midori Francis's next big role, following "Dash & Lily," was a supporting role in Netflix's 2021 supernatural comedy film, "The Afterlife of the Party." Written by Carrie Freedle and directed by Stephen Herek, the film focuses on Cassie (Victoria Justice), who has not grown out of her party-loving ways, even though her longtime best friend, Lisa (Francis), has. Following a night of partying, a hungover Cassie goes to the bathroom, where she falls and hits her head on the toilet, resulting in her death. When she "wakes," she is greeted by her guardian angel Val (Robyn Scott), who informs her that she has five days to make things right with the important people in her life, including Lisa.

Francis discussed her role in "Afterlife in the Party" in a September 2021 interview with The Nerds of Color. Describing what drew her to the role of Lisa, Francis said, "Really what drew me to the role was the fact that this is about two female best friends. I think if this was just a classic love, romantic love story between a man and a woman, I might not have done it. There was something about it: I was like, okay, this feels real. Female friendships are so intense, and you don't always get to see that explored."

"Afterlife of the Party" was followed up by her run in the first season of "The Sex Lives of College Girls," which will be followed up by her stint in the upcoming 19th season of "Grey's Anatomy" as one of the new main cast members, Dr. Mika Yasuda (via Deadline).