In the ’90s, Larisa Oleynik became a breakout star with Nickelodeon’s The Secret World of Alex Mack. The show landed her recurring gigs on Boy Meets World and 3rd Rock from the Sun. Amazingly, it has been over 20 years since the popular Nickelodeon show ended. More recently, the actress has been on a different path.
Taking It To The Stage
Oleynik has spent the past several years in theatrical productions. In 2014, she made her return to the stage in “Be a Good Little Widow.” Two years later, she starred in “I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti.” In 2017, she took part in the off-Broadway production of “Baghdaddy.”
“It’s a big, energetic commitment, and that’s actually what I love about the show. All we have are each other, and we have to be locked in,” she told Buzzfeed.
The actress got her start in theater during the second national touring production of “Les Misérables” in 1989. During the run, she played young Cosette and young Eponine. “When I was eight, my godparents found an ad in the newspaper advertising auditions for the musical ‘Les Miserables.’ I took the day off school, auditioned, and everything else happened from there,” she told Parx-e Web Zine.
No Role Is Too Small in Hollywood
Oleynik hasn’t had luck with another lead role since The Secret World of Alex Mack. Her recent swing with a lead role happened with 2018’s Half-Life. Fortunately, the actress is content with her plethora of guest-starring roles. Her biggest guest-starring role to date was Ken Cosgrove’s wife Cynthia on AMC’s Mad Men.
“When people recognize me from Mad Men specifically, it’s just the coolest feeling…I don’t really know if I’m being seen differently, but I know that, just in terms of confidence, it has helped immensely…After a long round of trying to establish myself as an adult actor, booking this job, I was like, ‘Yes! They don’t hire bad actors on Mad Men.’ It was a huge sigh of relief,” she stated on AMC’s blog.
The actress also found recurring roles on Hawaii Five-0 and Pretty Little Liars. From 2011 to 2014, Oleynik lent her voice to Icy on Winx Club. She also joined the Hallmark Channel family with a slew of movie appearances, including 2015’s Wish Upon a Christmas.
The Future Is Bright
In January 2020, the actress made the main cast jump on Netflix’s The Healing Powers of Dude. On the show, she plays Noah Ferris’ mother Karen. While she’s not a mom in real life, the actress enjoys tackling the role. “Being in the mom zone is the best! That’s…what I’m going out for right now, not exclusively, but that’s just where I’m at. And it’s actually a huge relief,” she told E!
Working with co-star Jace Chapman, who plays Noah, reminded her of her child actor days. “Jace is the age that I was when I started doing ‘Alex Mack.’ There’s something about that that feels really sweet and perfect. I’m especially sort of tuned in to what he’s going through,” Oleynik told E! “He and I actually read together at my final audition, he’d already had the job, but he did sort of like a chemistry read and I just felt so protective of him right away.”
This isn’t the first Netflix series for Oleynik. In 2019, she gained a recurring role as Shawn in the teen drama Trinkets. The series was renewed for a second and final season, which means more work for the actress. With her film We Broke Up in post-production, fans won’t be seeing the last of Larisa Oleynik any time soon.
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