Why Nancy Kerrigan from I, Tonya looks so familiar

While most people who lived through the '90s know the general gist of the Tonya Harding scandal, the biopic I, Tonya has been garnering serious buzz for exploring the behind-the-scenes details. The film, which features Margot Robbie playing the title role and Allison Janney as her stage-momager, was nominated for a 2018 Golden Globe weeks after its theatrical release.  

Of course, the other major player in Harding's story — and, accordingly, the biopic — is Nancy Kerrigan, and the casting directors definitely picked a ringer to play the part! In addition to bearing an uncanny resemblance to the real Kerrigan, I, Tonya's rising star Caitlin Carver may look familiar to you if you've caught her in the following roles. 

Hayley on 'The Fosters'

From 2014 to 2016, Carver combined two of her biggest passions: acting and dancing. As Hayley Heinz on the ABC Family series The Fosters, she brought both skills to the performance of a high schooler who happens to also be a dance team member

On The Tiara Talk Show, Carver revealed that her connection to dance actually helped convince the casting directors she could do the part justice. "I was just excited to show them my dance ability, you know, because I don't get to show that a lot when I'm reading for roles," she explained of learning the part would include dancing. "So it was more of an exciting thing. I never… I mean, there was a little bit of nerves here and there, but I never really got nervous just because I felt so confident with it, which I think helped me book the role." 

Elise on 'Freakish'

When Carver got cast on the hit Hulu high-school-zombie series Freakish, it had the potential to be a role she could really sink her teeth into. Sadly, Carver's stint on the show was short-lived (pun intended). In a one-episode arc, she played the part of a young woman named Elise, who was hellbent on saving her "freak"-infected brother, Trent. But when Trent escaped and attacked main characters Grover and Barrett, Elise became her brother's dinner in the ensuing chaos. Tough break but, hey, at least she went down with panache, right? 

Becca on 'Paper Towns'

In the 2015 film adaptation of John Green's YA novel Paper Towns, Carver portrayed the less-than-likable character Becca Arrrington — whom she came across beforehand filming, while reading the book. "So I knew who this girl Becca was and I knew pretty well what she brought to the story," Carver told AL.com. "And then I got the [Paper Towns] script, and it wasn't much different from the book, especially Becca. She is that girl who really motivates Margo to run away. She is that girl. A little bit manipulative and selfish, kind of only thinks of herself."

Although Carver clearly had the character pegged, the experience as a whole proved to be a new venture. She told Casting for Two (check out the audio around 4:28), "I had never worked on anything based off of a book or something that existed before being made into a film, so that was pretty cool." 

Maria on 'Timeless'

Carver turned back the clock a few decades to play the character Maria Thompkins during the pilot season of NBC's Timeless in 2016. The role saw Carver star as a young widow in the 1960s with two sons — one named Gabriel and one named Garcia. Due to the series' time-hopping, Carver's character is only visited during travels to the past. 

Although the series has been renewed for a second season, which is set to air in 2018, casting news about Carver returning hasn't been confirmed as of late 2017. Judging by the Twittersphere, though, fans certainly hope she'll reprise her role. In a tweet since retweeted by Carver, one such fan wrote, "I really really really hope @CaitCarv is able to show up elsewhere in history on #Timeless. Like… really." 

Megan on 'NCIS'

If you're a fan of the long-running CBS series NCIS, you may also be a fan of Carver and not even realize it. In 2016, she appeared on the Navy procedural as Megan Porter, the teenage daughter of the show's Secretary of the US Navy, Sarah Porter, and her ex-husband, Richard Porter. Although her stint only lasted one episode, it proved to be an exciting one — in February of 2016, Carver tweeted about getting "kidnapped on NCIS." 

Fans seemed to dig it, too. "I Really Hope The #NCISWriters Keeps [sic] The SecNav's Daughter as a Recurring Character," one admirer of the show (and presumably of Carver) tweeted

Marla lookalike on 'Rules Don't Apply'

Even though Carver's role as a "Marla lookalike" in the 2016 film Rules Don't Apply was a blink-and-you-might-miss-it part, it was a seminal role for the actress nonetheless. She revealed as much in a tweet dated Nov. 23, 2016, saying, "2 years ago, I was lucky enough to be a small part of this beautiful film. First movie I ever worked on!" Of the critically acclaimed film, which was released by 20th Century Fox, Carver has also said working on it was "such an honor." 

Muffy on 'Dear White People'

One could assume, based on the roles Carver chooses, that the actress has great instincts. Take, for example, her role as Muffy Tuttle on the Netflix series Dear White People. Despite generating some ridiculous controversy before its release, the show has also been hailed as one of the best new TV shows of 2017 by outlets like USA Today

It captures the zeitgeist of the country in a way best described as "woke." And even though Carver's character is minor, she is enjoying every minute as part of such an affecting production. "Been having such a blast on @DearWhitePeople," she tweeted during filming in 2016. "Even on cold, Saturday nights." 

Chard Girl/Dancing Tooth on 'Parks and Recreation'

Looks like Kermit the Frog is right — it's not easy being green. Or, at least, it's not easy keeping a straight face while acting like a green, leafy vegetable. In an interview with AL.com, Carver opened up about her small but hilarious role in 2014 on the now-ended NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation

"I did two episodes and those were both very short days of work but the last episode I did there was a scene, it was like a supermarket scene, and we were selling chard. In order to sell chard, our team decided we needed to be sexy, so we wore lime green bikinis, like holding chard in our hands and dancing really suggestively with chard, which is lettuce. It was so hard for us to stay serious in that moment. I don't know how comedians do it," she told the outlet.

Shin Model on 'So Random'

As first official gigs go, Carver's was comically bad — by design. In the Disney sketch comedy series So Random!, she played the part of a background shin model dancer for one of the show's recurring characters, Angus the Australian shin supermodel. This entailed, as Carver told The Tiara Talk Show, making a lot of "crazy faces" and dancing around in a prominent display of shins. 

"That show was such a blast to be a part of, though, because everyone's just so, like, carefree and hilarious," she said. "So, I mean, I literally spent the entire day laughing, which was awesome. You can't ask for anything more."

Where you might see her next

With positive reviews (and possibly even awards?) for I, Tonya rolling in, it's safe to say Carver's star will continue to rise. Helping it along will be her role as Muffy in Dear White People, which her IMDB profile confirms will stretch into 2018. 

As for the role Carver hopes you'll see her in at some point, well, it would be pretty epic — and entirely possibly, given Hollywood's obsession with reboots. When asked by Young Entertainment which YA role she would love to play, she revealed, "Sandy from Grease (played by Olivia Newton John)!!!! Acting, dancing, singing, and romance…. Does it get better than that?"