The Netflix hit You is one of those semi-anthology shows that switches up the cast each season, introducing its viewers to several rising stars. In Season 3, new dad Joe (Penn Badgley) and his wife Love (Victoria Pedretti) move to Madre Linda, a fictional Bay Area suburb filled with biohacking tech bros and judgmental mommy influencers. The quiet suburb's queen bee, Sherry Conrad, is an influencer and a perfect wife and mother, who holds the keys to popularity among Love and Joe's neighbors.
Shalita Grant shines as Sherry, giving the clichéd mean girl a surprising nuance that had us going from hating to loving the character over the course of the season. In real life, Grant is a Julliard-trained actor with a top-tier Instagram and a natural hair care line. Here's everything we know about this rising star.
She grew up in the DMV area and attended the Julliard School.
The 33-year-old actor was born in August 1988 in Baltimore, MA. She grew up between Baltimore and Petersburg, Virgina, and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts. When she was 17, she got a scholarship to the Julliard School in NYC, where she studied theater, graduating in 2010.
She was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.
Upon graduating from Julliard, Grant did state acting in New York, including several Shakespeare productions at the Public Theater. She originated the role of Cassandra in the dark-comedy play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike in September 2012, and stayed with the production through its Off-Broadway and Broadway roles, acting alongside Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce. In 2013 she was nominated for a Tony for Best Featured Actress for her role.
Her breakout TV role was on HBO Max's Search Party.
Grant first caught the streaming audience's attention when she played lawyer Cassidy Diamond on Season 3 of Search Party. The comedy role required her to put on an intense vocal fry as a young attorney arguing her first ever case as the defense in a murder trial. She won over viewers by playing the role with nuance and sympathy, not allowing the role to turn into a cliché (similar to what she pulled off as Sherry).
She has her own natural hair care line.
Grant started developing hair care products when her hair was damaged after her three-year run on NCIS: New Orleans. She told Refinery29 that the constant use of extensions and heat styling on the show damaged her naturally-fragile hair.
"When I left that show, I had a bald spot in the center of my head. By the end of Season 3, I was losing [so much] hair. So I put on my little cosmetic chemistry hat, and I did some digging, and created the Four Naturals Treatment, which is now patent pending and dermatologically tested."
"On You, my hair was heat straightened every day for six months. And I left that show with more hair than I had when I showed up. It was powerful to hand my white hair stylist my products and give her the instructions and have her do something that we know is a damaging thing to do. And I didn't experience that damage," she continued
She's dating MMA champion Jessica “Jag” Aguilar.
Grant and Aguilar, a former UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion, met through a mutual friend last year, amid the pandemic and the summer of mass protests. Aguilar told The Advocate, "When we met, everything was so uncertain with the rest of the world. But I think that the universe gave us a reset and put each other in our lives for a reason."
She has a pole-dancing studio in her house.
Grant lives in LA with her two dogs, a King Charles spaniel named Mr. Tits and a pitbull-Australian sheperd mix named Candi Alizé, per the LA Times. Her preferred workout is Russian exotic pole dance, which she picked up after she turned 30. She explained on Instagram that the practice has also "helped [her] transform from the inside out."
"As a black lesbian, I’ve defined all the ways in which my sexuality, sensuality and view of myself has been shaped by the dominant culture. Standing alone in a room with music I love, watching my body take shapes and hold positions and, no matter what, loving and celebrating myself is a radical act. Centering my pleasure and joy in my workout is revolutionary," she wrote.
She was a fan of You before she was cast, and loved playing a mean girl.
Grant told AV Club that she was a fan of You before she was cast. "It became my hotel companion on my last international trip before the world changed. In December 2019, I was alone in Barcelona at my hotel, wondering what show to watch. Netflix suggested You. I remember thinking to myself, 'Do you really want to watch a thriller about a stalker and serial killer on your solo trip?' I absolutely did. I binged it and fell in love with it. I thought it was so uncomfortable but entertaining."
She also said that one of her favorite parts of playing the influencer was the beginning of the season, when she was horrible to Love.
"Everyone, including my girlfriend, kept telling me 'I hate your character, she’s so horrible.' Until this role, I hadn’t gotten the opportunity yet to play someone people would truly despise. I love the reason people hate her so much. She really weaponizes her femininity. She wields it in a super gaslighty, super passive-aggressive but familiar way. I was drawn to playing this horrible person."
Once Season 3 dropped, she read fan reactions to her character on social media.
"I woke up this morning like, ‘Oh my God. I got to go to Twitter. I was cracking up this morning because the [tweets were] like, 'I fucking hate Sherry. Sherry's so annoying,'" she said. "The comments now [later in the day] are like, "I'm so glad that they survived," she told Refinery29. "This was the first time that I was [already] a fan of the show and then got the call. I feel like a You Netflixer. I'm just on Twitter like, "'What y'all saying?'"
Quinci LeGardye is a Contributing Culture Editor who covers TV, movies, Korean entertainment, books, and pop culture. When she isn’t writing or checking Twitter, she’s probably watching the latest K-drama or giving a concert performance in her car.
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