Addison native Casimere Jollette's star is rising. Now you can see her in 'F.R.E.D.I.' on Netflix.
Just last spring, actress Casimere Jollette was interviewed on the red carpet at the premiere of the new sci-fi/adventure movie "F.R.E.D.I.," and in December the film debuted on Netflix.
The movie also stars Candace Cameron Bure from "Full House," Kelly Hu from "The Scorpion King" and "X-Men," Angus McFadyen from "Braveheart," and Chloe Lukasiak from "Dance Moms."
With her role as young Natalie, suffice it to say that 22-year-old Jollette has come a long way since growing up in Addison.
"Never did I think I would be living out my day-to-day life in Los Angeles as an artist -- both as an actor and as a dancer," Jollette said recently, after a visit home for the holidays.
Jollette was featured in 2012 as one of the Daily Herald's "Suburban Standouts." At the time she was an aspiring ballerina overcoming injuries in order to continue her training under former Chicago City prima ballerina Sherry Moray at her Academy of Dance Arts in Downers Grove.
She also modeled and appeared in some commercials before she was discovered by an acting coach when she was 14.
"I had no interest in acting and had my mind completely set on dance at the time," Jollette says.
Acting coach Lisa Morgan, now her manager, encouraged her to audition for a TV series called "Bunheads."
"I ended up auditioning, being scouted and signed by an agent in L.A., called Paradigm, and I got flown out to L.A. for a producers' meeting," Jollette adds. "From that moment on, I realized that acting could possibly be another steppingstone in my life."
She continued to study dance while she was home schooled through high school. She even spent the summer of her senior year studying at the American Ballet Theatre in New York. Things came to a halt when she was sidelined with an ankle injury that required surgery, her second one.
Her long recovery gave her time to concentrate her energy on studying acting, and shortly after emerging from her boot she landed a role in a TV series called "Guidance," starring Michelle Tratchenburg.
Getting the role meant she had to fly out to L.A. for a few months for filming, which eventually led Jollette to make the jump and move there.
Since then, she has worked in both TV and film, and often in roles that combine her dance background with acting. Some of her credits include co-starring in a Hulu series called "Dimension 404" and as a guest star on the CBS series "Code Black" with Rob Lowe.
Just last week, Jollette was a guest star in the season one finale of "Dirty John," and she also appeared in an episode of "This is Us."
"My dance training (in Downers Grove) helped me tremendously in the industry I work in today," Jollette says. "As a dancer, I've always loved to perform, create and emote. This has helped me in my acting career, as they both come very close to one another and work hand in hand."
Growing up in the Western suburbs, she says, has given her backbone and a strong work ethic, which has prepared her for the cutthroat industry of acting.
Jollette still works with managers Lisa Morgan and Joe Borasso, who now run their own management company in Chicago called Management by Morgan. But she also has agents in theater, dance and print, as well as an L.A.-based manager.
What keeps her grounded, she says, is living with her older brother, Ralphie Jollette, who works in the music industry at Capitol Records, and her support system at home in Addison of her mother, Carolyn, and father, Ralph.
"I have learned and accepted the fact that this path I chose will be a difficult one," Jollette says, "but it's one I can achieve. Every day I am constantly pushing as much as I possibly can to get ahead in my career."