Carly Chaikin was plucked from obscurity at the age of 19 to play the antagonist opposite Miley Cyrus in the 2010 film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ The Last Song. Now she’s playing a mean girl once again on Suburgatory, the ABC sitcom about a single dad (Jeremy Sisto) who moves his daughter, Tessa (Jane Levy), to the upstate New York suburbs. Here’s what you need to know about the rising star behind “popular girl” Dalia Royce.Her childhood passion: I was really into sports as a kid. I was a gymnast from age 2 to 11, and then I played volleyball. I never did one school play. I was in a drama class, but I didn’t like it, so I never went.
What she does for fun: I paint with oils and acrylics. I do a lot of abstracts and realistic things with an abstract edge to them. Dalí is one of my favorite artists of all time.
On her iPod: My mom always told me I was born in the wrong era. If I had to pick my favorite musicians or bands, it would be Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Tom Petty. My friends are into house music, so we always fight in the car about what to listen to.
Mean girls in her life: I went to an all-girls middle school. Growing up in L.A., [I knew] a lot of those people who have little pieces of Dalia in them.
Actress she hopes to emulate: Angelina Jolie. She was one of my biggest inspirations for wanting to be an actress.
Pet project: I recently got involved with the Freedom to Choose Foundation. We go into women’s prisons and talk with these women, forming support groups and helping to give them a second chance at life.