Larisa warmed our hearts as a teenage girl who, after an accidental run-in with a mysterious chemical from her town’s power plant, acquired outlandish magical powers. She could morph, zap electrical charges, and perform telekinesis — all the while trying to lead a normal life as a small-town junior high student. So, whatever happened to this teen queen?
After carrying her own TV show for four years (not to mention the line of surprisingly enjoyable children’s mystery books), Oleynik made a fairly successful jump from the small screen to feature films.
Some may remember her portrayal of Dawn Schafer in 1995’s The Babysitter’s Club. Four years later, she played spoiled teen princess Bianca Stratford in the wildly popular teen movie, 10 Things I Hate About You, a modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Around that same time, Oleynik took on the role of Tommy (Joseph Gordon Levitt)’s girlfriend on NBC’s alien hit 3rd Rock From the Sun, a stint which lasted about two years.
Oleynik then opted to spend less time on sets and more time in lectures. In 2004, she graduated from Sara Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. However, if her upcoming slate of projects is any indication, she is ready to be back in the spotlight.
While her just-completed role in the drama feature, Pope Dreams, looks to be headed straight-to-video, Larisa also landed a part on a promising new show. She is slated to appear on the midseason series, Pepper Dennis, about a TV reporter played by Rebecca Romijn. Coincidentally, another fallen teen idol, Rider Strong (Shawn from Boy Meets World), will also star in the drama.
It seems Oleynik may accomplish what few before her could — morph from preteen idol to adult actress without getting caught drinking underage and interacting with men twice her age (also known as “The Lindsay Lohan”).