Photography by Emily Shur. Styling by Alison Brooks. Dress available at Violetta Group.
YOU KNOW HER FROM: The Netflix sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which casts her as Xanthippe Voorhees, the snarky, cynical teenage stepdaughter of kooky, gold-digging Jacqueline Voorhees (Jane Krakowski)
WHAT’S NEXT: First Girl I Loved, co-starring Brianna Hildebrand. The independent film follows two teenage girls wrestling with their sexuality at a Los Angeles high school, and Gelula plays Anne, who runs into trouble with her best friend when she tries to come out to him.
LIFE IN THE PAGES: “I read scripts constantly, and I don’t know if I’ve read a script since [First Girl I Loved] that I similarly didn’t want to put down. I wanted to know what happens between all these characters so badly. I just felt like Anne was already alive as I read it. It was so vivid, vulnerable, and emotional.”
CONFIDENCE CONFLICTS: “I think Anne’s very confident in her sexuality, but maybe not so confident in other people’s ability to deal with it. The reasons why she hasn’t come out are very realistic. It’s not from a place of fear — it’s from a place of, ‘I don’t want to be a curiosity; I don’t want to deal with being the gay girl at school.’ Even though I’m sure no one would be outwardly hateful in 2016, all the micro-aggressions she’d have to encounter each day would force her into the closet anyway.”
VARSITY BLUES: “I went to a regular, suburban high school in Philadelphia until I dropped out and moved to Hollywood. I’m happy I did, because I had to form a personality. I was a troubled teen, and I had a difficult time socially in school, for my own reasons. I was very lonely, but very comfortable being alone, which I saw in Anne quite a bit. I think I was just trying to survive the shittiest time in teenage life, when they never tell you you’re going to be a cool adult. That’s very much Anne. High school is not for her, and Anne is not for high school.”