Admit it: As a kid, you totally wanted superpowers ... even if they did come from a run-in with toxic chemicals. That's what happened to "regular, everyday tween" Alex on The Secret World of Alex Mack, the ultimate Nickelodeon sci-fi series of the '90s. In the series, junior high newbie Alex gets drenched in top-secret chemical GC-161 after almost getting hit by a truck from the chemical plant. Shortly after, Alex develops a series of bizarre "superpowers," including the ability to transform into a puddle of silver goo at any moment, telekinesis, and, of course, the fashion sense to pull off those ridiculous hats that were so popular in the '90s.
Like any good unlikely superheroine, Alex used her powers for good — and, sometimes, to navigate the hallways of junior high. (It would have been SO convenient to escape the mean girls via puddling.) Alex may have been at the lower end of the junior high popularity totem pole, but the girl who played her was the coolest '90s actress ever. So what's The Secret World of Alex Mack star Larisa Oleynik doing now? She hasn't stopped working — and you may be surprised to find out where you already know her from.
First, let's start with Larisa's life directly after the show that made her famous. The Secret World of Alex Mack ended in 1998, and from there Larisa went on to join the cast of your two other favorite 90s shows. She played Shawn Hunter's crush Dana on three episodes of Boy Meets World (remember that adorable winter picnic?) and later, Alissa, the girlfriend of Tommy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in 3rd Rock From the Sun. It was her second time acting as JGL's girlfriend — Larisa also starred as his love interest Bianca in 10 Things I Hate About You.
From there, Larisa went on to have guests spots on numerous television series, from Malcolm in the Middle to Mad Men. She played Ken Cosgrove's wife Cynthia in the latter, seen below.
In the film world, she starred in the film version of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged as Cherryl Brooks in the second part of the two-part film. She also joined the cast of the ABC television movie Remembering Sunday alongside Alexis Bledel and the independent film OJ: The Musical, about a theater group who puts on a musical about the O.J. Simpson trial. (Obviously, it's a comedy.)
One place that you may not have expected to see your favorite former puddle of goo? ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars! Larisa joined the cast in Season 3 as Ezra's former high school girlfriend, Maggie. Maggie told Ezra that her son, Malcolm, was Ezra's child ... which turned out to be not exactly the truth. Either way, seeing Larisa as Ezra's high school baby momma immediately made me think of this:
If you didn't recognize Larisa as Maggie, it's probably because she's rocking an awesome new pixie cut. Her blonde ponytails were cute back in the day, but I have to say that I'm loving Larisa's new style. It's very Mia Farrow.
Where else have you seen Larisa in recent years? If you're a fan of Lifetime movies that make pregnancy look absolutely horrifying, you can check her out in Stolen From the Womb, a movie where the title basically says it all. She also starred in the film BFFs, a movie about two best friends who have to pretend to be in a relationship in order to take advantage of a couples' retreat.
And if you think that Larisa has closed the door on Alex Mack forever, think again. She provided the voice of her famous Nickelodeon character on an episode of Robot Chicken. Check out the funny throwback scene below.
Congrats on all of your success, Larisa. You'll always be our favorite puddle of silver goo.
Images: Nickelodeon; Giphy (3); AMC; ABC Family