Who Plays Tiff On 'Bonding'? Zoe Levin Stars As A Whip-Smart, No-Nonsense Dominatrix

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It takes a brave person to play Tiff in Bonding, a sweet but sexy new show about a latex-wearing, whip-wielding dominatrix. But star Zoe Levin was up to the task. Netflix fans will see her as a tough-as-nails grad student moonlighting as a dom in New York City, but who is the burgeoning actress offscreen?

Before Bonding, Levin was best known for her role as mean girl Kara Souders in ABC series The Red Band Society. She also had prominent roles in indie films Palo Alto and Beneath the Harvest Sky. Rolling Stone called her "superb" in Palo Alto, in which she played high school bad girl Emily opposite huge names like Emma Roberts and James Franco.

Despite starting to gain momentum as a working actor in Hollywood, Levin told Refinery 29 that she's actually based out of Chicago instead of L.A. — and wants to keep it that way. "I always really love the fact that I'm not based in L.A. or New York," Levin told the outlet in 2014. "My home base is in Chicago. So, whenever I feel like I need a refresher, or I need to come down from working, I'll book a flight home for a couple days and hang out with my high school friends."

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That's not to say Levin hasn't spent plenty of time on the West Coast. She attended college at Loyola Marymount in L.A., per Refinery 29, where she led a pretty normal college kid life. "I was studying communications. But it was mostly general education stuff, since I was there for freshman year. That was kind of fun, because I got to live in the dorms and meet a bunch of people. I got to develop a base out in L.A. ... I think that it's really vital to just have a normal life and steer clear of all of the Hollywood socialite gaffs."

Bonding marks Levin's first big starring role. Speaking to Bustle, she explained that definitely presented its own set of challenges. "I think the biggest thing for me was just jumping into the process so quickly, and having to put on the confidence of being a dominatrix," Levin told Bustle. "I mean, suiting up in that dominatrix armor really helped me. But you know, there are all these people on the crew behind the scenes that I didn't know at all, so I had to just kind of hold my head up high and be as unintimidated as I could possibly be."

But as daunting as it was, Levin said that a boundary-pushing and exploratory series like Bonding is exactly the type of project she'd been looking for. "I'd seen the documentary Hot Girls Wanted, and sex work and the power young girls find in it was something I really wanted to explore," she said. "How confusing it can be, but also how empowering. I'm just really grateful I got to do it in a dark comedy, not like a Fifty Shades, whips-and-chains kind of way. I got to have fun with it and do it in a meaningful way."

According to her IMDb page, Levin will next play Amber Rose in a film called The Long Home. Like Palo Alto, it's directed by and stars James Franco, although it's not currently clear how large a role Levin will play in the project. One thing's for certain, though: she's definitely got even bigger things ahead of her.