In a stroke of near-perfect casting, Variety announced today that India Eisley will play the young version of Angelina Jolie‘s evil queen in the upcoming film Maleficent. You’re probably looking at this photo and thinking that India looks fairly familiar, yet you can’t place her. She’s spent the past four years playing Ashley Juergens, the perennially misunderstood and “bad” younger sister on ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
Probably due in part to her playing the show’s edgiest character — and because the resemblance is startling, down to the lips — it seems like it took laughably long for India to get any parts playing a young Angelina. I’m surprised that the people who cast 2010′s Salt didn’t think of India. Instead, her big movie role thus far has been in the recently released Underworld: Awakening, where she played the hybrid child of Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman.
In Maleficent, India will play the younger version of the Disney queen; the movie will give background on the dark fairy that we know as the villain of Sleeping Beauty, establishing her place within the kingdom’s hierarchy and what drove her to send Aurora (Elle Fanning) into an endless sleep.
The big question we have is, will this high-profile movie reveal India to be as skilled an actress as her Secret Life co-star Shailene Woodley? It was shocking when we witnessed the girl we’d known as spineless Amy Juergens actually act convincingly, and garner an Oscar nomination, for The Descendants last year. Considering India’s Hollywood pedigree — her mother Olivia Hussey played Juliet in the famous Zeffirelli version of Romeo and Juliet – we wouldn’t be surprised if she blossoms on-screen, and it turns out it’s just Brenda Hampton‘s bad writing that makes the stars of Secret Life act so miserably.