"Theater Camp" Star Molly Gordon Is BFFs With Ben Platt and Beanie Feldstein — Get to Know Her

In the new season of "The Bear," which debuted on Hulu on June 22, Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) reconnects with someone from his past: Claire. Claire is Carmy's childhood friend, who's now a doctor, and she's still tied to the Chicago world he grew up in. But viewers may be wondering how they recognize the actor who plays Claire — Molly Gordon.

Gordon appeared in 2019's "Booksmart" alongside Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever. Her other acting credits include 2020's "Shiva Baby" and Netflix's "You People," released earlier this year. On the TV side, she also appears as Linda Zafrani in HBO's "Winning Time" (which returns for season two in August).

But "The Bear" is just the first part of Gordon's major summer. The actor also stars in the new movie "Theater Camp," which she codirected with Nick Lieberman and cowrote with Ben Platt, Noah Galvin (who also appear in the film), and Lieberman. The movie's cast also features "The Bear" star Ayo Edebiri, and she and Gordon are good friends, too. When her "The Bear" casting was announced, Gordon posted on Instagram that she was "very grateful" to the show's crew and creators. Edebiri joked in the comments, "Not grateful for me? Interesting."

Ahead, here are six things to know about Gordon and her career — including her director parents.

Both of Molly Gordon's Parents Work in the Entertainment Industry
Getty | Walter McBride

Both of Molly Gordon's Parents Work in the Entertainment Industry

Gordon was raised in LA (where she met Platt as a kid) and eventually moved to New York City to pursue acting. Both her parents are also in the industry. Her dad is director Bryan Gordon, while her mom is writer-director Jessie Nelson.

In 2021, she talked to The Independent about how watching her parents' careers gave her a unique perspective on the industry. "I think growing up and watching my parents succeed, then not succeed, watching their friends succeed and not succeed, it was like, 'Oh, this is like such a beautiful, wildly insane career that can bring so much fun and glamour and amazingness,'" Gordon explained. "But also it's like, 'Oh, this is a really hard job.' Unless you have really thick skin, which me and my family do not have."

Gordon also appeared in her mom's 2015 movie "Love the Coopers." The movie's sprawling ensemble includes Timothée Chalamet, Amanda Seyfried, Diane Keaton, and Steve Martin.

In a July 10 interview with Vogue, Gordon said of growing up with her parents, "I've always been like a little, annoying Shirley Temple — always moving and dancing around and wanting to make up stories. And I think because I'm an only child, my parents would bring me to dinner parties and I would always have a seat at the table."

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Molly Gordon Is a Talented Singer

It may come as no surprise that Gordon sings since she stars in "Theater Camp." But she's also flexed her vocal skills Off-Broadway, too, as she's a gifted singer. In 2019, she starred in the Off-Broadway musical "Alice by Heart," which was inspired by "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." The musical was directed by her mom.

Molly Gordon and Beanie Feldstein Are Friends IRL
Getty | Bruce Glikas

Molly Gordon and Beanie Feldstein Are Friends IRL

Although they play onscreen enemies in "Booksmart," Gordon and her costar Feldstein have the cutest friendship in real life. She met Feldstein as they were growing up in Los Angeles. Gordon often shares photos of Feldstein on her Instagram page. She was also in attendance at Feldstein's May wedding.

Gordon told W Magazine in 2019 that when Feldstein was cast in "Booksmart," she decided she needed to be a part of it. "I just tried to do everything I could to be in this movie, work with Olivia [Wilde], and be near Beanie in any way. I was like, 'I'll literally be a caterer,'" she remembered. Gordon noted that being friends made playing enemies easier, explaining, "We think that because we are best friends, it's easier to be mean because we can say anything to each other at this point and it doesn't matter."

Molly Gordon Is Best Friends With Ben Platt
Getty | Dia Dipasupil

Molly Gordon Is Best Friends With Ben Platt

Gordon is good friends with Platt, too. In her 2019 interview with W Magazine, Gordon said she met Platt when she joined a theater group as a kid. They did dozens of shows together (Platt was even her first kiss in a play!), and they've been best friends ever since. There's even real footage of them as kids together in "Theater Camp." Gordon has shared tons of photos and videos of herself and Platt on Instagram throughout the years, including a 2019 clip of them singing together. She even joined Platt on stage during his 2019 tour.

Molly Gordon's Comedy Résumé Is Long
Everett Collection

Molly Gordon's Comedy Résumé Is Long

Gordon has been featured in a slew of comedy projects. In 2018, she starred in "Life of the Party" alongside Melissa McCarthy, Matt Walsh, and Maya Rudolph, and the following year, she appeared in the debut season of Hulu's "Ramy" (Ramy Youssef actually directed an episode of "The Bear" season two). In 2019, Gordon also appeared in "Booksmart" and Seth Rogen's "Good Boys." Then, in 2020, she starred alongside Rachel Sennott in "Shiva Baby" and with Geraldine Viswanathan in the romantic comedy "The Broken Hearts Gallery."

Gordon has said that being in so many comedies actually inspired how they filmed the improv-heavy "Theater Camp." She told IndieWire in a July 12 interview, "I've been lucky enough to work on a lot of comedies as an actor, and you always have 20 minutes at the end to play around [when shooting a scene] and then they end up always using that. I've just always had this dream of, why can't the 20 minutes be the full film?" The movie's script was more of an outline, and the actors had a lot of freedom to fill in the blanks.

Molly Gordon Is Also Lifelong Friends With Owen Thiele
Getty | Variety

Molly Gordon Is Also Lifelong Friends With Owen Thiele

Another "Theater Camp" star is Owen Thiele, and speaking to Collider in January at Sundance, the actor said, "I've known Molly since I was two and she's been a sister to me ever since." Part of the experience of the movie, Thiele explained, was becoming closer to Platt, Galvin, and the rest of the cast and becoming more comfortable as a comedian and improviser.