Rachel Frances "Frankie" Shaw is an American actress, writer, director and producer. She is best known for playing Mary Jo Cacciatore on the 2010–2011 Spike TV series Blue Mountain State, and for the 2017 Showtime series SMILF, based on the 2015 short film of the same name, which she wrote, directed and starred in. Shaw is also known for her recurring role as Shayla Nico in the first season of the USA Network television series Mr. Robot.
After college, Shaw decided to move to Los Angeles, but discovered she was pregnant. Much of her struggles to work as an actor while being a single mother are the loose inspiration for SMILF. A role in the 2014 ABC's ensemble series Mixology was a breakout role, providing Shaw with her first sense of financial stability since giving birth to her son.
In 2009, Shaw first received recognition in the completely improvised Katie Aselton-directed film The Freebie and then as the oddball drunken cheerleader Mary Jo Cacciatore in the 2010 sitcom Blue Mountain State.
In 2013, Shaw appeared in the HBO's TV series starring Stephen Merchant called Hello Ladies. She had roles in the 2013 independent film The Pretty One, which starred Zoe Kazan and Jake Johnson, and the 2014 romantic comedy film Someone Marry Barry. Also in 2014, Shaw appeared in another independent feature, the drama Lullaby, which starred Garrett Hedlund and Amy Adams.
In 2015, Shaw had a recurring role on the first season of the television series Mr. Robot, where, for seven episodes, she played Shayla Nico, the drug dealing love interest of Rami Malek's character, Elliot Alderson.
In 2015, she appeared in the ABC Family pilot Tough Cookie as well as on the 2015 Fox TV series Mulaney. In 2016, Shaw reprised her role of Mary Jo Cacciatore from the 2010 series, in the movie Blue Mountain State: The Rise of Thadland. Also in 2016, Shaw appeared in the Netflix series Flaked. She was a series regular on the 2016 TV series Good Girls Revolt.
Shaw's 2014 short film SMILF, which she wrote, directed and starred in opposite Thomas Middleditch, won the 2015 Short Film Jury Award for U.S. Fiction at Sundance. In 2015, SMILF was picked up by Showtime as a half-hour comedy television show with Shaw as showrunner, writing, directing, starring in, and producing the series.
SMILF, which was shot on location in Los Angeles and South Boston, received generally positive reviews, with her portrayal of single mother Bridgette Bird notable for its realism, insight, and biting humor. SMILF co-stars Connie Britton and Rosie O'Donnell, and tackles subjects like eating disorders and sexual abuse. Shaw said that the show was a way to discuss and portray the role of women on screen.
In 2016, Shaw returned to the Sundance Film Festival with another short film she wrote and directed, a dark comedy titled Too Legit, which stars Zoë Kravitz, Teresa Palmer, Nate Corddry and Clark Gregg. Too Legit is inspired by a satire of Congressman Todd Akin's controversial 2012 remarks about rape and pregnancy: "It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, [rape resulting in pregnancy is] really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down."
In 2017, Shaw had a supporting role as Gail Hurley in the feature film Stronger, which was directed by David Gordon Green, and starred Jake Gyllenhaal as 2013 Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman. In November 2017, Showtime renewed SMILF for a second season.
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