Dylan Gelula (born May 7, 1994) is a US actress who is best known for her roles as Ford on Chasing Life, Gretchen on Jennifer Falls and Xanthippe on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. She is also known for her work in television on NCIS, Casual, Are We There Yet?, Filthy Preppy Teen$ and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
In 2016, Gelula made her acting debut as the lead actress with a romantic drama film First Girl I Loved directed by Kerem Sanga. The film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and won the audience award for Best Of NEXT. Gelula's performance in the film as Anne received rave reviews from various critics.
Earlier, she has worked in other films like Lady in the Water, Recycle Me and a short film Lucy, 4:57 PM directed by Michael Thomas Vassallo. She will appear in the upcoming film Flower.
Gelula was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to parents Karen Gelula, an attorney, and Jonathan Gelula, who owns a private label wine business, on May 7, 1994. She attended Lower Merion High School and recalls having a difficult time in high school, having been "very lonely, but very comfortable being alone," and showed up to school so infrequently that she was forced to either repeat her senior year or drop out. She ended up dropping out and moving to Los Angeles by herself at the age of 17.
Gelula began her acting career at the age of 10 as an extra in the M. Night Shyamalan film Lady in the Water, which she later revealed neither she nor her parents ever viewed. Two years after, in the sixth grade, she found a manager. Before moving to Los Angeles, her agent in New York got her an audition for the role of Jean Fordham in an Arden Theatre Company production of August: Osage County, directed by Terry Nolen, which she ended up starring in. She recalls remembering originally trying to turn down the part, but later realizing that she was very interested in it.
After moving to Los Angeles at the age of 17, she worked as a waitress at a high-end restaurant in Santa Monica, from which she was quickly fired. She also worked as a buyer at Wasteland, a resale store. She has had guest roles on NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Are We There Yet?, and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Gelula has also played Gretchen Doyle on Jennifer Falls, Ford on Chasing Life, and Xanthippe on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
When Gelula initially auditioned for the role of Xanthippe on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, she was in Los Angeles, but casting was only happening in New York City. She gave the crew of the show an audition tape, and received a call one month later that they were interested in her for the part. The crew asked her to do a table read with the cast before she was given the part, and was eventually given the part. She claims she does not know why the character of Xanthippe was given the name she was given.
Gelula follows a vegetarian lifestyle, which she attributes to "asking [her mother] what turkey was made out of; the answer was revelatory." In 2011, she became vegan. She has said that she admires the work of actress Laverne Cox and the show Adventure Time. Gelula resides in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. She also says that although she is usually typecast as the "bad influence", she has never been much of a drinker and did not begin smoking marijuana until age 19.