After this weekend, you may be wondering, Who is Alisha Wainwright? The actress found herself at the center of public scrutiny when new photos and video surfaced of her and Palmer costar Justin Timberlake holding hands in New Orleans. Since Timberlake has famously been married to Jessica Biel since 2012, the behavior raised more than a few eyebrows. So, what gives? And what is there to know about Wainwright?
Let’s start with the video and photos posted on Saturday by The Sun. In them, Timberlake and Wainwright can be seen hanging out on a balcony in New Orleans with what appears to be a group of friends. In one photo, she has her hand resting on his knee. In another, it’s draped over his leg. In the snapshot that is creating the most buzz, Wainwright and Timberlake are holding hands. In the video, he puts his arm around her waist.
What’s super-important to note here is that several sources have refuted the idea anything intimate is going on between Wainwright and Timberlake. A rep for Wainwright told ET, “There is no validity to the speculation.” A source close to the actress told Page Six, “There is 100 percent nothing going on.”
Until the context of the photos become clearer, here are a few things to know about Wainwright.
She plays Timberlake’s love interest in Palmer.
Married Justin Timberlake holds hands with co-star Alisha Wainwright and she strokes his knee during boozy night out https://t.co/5DUytpoT6R
— Jasmine. (@hausofJazzy) November 23, 2019
This merits mentioning first since it may very well be the reason the two were holding hands. In Palmer, which is currently filming, Timberlake plays a former high school football star who returns to his hometown following a prison stint. Wainwright plays a schoolteacher who develops a relationship with Timberlake’s character.
So, it’s possible that Wainwright and Timberlake were actually filming scenes from the movie. At least that’s what a rep for Wainwright told HollywoodLife, insisting the two were “filming a movie where their characters have a relationship, which is probably what was [shot]. No validity to any other rumor other than that they are filming together.” This idea is bolstered by the fact that another insider told the outlet “there was no kissing or hugging or heavy PDA.”
She originally hoped to become a botanist
Acting wasn’t exactly Wainwright’s first love. In October, she revealed to W magazine that she studied botany (as well as winemaking, FYI) at the University of Florida. “I had a very weird anthropological-botanical focus, and I couldn’t find anyone to give me the money to study it. I had to shift my focus to something a little broader, and I wasn’t as interested in it,” she explained, adding that she eventually moved to California and kicked off her acting career.
She wants to be a multi-hyphenate
If Wainwright looks familiar, it might be because you watched her in the Netflix series Raising Dion alongside Michael B. Jordan. The two became close friends through the production, and Wainwright says she’s soaking up everything she can from him.
“He’s an incredibly kind and hardworking person,” she told Collider. “I experienced him as a producer, almost as much as I did an actor, because of his involvement in the show behind the scenes. Eventually, I also want to move into a space where I can create my own content and other TV shows and projects, and I admire his ability to see a project, all the way through from seeing it be crowd-funded to having it premiere on Netflix.”
She will travel for food
A cursory glance at Wainwright’s Instagram feed will quickly tell you one thing about the actress: She loves to travel. And, as she told Conde Nast Traveler in September, her top priority when she visits a new place is finding the best local cuisine. “I’m always looking for a genuinely authentic meal that’s representative of where I am,” she said. “I went to Trinidad in March for Trinidad and Tobago carnival, and the first thing I wanted as soon as we landed was doubles, this vegetarian chickpea dish that’s almost like a wrap. You buy it for pennies and just roll it up and stuff it in your mouth. It’s quintessential Trinidad and Tobago.”
She has another movie currently in the works
Palmer (or any leaked photos from on or around the set) won’t be the last you see of Wainwright, likely by a longshot. In fact, she’s currently filming another movie set to hit theaters in 2020: Death of a Telemarketer. The film synopsis describes it as the story of “a smooth-talking telemarketer [who] finds himself at the mercy of the man he tried to swindle.” In addition to Wainwright, it stars Haley Joel Osment, Jackie Earle Haley and Matt McGorry.