Alison Folland was a ninth grader at a private school near her family's home in Wellesley, MA, when her drama teacher suggested she audition for Gus Van Sant who was casting "To Die For" (1995). Impressing the director, the neophyte won the role of Lydia, the misfit youth who idolizes an ambitious wannabe TV personality (Nicole Kidman) to the point of aiding in the murder of the older woman's husband. The spell between the two women is broken only when Kidman's Suzanne Stone cruelly accuses the younger girl of exhibiting lesbian tendencies. Yet Lydia, however cynically, gains the media attention Suzanne so desperately craved. Folland received positive reviews and reaction to her delicate, nuanced performance. Barbet Schroeder was sufficiently impressed enough to cast her opposite Edward Furlong in a key role in "Before and After" (1996). The stocky actress had her best screen role to date, however, as a shy lesbian with a crush on her best friend in Alex Sichel's "All Over Me" (1997). Folland won critical kudos for her heartfelt depiction of an adolescent coping with conflicting emotions.