Actress Jasika Nicole grew up in Alabama and studied acting in North Carolina before moving to Manhattan to pursue her career. After appearing in several stage musicals, most notably taking the title part in the medieval musical "Chasing Nicolette," she made her television debut in 2005 on the crime drama "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," a guest part she reprised in the show's computer game spinoff. The following year, she had her first film role in the inspirational drama "Take The Lead" as a troubled inner-city student transformed by the power of dance. During promotional interviews, Nicole was candid about her lesbian orientation, making her one of the relatively few openly gay African-American actresses in Hollywood. After several more television guest parts, including a recurring role on the short-lived Parker Posey sitcom "The Return of Jezebel Jones," Nicole landed a regular gig on the offbeat science-fiction crime show "Fringe" as Astrid Farnsworth, an FBI analyst proficient in Latin, computer hacking, and other esoteric skills. In 2010, she appeared in the romance comedy "She's Out of My League," which starred Jay Baruchel. Aside from her acting work, Nicole became a passionate comic book buff in 2006 and taught herself how to draw quirky narratives taken from her own life, working on stories about her autistic sister and other personal subjects while on set.