From ‘Sleepwalk With Me’ to ‘Palm Springs,’ Cristin Milioti Proves Herself to be a Rising Comedy Queen


She can act, she can sing; She can do most everything (except for escape my horrible rhymes, evidently)! Today is Cristin Milioti‘s 35th birthday, and we’re celebrating by highlighting her comedy chops and thanking her for the laughs she’s given us (as well as sending a plea to higher powers/casting director to give her more comedy roles).

Although she did played the titular mother in the final season of CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, Milioti is perhaps best known for her more dramatic roles on stage and screen. Her most widely-known performances to date include playing Teresa Petrillo Belfort — first wife of stockbroker Jordan Belfort, whom he cheats on and eventually divorces — in 2013 biographical black comedy The Wolf of Wall Street, Betsy Solverson — Lou’s (Patrick Wilson) wife, who is suffering from cancer — in Season 2 of FX crime/drama/thriller anthology series Fargo, and as young Czech woman “Girl” in the live Original Broadway musical production of Once (based on the 2007 film of the same name), for which she earned a Tony Award nomination in 2012 and won a Grammy Award in 2013.

While she has continually thrived in these more dramatic roles, it was clear that Milioti’s knack for funny roles (thanks to her character commitment and impeccable timing, no doubt two things that her stage roles greatly helped with) thanks to short stints on comedy shows like 30 Rock in 2011, The Mindy Project from 2015 to 2016, and Family Guy in 2015. Her work in 2012 Mike Birbiglia written and directed indie comedy Sleepwalk With Me, in which she played the protagonist, Matt’s, sister, Janet Pandamiglio, also showed that Milioti had enough skill as a comedic actor to stand and deliver alongside a stand-up star like Birbiglia.

However, it wasn’t until Milioti’s recent turn as Sarah Wilder in this summer’s breakout new film, Hulu-produced romantic comedy Palm Springs, that she received the major recognition she deserved as an actress in comedic roles, as she went toe-to-toe with comedy heavyweight Andy Samberg. Going into the film, you may expect Samberg’s Nyles to be doing the comedic work for this film; Not only does it start with and seem to focus on his character, but also just knowing the guy for his prolific tenure on Saturday Night Live, well-known work with his musical parody group “The Lonely Island,” plus his long list of comedy films and shows (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, anybody?). However, when Sarah enters the film as a central player alongside Nyles, not only does she deliver comedically just as much as her male counterpart, but she abso-freaking-lutely steals the show.

Milioti seems to have gifts for drawing your eye, as well as for bringing a grounded and fleshed-out feeling to whatever character she’s playing, which, for this film, is quite the feat, as there’s pretty much nothing too grounded in reality by the end of this insane, time loop-filled acid trip of a movie (and I say that with love and respect). Somehow, without really knowing too much about who these characters are, we grow close to them, no doubt thanks to the excellent performances. Milioti plays the insanity of the situation (making out with the boyfriend of a bridesmaid at your sister’s wedding and then watching him get shot in the shoulder with an arrow by a man named Roy [JK Simmons] before following him into a mystical cave that sucks them into a vortex, forcing them to repeat the same day over and over) in a way that’s somehow lovable, ridiculous, and real, all at once.

Everyone from Vulture to Rolling Stone is feeling the laughter and love for Milioti following her work in Palm Springs, so make sure to keep the good will going as we wish this hilarious and talented woman a very Happy Birthday!

Watch Palm Springs on Hulu



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