Watch: Linda Cardellini’s ‘Freaks and Geeks’ Audition

Yesterday, seventeen years ago, the short-lived but acclaimed television series Freaks and Geeks aired its first of only 18 episodes (only 12 of which aired during its original run on NBC). Though it was universally praised by critics and now remembered for launching the careers of actors like James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, and Busy Philipps, as well as the career of creator Paul Feig. Starring in the lead role of the 1980-set series was Linda Cardellini as Lindsay Weir, a teenager who is trying to discover who she really is among the freaks and geeks of her high school.

Audiences of all ages identified with Cardellini’s confused yet assertive take on an American teenager in between the classic rock era and the new wave era. As the above audition clip demonstrates, Cardellini had the role nailed from the start. It was especially impressive because Cardellini was actually eight years older than her 16 year-old character. Though she didn’t get to play Lindsay Weir long, Cardellini later joined the cast of ER for several seasons and has continued to act on film and television.

Watch her audition for Lindsay Weir in the above clip!

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