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Actress Lexi Underwood has won us all over with her performance as Pearl Warren in the Kerry Washington-produced Hulu series, Little Fires Everywhere.

In the show, Pearl is a 15-year-old high school overachiever who moves around the country with her artist mother (Washington) before they eventually settle in the suburban town of Shaker Heights, Ohio, in the late ’90s.

During an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Underwood says she almost walked away from acting for good until she landed the role of Pearl. The process was a lengthy one.

“Sometimes, I don’t necessarily know if it will be my last time playing that character, when you have callbacks or final auditions. You just don’t know what’s going to happen. I felt as though that could be the last time I was playing Pearl, if I didn’t book the role. So I was just like, I’m going to give this my all,” Underwood shared with the publication.

“I’m going to totally play with it and do everything that I can to bring Pearl to life in front of David Rubin and Liz Tigelaar, who’s the showrunner. For me, that’s what made those auditions so fun. I felt as though I really took that time to just be connected to Pearl. Maybe three days later, I got a call that I booked the role, which was just so surreal to me. The process took place in a week, so to wait a whole year.”

But thank goodness she persevered and the chemistry between her and Washington cannot be duplicated. Underwood says she has fond memories of meeting screen mom Washington for the first time.

“As soon as I saw her, my heart was beating so fast. It was my first time seeing her, because I didn’t get to see her throughout any of the audition process. The whole time the show went by, we locked eyes a couple times, and then the show was over. I went down, and she immediately saw me and she just screamed, “Are you my daughter!?” And that in and of itself meant the world to me,” she said. “She embraced me with such a warm hug.”

Little Fires Everywhere debuts new episodes on Wednesdays on Hulu. We are currently only four episodes deep — which means if you haven’t started watching, you’re not too far behind.