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Jessie Mei Li: Who plays Alina Starkov in Shadow and Bone?

Production still from Shadow and Bone.
Jessie Mei Li plays Alina Starkov in Shadow and Bone. Pic credit: Netflix

The time has finally come! The highly-anticipated series Shadow and Bone has premiered on Netflix — and it’s a huge showstopper.

This new fantasy drama is based on a series of bestselling novels written by Leigh Bardugo. The author stayed close with the Grishaverse series, serving as the executive producer on the Netflix adaptation. 

Shadow and Bone closely follows the character Alina Starkov. Starkov quickly discovers that she’s Grisha, a special class of humans who possess magical abilities.

She is known as the very prestigious Sun Summoner and holds the responsibility of destroying the deadly Shadow Fold. 

In Netflix’s Shadow and Bone, Alina Starkov is played by Jessie Mei Li. 

Who is Jessie Mei Li? 

Netflix’s latest star Jessie Mei Li has been acting for years. Before being cast as the leading character in Shadow and Bone, she famously starred in the play All About Eve, alongside Lily James and Gillian Anderson.

Li also starred in the mini-series Shortflix, a few short films, and a single episode of Channel 5’s Locked Up Abroad.

Shadow and Bone marks the actor’s Netflix debut and her biggest project yet. However, excitingly following this series, Li is expected to star in Edgar Wright’s upcoming movie Last Night in Soho. 

Is Jessie Mei Li on Instagram? 

Fans will be excited to know that Li is on Instagram. She has a very colorful biography, listing some of her important identity traits.

Her Instagram biography includes an emoji of a plant and the word “vgang” which is slang for vegan. Following that is a rainbow flag and an emoji of a fairy. 

It is also important to note that her pronouns are listed as “she/they,” specifying further down the list that she identifies as a “women/person.”

Lastly, she writes “whimsical junkyard trash goblin.” 

The actor has made many posts about Shadow and Bone, sharing everything from the first teaser and first looks to pictures of her costars. 

Li doesn’t appear to be on other social media, such as Twitter and TikTok. However, there are dozens of fan pages dedicated to her work as an actor. Shadow and Bone fans have even already created “update accounts” for the actor. 

One Twitter stan account wrote, “I love Jessie Mei Li. I serve Jessie Mei Li. I live to make sure Jessie Mei Li is happy and safe.”

Similar posts have been clouding social media, especially as the series premiere grew closer. As her superfans grow wild, she has made sure to send out a specific message to all who follow her.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Li shared, “I don’t want to be famous. I don’t want to be a celebrity.” 

She elaborated on her comments, adding, “Whatever people say about me on the internet, good or bad, you’ve got to take it with a pinch of salt and think, ‘This is their interpretation of who I am,’” — setting healthy boundaries for her fans, from the get-go.

Shadow and Bone is currently streaming on Netflix.

Raven Brunner


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