Alisha Wainwright is an actress best known for her role in the Netflix series Raising Dion. She was recently photographed behaving intimately with Justin Timberlake at a bar in New Orleans; Timberlake, who is married to Jessica Biel, was not wearing his wedding ring in the photos and video. The context around these images has not been confirmed; some have speculated they were actually taken while Timberlake and Wainwright were filming their movie.
Wainwright, a Florida native, attended the University of Florida for college. She had plans to pursue a career as a scientist, but ended up gaining roles in sci-fi-focused television instead. Wainwright is good friends with actor Michael B. Jordan. She loves to travel all over the world, often documenting it on her Instagram.
Neither Wainwright nor Timberlake has issued statements on the rampant rumors around their professional relationship.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wainwright & Timberlake Were Videotaped Holding Hands & Touching Intimately in New Orleans
In videos and photos released by The Sun, Wainwright and Timberlake were captured holding hands and behaving in an intimate manner last Thursday while they were out together in New Orleans. As seen in the photos, Timberlake was not wearing his wedding ring while with Wainwright. Again, it’s not clear whether these photos were taken while filming was happening, or whether it was off-set.
In the photos and video, which you can see via the link above, Wainwright, 30, and Timberlake, 38, can be seen hanging out in the porch for a bar in New Orleans called The Absinthe House on Bourbon Street.
One source told the tabloid, “At one stage he grabbed her hand and rested it on his knee. She then gently started stroking his leg. Then he clutched her hand with both of his and was playing with her hands.”
However, another source disputed that report, telling E! News, “They were out with all the cast, crew, makeup artists, and everyone was just hanging out in a social setting. They are just working together. No validity to any other rumor other than that they are filming together.”
Timberlake recently gave an interview with Entertainment Tonight in which he called Biel “his person.” In that same interview, Timberlake talked about being married, and how he never wanted to return to life before Biel. Biel and Timberlake were married in 2012. They now have a young son named Silas together.
Wainwright and Timberlake are both in New Orleans to film a movie called Palmer. The film has been described as an American football drama.
Wainwright, Timberlake, and fellow actor Juno Temple are starring the upcoming film, which is being directed by Fisher Stevens. Though the film is still in production, Fisher did offer a little synopsis of the story to Billboard.
“Justin is an ex high school football star, gets a scholarship to a big school, gets injured, gets addicted to pain killers. This is all backstory. Comes back home, thrown out of school and gets into a lot of trouble, tries to rob a very rich family in town, gets caught, attempted manslaughter.
He’s getting out of jail 10 years later, comes to live with his grandmother. Next door is a beautiful 30-year-old woman who’s a meth addict, who has an eight-year-old boy, who likes to play with dolls and dress up as a girl in red state America. Justin’s grandmother is co-parenting this boy with the meth addict mom who is always off trying to cop dope.”
The IMDB summary for the movie reads, “An ex-convict strikes up a friendship with a boy from a troubled home.”
2. Wainwright Was Born in Florida; Her Parents Are From Jamaica & Haiti, Respectively
Wainwright is originally from Florida. Her mother is from Jamaica, and her father is from Haiti.
To Conde Nast Traveler, Wainwright talked about the cultural influence she experienced from both of her parents, and how important it is to her to experience other cultures. She said,
My mother is Jamaican and my father is Haitian, so growing up I spent a lot of my very early years going back and forth between both countries. I remember Jamaica being full of fresh fruit and family and greenery and positivity. Jamaican cultures always err on the side of having that ‘take it easy’ vibe.
She told the site that she was moved by a trip to Haiti as a child, saying, “My first meaningful memories of traveling to Haiti are from when I was a little older—like five or six. That was the first time I saw what impoverishment looked like, and how different someone’s life could be from my own—someone who’s right outside my front door.”
3. Wainwright Got Her Acting Start on a YouTube Series in 2012
Wainwright got her start on a YouTube series called Smosh in 2012. Since then, she’s acted in a number of television series and films, per her IMDB page. Her biggest role to date has been in the Netflix series Raising Dion, in which she plays the mother of a young superhero.
Wainwright is also known for acting on another sci-fi show, Shadowhunters. She said to W Magazine in a recent interview that she didn’t consciously gravitate to sci-fi shows. She explained, “Someone the other day asked me, how does it feel being a genre actress? I was like, wait what? I didn’t know I was being labeled as that.”
Wainwright has acted in series including General Hospital and Criminal Minds. She’s also served as a voiceover for NBA 2K17, and is working on another film simultaneously as Palmer, titled Death of a Telemarketer.
4. Wainwright Initially Planned to Pursue a PhD in Botany, Prior to Becoming an Actress
In a feature for W Magazine, Wainwright revealed that she attended the University of Florida as an undergraduate, studying botany. She intended to pursue a PhD in the field, but wasn’t able to find the funding for such a specific passion.
She explained, “Science is one of the toughest industries because everyone is vying for the same pot of money to fund their research. I had a very weird anthropological-botanical focus, and I couldn’t find anyone to give me the money to study it. I had to shift my focus to something a little broader, and I wasn’t as interested in it.”
Shortly after realizing she wouldn’t pursue a Ph.D., Wainwright moved to the Bay Area and began picking up small acting roles. She moved to Los Angeles soon after.
5. Wainwright Loves to Box, & Often Posts Videos of Her Workouts to Instagram
Wainwright’s fitness regimen of choice includes a heavy focus on boxing, per her Instagram. Her social media feed is comprised of a combination of fitness photos, travel photos, and acting-related photos.
To Conde Nast Traveler, Wainwright talked about the importance of travel, for her. Specifically, she believes in the power of a connective experience with the locals, when traveling. She said, I’m always looking for a genuinely authentic meal that’s representative of where I am…I learned pretty early on that I like finding personal connection.”
She explained, “Sure, I want to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but I would also love for someone to take me to the incredible bakery that they go to every day so I can try their favorite croissant and learn about what it’s like to live there.”