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In the early stages of her career, Good worked as an extra on television shows such as Doogie Howser, M. D. and Amen. When she was 13, she was cast in her first film, the 1995 comedy Friday. She first gained critical recognition for her performance as the troubled teen Cisely Batiste in Kasi Lemmons’ 1997 film Eve’s Bayou; she received two award nominations, including her first NAACP Image Award nomination. According to Good, she grew up “super nerdy, super skinny, buckteeth, big ole afro and yet I had a sense of confidence about myself, like, ‘they just don’t get it yet'”. She was a fan of Justin Timberlake and Usher in her teens. Good did not have any role models until early adulthood, when she began admiring actress Charlize Theron.