Midori Francis is an American actress who is popular for starring in the web series The Birch (2019) and Dash & Lily (2020) and the film Good Boys (2019).
She attended Rumson-Fair Haven High School in New Jersey. Since childhood, she was a passionate actor who marked the beginning of her acting career at the age of six with the musical production ‘Annie,’ staged at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank. At the age of ten, she starred in the musical ‘Titanic,’ after which she had a revelation that acting was something more than just an after-school activity. She was actively associated with the acclaimed Performing Arts Society of Rumson- Fair Haven Regional High School. At school, she was the president of the International Thespian Society, an honor society for high school theater students. Furthermore, during her senior year, she received the “Best Thespian Award.” Thereafter, she enrolled herself in a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Acting program at Mason Gross School of The Arts, Rutgers University. Later, she pursued a one-year program, Rutgers Conservatory at Shakespeare’s Globe, in London. The program enables students to study abroad at a professional theater of international stature. Backstage
Height (approx.): 5′ 2″
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eye Color: Dark Brown
Family & Ethnicity
One of my grandmas lived on a farm. My other grandparents spoke Japanese and cooked Japanese food. I was exposed to many different ways of living.”
While growing up, Midori spent a lot of time with her paternal grandparents. In 2018, she posted a picture of herself, along with her grandparents, with a caption that read,
The people who dropped off school lunches, picked me up from school, made me eat fruit, and helped raise me and my brother without ever asking for a ‘thanks.’ Grateful for every year with them!!!”
Her paternal grandfather, Mo Iwama, is the former vice president of AT&T, an American multinational company. He was the first-ever Asian-American in an executive position at the time. The actress is named after her paternal grandmother, Midori Iwama. Her father’s name is Ken Iwana, and her mother’s name is Joanne Iwama. She has two brothers; a younger brother named Marcus Iwama and an elder half-brother named Patrick Bekgran.
Midori Francis began her career as an actor in 2014 when she played the role of Nina in the comedy play ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,’ staged at the Syracuse Stage in New York. In the play, Nina is the young niece of the next-door neighbor who develops an aspiration to become an actress after being charmed by Masha’s celebrityhood.
She played the female protagonist Molly in the 2015 play ‘Peter and the Starcatcher,’ which was staged at the Wells Theatre in Norfolk. The storyline of the play revolves around free-spirited and mischievous young boy Peter Pan, who never grows up, and Molly, an aggressive and smart girl who believes that Peter Pan and the boys need to be tamed.
In 2017, she came into the limelight with the Obie Award-winning play The Wolves (2017) in which she played the role of No. 8, a sweet nerd who delivered the epiphanic line:
Omigosh, you guys, does that mean we’re hobbits?”
Set in an indoor soccer facility, the play features nine high school girls who make up The Wolves, a soccer team, warm-up before their game each week.
She starred in the play ‘Before the Meeting’ (2019) as Nicole, a depressed, ill-tempered, and pregnant girl whose boyfriend is an abusive drunk.
She was immensely appreciated for playing the protagonist Kyeoung in ‘Usual Girls,’ a play that revolves around sex, misogyny, racism, and cuddly toys. The play showcases the life of Kyeoung, a young Korean-American woman growing up in Upper Arlington, Ohio. As Kyeoung progresses from a young girl to an adult woman, from the 1980s to 2018, she is bullied by boys in childhood, shunned by other girls as a teen, and mistreated by men as an adult.
She made her film debut in 2018 with the American heist comedy film ‘Ocean’s 8’ in which she played the role of April.
She gained popularity in 2019 with the American coming-of-age comedy film ‘Good Boys’ in which she starred as Lily. In the film, Lily and her best friend Hannah, decide to teach the younger kids a lesson about respecting women by swiping the valuable drone they used to spy on Hannah.
She made her television debut in 2016 with American comedy-drama ‘Younger’ in which she played the role of Lin in the episode titled “The Marshmallow Experiment .”
Thereafter, she appeared in the series Gotham (2017) and Divorce (2018).
In 2019, she made her digital debut with the 2019 horror web series ‘The Birch’ in which she played the role of Lanie Bouchard, one of three teenagers who summon the blood-thirsty monster lurking in the woods named “The Birch.” In the series, the Birch protects the vulnerable wherever she is summoned, but later, she demands a dangerous toll for her services.
She struck stardom in 2020 when she played the female protagonist Lily in Netflix’s romantic comedy series ‘Dash & Lily.’ In the series, Dash is a teenager who hates Christmas, and Lily is a 17-year-old teenager who wants to find love. Dash and Lily develop mutual romantic feelings during the Christmas holiday season while trading messages as well as dares in a notebook around numerous locations in New York City.
In 2014, Midori Francis gained recognition for appearing in the popular Liberty Mutual Insurance television commercial in which she sobs about the loss of her car named “Brad.”
She has also starred in various short films like Killing Machine (2015), Chemistry of Mood (2019), and Bless This Mess (2019).
- Won Outstanding Actress Award at New York Innovative Theatre Awards (2016)
- Won Distinguished Performance by an Ensemble Award at Obie Awards (2017) for the play ‘The Wolves’ (2017)
- Won Outstanding Ensemble Award at Drama Desk Awards (2017) for the play ‘The Wolves’ (2017)
- Midori Iwama occasionally smokes and enjoys consumes alcohol.
- Although Midori wasn’t interested in sport since childhood, in an interview, she revealed that The Wolves’ (2017) intrigued her passion for soccer. She said,
I did not pursue athletics, but I really love soccer now: ‘The Wolves’ has given me a chance to activate my athletic bone.”
- Her Instagram account features a post in which she shared pictures of herself while attending the 2018 Pride Festival. In fact, in one of the pictures, she audaciously kisses another girl to showcase her active support for the LGBTQ community.