In the new release The Kids Are All Right, Yaya DaCosta stars alongside Hollywood heavyweights Annette Benning, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. The film, directed by Lisa Cholodenko takes a look at two kids meeting their sperm donor father for the first time and the resulting chaos and consequences for their family.

Although Yaya’s screen time is limited she brings a vivacious and memorable presence to the film in the form of her character “Tanya,” a twenty-something restaurant hostess who gets close and comfortable with Mark Ruffalo’s “Paul.”

What’s most interesting is that DaCosta plays a role that in years past might not have gone to a woman of color, let alone a black woman. That fact along with the movie focusing on a lesbian couple and a birth father that’s been out of the picture makes for a very progressive film.

In addition to The Kids Are All Right audiences may also recognize this young beauty from the third season of the hit TV show America’s Next Top Model where she was the runner up. She may not have taken first prize in ANTM but she hasn’t let that slow her down as she’s been racking up credits in film, theater and television.

Yaya’s turns on the small screen include a recurring role on the soap opera All My Children and in the final season of Ugly Betty as the daughter of Vanessa William’s “Wilhelmina Slater.”

However, Yaya continues to make her mark on the big screen with her recent role in The Messenger alongside Woody Harrelson and she’ll be seen in the much-anticipated Tron: Legacy, which will be out in December of this year.

If her role as Tanya in The Kids Are All Right is any indication Yaya DaCosta is a star that will continue to rise and shine brightly.

The Kids Are All Right opens today in select cities and additional cities throughout the month of July.