Actress Carly Schroeder began working as a model when she was just a small child. Her ease in front of the camera soon led to work in TV commercials, which caught the attention of a casting agent. Soon Schroeder was working as a professional actress, playing Susan Olsen in Growing Up Brady, Serena Baldwin on Port Charles, and eventually snagging a role on the series Lizzie McGuire as Melina.
By 2006, Schroeder was 16 years old and ready for more serious roles. She starred in the movie Eye of the Dolphin as a girl who can communicate with dolphins, then in 2007 she played a member of a family that is hunted by lions when they become trapped on a game reserve in the thriller Prey. 2007 proved to be a great year for the young actress' career, as it also brought her the lead role in Gracie, a film based on the lives of actors Elisabeth and Andrew Shue, dealing with the death of their brother when they were children. Playing a fictionalized character based on Elisabeth, Schroeder portrayed a teenage girl who pursues success in soccer in memory of her brother, even though the sport was only available for boys to play. She went on to appear in Prayers for Bobby, Forget Me Not, and Rites of Passage.