Jena Malone

Jena Malone

Born: November 21, 1984
Age: 39
Birthplace: Sparks, Nevada, U.S.
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Jena Malone (/ˈdʒiːnə məˈloʊn/; born November 21, 1984) is an American actress and musician. She made her film debut in Bastard Out of Carolina (1996) and has appeared in films including Ellen Foster (1997), Contact (1997), Stepmom (1998), Donnie Darko (2001), Saved! (2004), Pride & Prejudice (2005), Into the Wild (2007), The Ruins (2008), Sucker Punch (2011), and The Hunger Games film series (2013-15). Malone is also an experimental musician who has released music both under her own name and as The Shoe.


Early life and education

Malone was born in Sparks, Nevada, the daughter of Deborah "Debbie" Malone and Edward Berge. She was raised by her mother and her mother's girlfriend at the time, whom she has called "Godmom". Her paternal grandfather was Karl Berge, former owner of the Bourbon Square Casino. Her father is of part Norwegian descent; she also has Irish ancestry. Malone grew up impoverished, and her family relocated frequently, and were at times homeless. "We were just so poor," Malone said in retrospect. "We'd hop out of apartments, lose jobs, find a cheaper place, get kicked out, live in cars, and live in hotels." By the time she was 9 years old, she had already lived in 27 different locations. However, she stated the experience was positive for her: "I don’t think it was a tough childhood... it prepared me for this strange, gypsy lifestyle of an actor. It's a beautiful thing to give children diversity of where to live and how to live; it makes you believe that security is built within instead of four concrete walls that you call a home."

Malone began taking an interest in acting after watching her mother, who was involved in community theatre. In 1995, she moved to Las Vegas, and later persuaded her mother to move to Los Angeles in order to pursue a career in acting.

Malone has stated that she and her mother struggled with money while living in Los Angeles. She was homeschooled from sixth to eighth grade, and attended the Professional Children's School in New York City for ninth grade. Malone quit school a year later, when she became legally emancipated in January 2000. At some later point, she obtained her General Educational Development (GED). She has one younger maternal half-sister, Madison Mae Malone (born 1997).


Malone progressed to professional acting with the film Bastard Out of Carolina (1996). She was nominated at the 1996 Independent Spirit Awards for Best Debut Performance and at the 3rd Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for her role in the film. From there, her roles have grown to include several Hollywood features. In 1997, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the category Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film, for her role in Hope.

After working on various TV projects, and as a supporting actress in films such as Contact and Stepmom, Malone had her first cinematic leading role in the cult hit Donnie Darko (2001) as Gretchen Ross, the new girl in town who becomes the girlfriend of Jake Gyllenhaal's title character. Malone co-produced the film American Girl (2002), a drama in which she also acted. In the film Saved! (2004), she got top billing in her first role as the primary star. In 2005, she played the spoiled fifth Bennet daughter Lydia in the film Pride and Prejudice. In 2006, she made her Broadway stage debut in a production of the Tony Award-winning play Doubt.

In 2007, it was announced that Malone was releasing her first single on The Social Registry, a New York City experimental music label. A number of tracks were posted to her MySpace page. Pitchfork Media has described Malone's music as "pretty out-there - bedroom electronics, spaced-out keyboards, and Malone's spare vocals." Malone's more recent musical work is performed as/with The Shoe. Malone appeared in the horror film, The Ruins, which was released on April 4, 2008, and co-starred Shawn Ashmore, Laura Ramsey, and Jonathan Tucker. She played Lavinia in an off-Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's play Mourning Becomes Electra in 2009.

In 2011, Malone played the role of Rocket in Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch, which flopped at the box office and caused the actress to consider focusing on her photography and band, Shoe. It was after the huge success of her next role in The History Channel's miniseries Hatfields and McCoys that Malone's passion for acting returned. In 2012, Malone also starred in a series on the YouTube channel Wigs entitled Dakota, portraying the title character. She also played the role of Carson McCullers in the film Lonely Hunter, directed by Deborah Kampmeir. Malone played Johanna Mason in three out of four films in The Hunger Games franchise, Catching Fire, Mockingjay - Part 1, and Mockingjay - Part 2.

In November 2014, Malone exhibited 39 photographs that she took in Myanmar in the summer of that year. The exhibition, which ran from November 21 to November 28, 2014, was called "The Holy Other." It took place at MAMA, an art gallery owned by her personal friend Adarsha Benjamin in Downtown Los Angeles. Proceeds were donated to Girl Determined, a non-profit organization which benefits girls' education in Myanmar.

She was cast as Barbara Gordon in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, also directed by Zack Snyder. Her scenes were left out of the theatrical release, but will appear on the "Ultimate Edition" home video release. In February 2015, she was cast alongside Keanu Reeves in Nicolas Winding Refn's thriller film The Neon Demon.

Personal life

At age nineteen, Malone purchased a home in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where she resided as of 2012.

On January 20, 2016, Malone announced that she is expecting her first child with boyfriend Ethan DeLorenzo.



Year Title Role Notes
1996 Bastard Out of Carolina Ruth Anne "Bone" Boatwright
1997 Contact Young Ellie Arroway
1998 Stepmom Anna Harrison
1999 The Book of Stars Mary McGuire
1999 For Love of the Game Heather Aubrey
2001 Donnie Darko Gretchen Ross
2001 Life as a House Alyssa Beck
2002 The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys Margie Flynn
2002 The Badge Ashley Hardwick
2002 American Girl Rena Grubb Also co-producer
2003 The United States of Leland Becky Pollard
2003 Cold Mountain Ferry Girl
2004 Saved! Mary Cummings
2004 Corn Emily Rasmussen
2005 The Ballad of Jack and Rose Red Berry
2005 Howl's Moving Castle Lettie (voice) English dub
2005 Pride & Prejudice Lydia Bennet
2006 Container The Woman / Speaker (voices)
2006 Lying Grace
2007 Four Last Songs Frankie
2007 The Go-Getter Joely
2007 Into the Wild Carine McCandless
2008 The Ruins Amy
2009 The Messenger Kelly
2009 The Soloist Cheery Lab Tech
2010 Five Star Day Sarah Reynolds
2011 Sucker Punch Rocket
2012 For Ellen Susan
2012 In Our Nature Andie
2013 The Painted Lady The Painted Lady Short film
2013 Teenage American Girl (voice) Documentary
2013 The Wait Angela
2013 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Johanna Mason
2014 10 Cent Pistol Danneel
2014 Time Out of Mind Maggie Hammond
2014 Inherent Vice Hope Harlingen
2014 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Johanna Mason Cameo
2015 Angelica Constance
2015 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 Johanna Mason
2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Barbara Gordon Ultimate Edition only
2016 The Neon Demon Ruby


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Hidden in America Willa Januson Movie
1996 Chicago Hope Stacy Morissey Episode: "Sweet Surrender"
1997 Hope Lilly Kate Burns Movie
1997 Ellen Foster Ellen Foster Movie
1998 Homicide: Life on the Street Debbie Straub 2 episodes
1999 Touched by an Angel Casey Episode: "Hearts"
2000 Cheaters Jolie Fitch Movie
2001 The Ballad of Lucy Whipple California Morning "Lucy" Whipple Movie
2003 Hitler: The Rise of Evil Geli Raubal Miniseries
2008 Law & Order Michelle Landon Episode: "Lost Boys"
2011 Robot Chicken Boy George / Singer (voice) Episode: "Beastmaster and Commander"
2012 Hatfields & McCoys Nancy McCoy Miniseries
2012 Dakota Dakota 3 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Doubt Sister James Broadway
2009 Mourning Becomes Electra Lavinia Mannon Off-Broadway

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1997 CableACE Awards Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries Bastard Out of Carolina Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards Best Debut Performance Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress - Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Nominated
YoungStar Awards Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Miniseries/Made-for-TV Movie Nominated
Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Movie, Pilot or Miniseries - Leading Young Actress Won
1998 Saturn Awards Best Performance by a Younger Actor Contact Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film Hope Nominated
YoungStar Awards Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Miniseries/Made-for-TV Movie Nominated
Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Movie, Pilot or Miniseries - Leading Young Actress Ellen Foster Won
1999 YoungStar Awards Best Young Actress in a Drama Film Stepmom Won
Young Artist Awards Best Leading Young Actress in a Feature Film Won
2000 YoungStar Awards Best Young Actress in a Drama Film For Love of the Game Nominated
Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress Nominated
2001 DVD Exclusive Awards Best Supporting Actress The Book of Stars Won
2004 Sonoma Valley Film Festival Imagery Honors Won
2005 Satellite Awards Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Saved! Nominated
2008 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Into the Wild Nominated
2014 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Female Buttkicker The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated

Jena Malone supports the following charitable cause: Vision.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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