Agron in 2014
|Born||Dianna Elise Agron
April 30, 1986
Savannah, Georgia, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, singer, dancer, music video director|
Dianna Elise Agron (//; born April 30, 1986) is an American actress, singer, dancer, and music video director. Agron made her television debut appearing as Jessica Grant in CSI: NY in 2006. From 2006 to 2007, Agron had recurring roles in Veronica Mars as Jenny Budosh, and Heroes as Debbie Marshall. She is also the creator and co-editor of the music, art and photography website You, Me and Charlie.
In 2009, Agron was cast in her most notable TV role to date as Quinn Fabray on the Fox musical comedy-drama series, Glee. In 2011, Agron co-starred in the films The Hunters and I Am Number Four. Later that year, a concert film of Glee was released, titled Glee: The 3D Concert Movie. In 2013, Agron co-starred as Belle Blake, alongside Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Tommy Lee Jones in the action crime-comedy film The Family.
Agron was born in Savannah, Georgia, and raised in San Antonio, Texas, and San Francisco, California. She is the daughter of Mary and Ronald S. Agron, a general manager of Hyatt hotels. Due to this, Agron said she and her family lived in different hotels growing up. She has a younger brother, Jason. Agron's father's family is originally from Russia, and according to Agron their original surname, Agronsky, was altered by Ellis Island officials. Her father was born to a Jewish family, while her mother converted to Judaism. Agron attended Hebrew school and had a bat mitzvah. When she was 15, she found out that her father had multiple sclerosis. In an interview for Cosmopolitan, she revealed, "Quite a bit changed after that. At that age, you don't see mortality in your parents." The disease caused her parents' relationship to fall apart, and they decided to separate, which was devastating for her and her younger brother. She stated, "I had to play therapist to my family... be the glue. Those kinds of things I'm not ready to speak about yet."
Agron attended Burlingame Intermediate School and Burlingame High School, where she was in the Homecoming Court, and played the part of Marty in Grease; she was also involved in set design, costumes, and painting. She has been dancing since the age of three, focusing mainly in jazz and ballet, and later began hip-hop dancing. Agron then fell in love with musical theater, and often performed in local and school productions. She played Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz in fifth grade, and began teaching dance as a teenager. She says she was not "popular" in the stereotypical sense in high school, though she had many friends from different cliques around the school.
Agron has appeared on television shows such as Shark, Close to Home, CSI: NY, Numb3rs, and had a recurring role on Veronica Mars. She then appeared as Harper in a 13-episode series of short films called It's a Mall World, directed by Milo Ventimiglia, airing on MTV. She then had a recurring role on the second season of Heroes as Debbie Marshall, the head cheerleader/captain of the cheer squad at Costa Verde High School. After this role, she was only offered horror films that included nudity, and turned them all down. In 2009, Agron hosted a mini music festival for 826LA in Los Angeles called Chickens in Love.
Agron's most notable role to date is as Quinn Fabray, a high school cheerleader, on the Fox comedy-drama series Glee. Agron was the last primary actor to be cast, having won the role only days before the pilot began filming. Agron said in a 2009 interview pertaining to her casting session: "I nearly bailed on my audition for the show. I was so nervous." Before being cast as Quinn, the show's producers wondered if she appeared too innocent. Agron said in an interview: "They told me to come back with straight hair and to dress sexier. Later that week, I started work." She auditioned with Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon". The Glee producers said "we really lucked out in finding Agron to play Quinn." Quinn is described by Agron as Rachel Berry's (Lea Michele) enemy, and "terrible, the meanest girl." Agron said that her favorite part of Quinn is that "she's smart. But she's also human, and through her tough exterior, she's often a little girl lost." Quinn was originally conceived as the antagonistic queen bee head cheerleader, a departure from Agron's actual high school experience.
Quinn's role as head cheerleader is central to understanding her character. Agron said that she had never had any prior cheer experience before the Pilot. "If I had been [a cheerleader], I would've ended up on crutches," she told Emmy magazine. The role saw Agron nominated for the Teen Choice Award for Female Breakout Star star in 2009. She and the other cast members were awarded the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series in 2010, and were nominated in the same category the following year. Agron was praised for her dramatic acting during the confrontation scene with Quinn's parents in the episode "Ballad". Gerrick D. Kennedy, writing for the Los Angeles Times, was critical of the ongoing Quinn pregnancy plot in the episode "Hairography", and noted that he cringed whenever Quinn appeared on screen. Conversely, Bobby Hankinson of the Houston Chronicle enjoyed Quinn in the episode, and wrote: "I love that she can keep her Mean Girls edge while being heartbreakingly sad or as joyful as she was singing "Papa Don't Preach". The A.V. Club writer Todd VanDerWerff suggested that Quinn's season three reinvention hinged on the fact the producers no longer knew how to utilize Agron. In 2012, The Biography Channel aired a documentary of Glee, with Agron being interviewed along with other castmates. It showed a brief description of Agron's character and her audition for the show.
On July 23, 2012, it was reported that Agron was going to appear less frequently in Glee's fourth season, being demoted to a guest-star. Agron's character only appeared on three episodes: "Thanksgiving", "Naked", and "I Do". Agron returned in the fifth season for the two-part 100th episode special, "100" and "New Directions". On March 18, 2014, in an interview with E! Entertainment, Agron expressed interest in returning for more future Glee episodes. Agron announced she would return to Glee for its final season after the show's music producer, Alex Anders, shared a photo of Agron recording music at Capitol Records. She featured as a main role in two episodes, "Homecoming" and "Jagged Little Tapestry", and made a cameo on the series finale "Dreams Come True".
In 2007, Agron appeared as Dyanna in the action-drama thriller film T.K.O., directed by Declan Mulvey, alongside Samantha Alarcon, Daz Crawford and Christian Boeving. She also appeared as Megan in the independent comedy film Skid Marks. She also appeared as Kyle's Girl in the short comedy film Rushers. She also appeared in a short comedy film Dinner with Raphael, and had a small role as Sadie in the independent comedy film Celebrities Anonymous, directed by Dennis Hemphill Jr., alongside Lindsay Zir and Joey Kern. In 2010, she appeared in the supporting role of Minnow Hayes in the romantic comedy The Romantics. That same year, she played Natalie, the fiancée of the main character Ali's love interest Jack, in the film Burlesque. She also appeared in Bold Native, a film about animal liberation. In 2010, Agron auditioned for the role of Gwen Stacy for the reboot of the Spider-Man films, The Amazing Spiderman, but lost out on the role to Emma Stone because of Agron's schedule problems filming Glee.
In 2011, Agron appeared as Alice in the horror thriller The Hunters, and as Sarah Hart in the science-fiction action thriller I Am Number Four. Agron appeared in the concert film of Glee, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie. She then played Belle Blake in the film The Family, opposite Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones, and Michelle Pfeiffer. The film was released on September 13, 2013, and received mixed to negative reviews. The Family debuted at #2 in its first weekend with $14.5 million. Critics praised Agron's performance. Tom Medley wrote, "[Agron] gives the best performance in the film as a really sexy teenager coming of sexual age." Writing for The Huffington Post, Zorianna Kit said, "De Niro, Pfeiffer and Jones all brought 100% to their roles. Glee actress Dianna Agron was the stand-out here, shining as the daughter who was falling in love for the first time, while defending her family from total annihilation by the mafia."
On September 26, 2013, it was confirmed by Josh Boone that Agron had been cast in the upcoming film Pretenders, alongside Michael B. Jordan, Anton Yelchin, and Imogen Poots. She will portray a character named Victoria. The movie is currently on hold until all the cast is available for filming.
In October 2013, Agron started filming for A Conspiracy on Jekyll Island, starring alongside Frank Grillo, AnnaSophia Robb, Minnie Driver, John Leguizamo, Ed Westwick, and Maggie Q. The film is directed by Aram Rappaport and produced by Hilary Shor, Atit Shah and Aaron Becker. Jekyll Island is set to release in 2016. Agron confirmed via Twitter that she started shooting the film on November 20, 2013.
On July 7, 2014, it was revealed that Agron will be joining the cast of Headlock, along with Andy García, Justin Bartha, James Frain, and D. W. Moffett. Agron appeared in the 2015 political thriller Zipper as Dalia, an intern at the office of a lawyer who is running for office. The film also starred Patrick Wilson, Lena Headey, and John Cho. It follows a federal prosecutor running for office who can't stop himself from sleeping with high-class escorts, putting both his career and his personal life at great risk. Zipper premiered on January 27, 2015 at the Sundance Film Festival and was released on August 28, 2015, in a limited release in the United States and through video on demand.
On March 31, 2014, it was reported that Agron had joined the cast of the upcoming film Tumbledown, alongside Jason Sudeikis and Rebecca Hall. The romantic comedy film started production that month. Her character's name is Finley. On July 28, 2014, it was announced that Agron will be portraying the lead character, Sarah Barton, in the upcoming film Bare. The film was written and directed by Natalia Leite and follows Sarah (Agron), a young girl living in a small desert town in Nevada, as she becomes romantically involved with a female drifter who leads her into a life of drugs, stripping, and psychedelic spiritual experiences. Paz de la Huerta, Chris Zylka, and Louisa Krause also star in the film. Both films premiered in April 2015 at the Tribeca Film Festival, receiving positive reviews from critics. Agron surprised with Bare, performing her first onscreen nude scene and leading role.
Deadline.com confirmed on July 13, 2015, that Agron will be portraying the leading role on the upcoming drama film Hollow In The Land, written and directed by Scooter Corkle. The film is about a lesbian named Alison, played by Agron, whose brother goes missing and she sets out to find him. She is also set to star in the film Novitiate, portraying a young nun in a convent, also starring Melissa Leo and Margaret Qualley.
On her high school days, Agron was part of the theater workshop and portrayed Marty on the Grease play and performed ballet recitals. Agron made her stage debut in a play titled McQueen, which based on the life of the designer Alexander McQueen, played by Stephen Wight. She portrayed the female lead, Dahlia, a fan that breaks into the designer's home to steal a dress and is caught by McQueen, the two later embark a journey through London's streets. The fantasy-based play was written by James Phillips, for the fifth anniversary of Alexander McQueen's death. Agron visited London in December 2014 to pursue an stage role, and got offered a Broadway play but she turned it down for Phillip's work. The play ran from May 12 to June 6, 2015 at London's St. James Theatre. Agron was unable to reprise her role as Dahlia in the West End theatre re-run due to "filming commitments".
Several songs performed by Agron as Quinn Fabray on Glee have been released as singles, available for digital download, also featured on the show's soundtrack albums. Agron made her musical debut at the end of the episode "Showmance", performing Dionne Warwick's "I Say a Little Prayer". "I Say a Little Prayer" charted in the UK Singles Chart at 125. Quinn's next solo was in the episode "Throwdown", performing The Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On". The song charted in the UK Singles Chart at 166. The song was released on Glee: The Music, Volume 1. The Wall Street Journal editor Raymund Flandez was critical of Quinn's cover of "You Keep Me Hangin' On", which he called "thin and jarring". She performed a rendition of James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" in the episode "Funk". The song charted in the Canadian Hot 100 chart at 73, UK Singles Chart at 94 and in the Billboard Hot 100 chart at 95.
In season three, Agron sang her first solo number since the first season, "Never Can Say Goodbye" by The Jackson 5, which received mostly positive reviews. Jen Chaney of The Washington Post gave the song a "B-", and said it "worked much better than every track that preceded it" because it adapted the song to the show "instead of trying to out-Jackson Jackson." Entertainment Weekly's Joseph Brannigan Lynch called it "a nice summation of her character's journey, but not vocally impressive enough to justify listening to outside of the episode" and gave it a "B" rating. Crystal Bell of HuffPost TV described it as a "blah performance", but Kate Stanhope of TV Guide said it was "sweet and reflective." Erica Futterman of Rolling Stone wrote that it was "a tune well-suited for Quinn's sultry voice and the flipped meaning she gives the lyrics", and TVLine's Michael Slezak had a similar take: he gave it an "A" rating and called it a "remarkably lovely fit" for her voice. She has also sung in many cast group songs and duets.
In 2011, when asked about if she is interested in a solo album, Agron said that she is more focused on acting. But later, in December 2013, she said it is not possible, but also said, "You never know! My album would be called... definitely not Dianna Agron. Something fun. I'm trying to think of something on the spot. Random words are coming to mind: Bats, Night, Dark, Blue." In February 2013, Agron hosted her very first You, Me and Charlie concert in Los Angeles, where she performed Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" and Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do with It" featuring the band A House For Lions. In November 2014, Agron, among many other international artists, was featured in United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)'s charity single "Imagine" which was originally performed by John Lennon.
In 2010, Agron directed the music video for "Body" by Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. On November 25, 2013, the music video of "Just Another Girl" by The Killers was released, in which Agron portrays the lead singer. Agron starred in Sam Smith's "I'm Not the Only One" music video, which was released on August 1, 2014, as a scorned bride. In 2014, Agron directed the music video for "Till Sunrise" by Goldroom. Her brother, Jason, and actress Gabby Haugh star as a romantic couple.
In 2009, Agron wrote, starred in, directed, and executive-produced an unreleased short comedy film called A Fuchsia Elephant. The plot revolves around Agron's character. On the day before her eighteenth birthday, Charlotte Hill makes a decision to change. Not wanting to follow in the footsteps of her alcoholic mother, she enlists a sober partner named Michael (Dave Franco) to help guide her. It was shot during the Glee hiatus in the summer of 2009. Agron hosted the GLAAD Media Awards on June 2, 2012, in San Francisco. In 2012 and 2013, Agron appeared in the "Play As You Are" Nintendo campaign, ads for Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone!, and in spots for the puzzle-solving adventure Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask.
Agron spoke at the 18th San Francisco Power of Choice Luncheon to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Roe V. Wade – 40 years of Choice! on March 7, 2013, in San Francisco, and attended The Hollywood Reporter and Jimmy Choo 2nd Annual 25 Most Powerful Stylists Luncheon on March 13, 2013 in West Hollywood. For the February 2014 issue of the Galore magazine, Dianna worked as the photographer. Her brother, Jason Agron, also helped for the shoot. After directing Thao & The Get Down Stay Down's music video "Body", and her independent unreleased film A Fuchsia Elephant, Agron stated that she would like to continue directing different projects. In May 2015, she directed a video for Tory Burch's Paris collection that will come out later in the year and she was later selected by Burch to represent the brand at the 2015 Met Gala.
Agron and her Glee co-star Lea Michele rented an apartment together in downtown Los Angeles in early 2009. Michele stated, "We have these smack-downs at work and come home and are like, 'Wasn't it so funny when we were fighting today? Let's make cookies!'"
In 2011, Agron underwent nose surgery to repair her deviated septum which was the result of a blow to the nose when she was fourteen. Agron's Twitter account was hacked on December 18, 2011, and had started many trending topics. The hacker also got into her personal email and started leaking songs, scripts, and episodes of Glee.
After the death of her Glee co-star Cory Monteith, Agron reflected on her own mortality, "It just makes you take a new lease out on life and look at things a little bit differently. He was truly one of the most wonderful people I've ever met in my entire life..." Although she is now out of the show, she said her continuing friendship with her Glee co-stars was a comfort in the wake of Monteith's death.
Agron has supported PETA and gay rights. Using her Tumblr account as a starting point, Agron released her website You, Me and Charlie on December 12, 2011. Along with help from several other contributors, she writes and collects posts, which subjects vary from music, art, fashion, and daily inspiration. The site serves as inspiration for many young artists. Vanity Fair has complimented the site, stating that the site is "full of sunshine, optimism, and pretty people." Agron hosted the GLAAD Media Awards on June 2, 2012 in San Francisco. Her co-stars of Glee, Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith hosted them on March 24, 2012 in New York City. Following Rivera's tradition of auctioning off kisses to an audience member, she raised $5,500 for the campaign. Agron worked with The Trevor Project in 2012 to raise money in honor of her birthday. Also in 2012, Agron visited the Kampong Cham Center, where she met children and teenage residents. On April 20, 2013, Agron's fans honored her by raising $10,200 for her birthday, benefiting the Somaly Mam Foundation in effort to fight human trafficking.
Agron donated possessions to the Vietnam Veterans of America in Los Angeles during August 2013. Agron also supports the initiative between Camp Wonder and Cetaphil, which is about children with chronic and life-threatening skin diseases to enjoy being a kid. On February 22, 2014, Agron participated along with other Glee stars in the Young Storytellers Foundation biggest show, Glee Big Show, which featured live performances of five scripts written by 5th Grade Young Storytellers to support art programs in public schools. In June 2014, Agron joined with other celebrities and the Big Slick Foundation weekend charity event to help raise funds for Children's Mercy Hospital of Kansas City. Among the events Agron was involved in was a celebrity softball game, a private get-together for patients and celebrities, a bowling tournament, and a celebrity party and auction. In December 2014, Agron provided services and live entertainment to United States troops and their families as part of the United Service Organizations tour at Bagram air field, Afghanistan. Later that month, she attended to the 10th anniversary gala of a ASmallWorld and sold a kiss for more than $20,000. She donated the money to the War Child charity.
In the media
Agron was chosen by People to be part of their Most Beautiful 2010. She also came 8th in the 2011 AfterEllen Hot 100 list. Additionally, she came in 13th in the 2012 AfterEllen.com "Top 50 Favorite Female TV Characters" list, thanks to her character, Quinn Fabray, on Glee. In April 2012, Shalom Life ranked her #3 on its list of "The 50 Most Talented, Intelligent, Funny, and Gorgeous Jewish Women in the World." Later that year, she and her co-stars, Naya Rivera and Heather Morris, came in the first three places at the 2012 AfterEllen Hot 100 list, with Agron in 2nd place. Agron was ranked #28 in the 2012 AskMen's Top 99 "Most Desirable Women". She also ranked #44 in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2012. Agron also came in seventh place in the 2013 Opposing Views' list of Hottest Actresses On Primetime TV. She came second place in MuchMusic's list of 5 Stars to Watch in 2013. She then ranked #84 in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2014. Agron was ranked #47 in Men's Health's Hottest Women of 2014. In August 2015, Agron was listed as #16 in BuzzFeed's "29 Amazingly Badass Female TV Characters", thanks to her Glee character Quinn Fabray.
Awards and nominations
|2010||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (with Glee Cast)||Glee||Won|
|TV Land Awards||Future Classics (with: Glee Cast)||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Female Breakout Star||Nominated|
|Choice Music: Group (with Glee Cast)||Nominated|
|Breakthrough Of The Year Awards||Breakthrough Newcomer||Herself||Nominated|
|Gay People's Choice Awards||Favorite Music Duo or Group (with Glee Cast)||Glee||Won|
|2011||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (with Glee Cast)||Nominated|
|Grammy Awards||Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media||Nominated|
|Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals (with Glee Cast)||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Female Scene Stealer||Nominated|
|Choice Music: Group (with Glee Cast)||Nominated|
|Victoria's Secret: What's Sexy List||Sexiest Smile||Herself||Won|
|2012||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (with Glee Cast)||Glee||Nominated|
|Grammy Awards||Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Female Scene Stealer||Nominated|
|Giffoni Film Festival||Giffoni Award||Herself||Won|
|Do Something Awards||TV Star: Female||Glee||Nominated|
|2013||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (with Glee Cast)||Nominated|
|Shorty Awards||Best Actress in Social Media||Herself||Nominated|
|Best Celebrity in Social Media||Nominated|
|Best Artist, Art Critic, or Art Aficionado in Social Media||Nominated|
|Best Blogger in Social Media||Nominated|
|Best Fashion Diva, Brand, or Model in Social Media||Nominated|
|Napa Valley Film Festival||Rising Star Award||Won|
|Women Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Young Actress||The Family||Nominated|
|2015||BroadwayWorld UK / West End Awards||Best Featured Actress in a New Production of a Play||McQueen||Pending|
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- West End transfer announced for McQueen
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dianna Agron.|
- Dianna Agron at the Internet Movie Database
- Dianna Agron on Twitter
- Dianna Agron discography at Discogs
- Dianna Agron at AllMovie
- Dianna Agron at Fox.com