Jena Malone

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Jena Malone
Jena Malone 2015.jpg
Malone in 2015
Born
Jena Laine Malone

(1984-11-21) November 21, 1984 (age 34)
Sparks, Nevada, U.S.
ResidenceLake Tahoe, Nevada, U.S.[1]
Occupation
  • Actress
  • musician
  • photographer
Years active1996–present

Jena Laine Malone (/ˈɛnə məˈln/; born November 21, 1984) is an American actress, musician, and photographer. She began her career as a child actor, and became known for her roles in both independent films and mainstream blockbuster features. Her accolades include two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, a Golden Globe Award nomination, and a Saturn Award.

A native of Sparks, Nevada, Malone spent her early life there and in Las Vegas, while her mother acted in local theater productions. Inspired to become an actress herself, Malone convinced her mother to relocate to Los Angeles. After auditioning for several projects, Malone was cast by Anjelica Huston in her television film Bastard Out of Carolina (1996), for which she earned numerous accolades, including Screen Actors Guild and Independent Spirit Award nominations. She subsequently obtained roles in the major studio productions Contact (1997) and Stepmom (1998), for the former of which she earned a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor.

Malone appeared in the independent psychological thriller Donnie Darko (2001), which became a cult film, as well as the drama Life as a House, and the miniseries Hitler: The Rise of Evil (2003). She subsequently starred in the dark comedy Saved! (2004) before being cast as Lydia Bennet in Joe Wright's adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice (2005). Malone continued to appear in both independent and mainstream features throughout the 2000s, with supporting roles in the dramas The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005), Into the Wild (2007), and the horror film The Ruins (2008). In the late 2000s Malone ventured into music, releasing a single as Jena Malone and the Blood Stains in 2007. The following year she began performing street shows with a musical project called The Shoe, which features Malone performing with various instruments contained in a steamer trunk.

Malone made her foray into action films with Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch (2011) and was subsequently cast as Johanna Mason in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), a role she reprised in two sequels between 2014 and 2015. She was then cast in supporting roles in Nicolas Winding Refn's psychological horror film The Neon Demon and Tom Ford's thriller Nocturnal Animals (both 2016).

Life and career[edit]

1984–1995: Early life[edit]

Malone was born on November 21, 1984, in Sparks, Nevada,[2] the daughter of Deborah Malone and Edward Berge.[3] Her father is of partly Norwegian descent; she also has Irish ancestry.[4] According to Malone, her mother became pregnant with her after a one-night stand with her father, who was married to another woman at the time.[5] Malone was raised by her mother and her mother's girlfriend.[6] "They were lovers," Malone has said. "I had two moms, and it was awesome."[5] She remained estranged from her father for much of her early life but reconciled with him in adulthood.[5]

Malone grew up impoverished; her family relocated frequently and at times was homeless. "We were just so poor," Malone has said. "We'd hop out of apartments, lose jobs, find a cheaper place, get kicked out, live in cars, and live in hotels."[5] By the time she was nine years old, she had lived in 27 locations.[2] Despite the frequent moves, Malone said, "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."[5]

As a child, Malone first began taking an interest in acting while watching her mother perform in community theater in the Lake Tahoe area.[7] In 1995 she moved to Las Vegas, where she resided with her family for nine months, and began taking acting classes[6] while her mother worked in a call center.[2] She subsequently persuaded her mother to move to Los Angeles so she could pursue an acting career.[6] Malone has said that she and her mother struggled financially in Los Angeles. She was home-schooled from sixth to eighth grade and attended the Professional Children's School in New York City for ninth grade.[6] She has one younger maternal half-sister, Madison Mae Malone (born 1997).[8]

1996–2003: Career beginnings[edit]

Malone progressed to professional acting with the film Bastard Out of Carolina (1996).[9] She was nominated at the 1996 Independent Spirit Awards for Best Debut Performance[10] and at the third 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 grew 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 the television film Hope (1997), portraying a young girl growing up in a small town in the 1960s.[11]

After completing Hope Malone was cast in Robert Zemeckis's science fiction film Contact (1997), playing the child counterpart of Jodie Foster's lead character.[12] For her portrayal she won a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor.[13] The following year Malone was cast opposite Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts in the drama Stepmom (1998), playing an adolescent girl whose father has remarried and whose mother is dying of terminal cancer. The film was a box office success, grossing over $150 million against a $50 million budget.[14] In 1999 Malone filed for legal emancipation from her mother in a Los Angeles County Court, and subsequently alleged that her mother had mismanaged her earnings, spending $280,000 of her trust account.[15] She was granted legal emancipation in January 2000.[6] After dropping out of high school in 1999, Malone obtained a General Educational Development certificate in 2001.[16]

Malone had her first cinematic leading role in the psychological science fiction thriller film Donnie Darko (2001), playing Gretchen Ross, the new girl in town who becomes the girlfriend of Jake Gyllenhaal's title character. Though the film was not a box-office hit, it later gained notoriety as a cult film.[17] The same year she had a supporting part in the drama Life as a House (2001), portraying the girlfriend of a young man (Hayden Christensen) whose ailing father (Kevin Kline) is building a home.[18] Malone co-produced the independent comedy-drama American Girl (2002), the first feature in which she had top billing, co-starring with Brad Renfro and Alicia Witt as a suicidal young woman whose father is in prison.[12]

In 2003, at age 19, Malone purchased a home in Lake Tahoe, Nevada,[19] where she resided as of 2012.[1]

2004–2012: Subsequent films, music, and theater[edit]

Malone had top billing in the dark comedy Saved! (2004), in which she portrayed a Christian high school student who discovers her boyfriend is gay.[20] The same year she starred in the ecological-themed independent thriller film Corn, about a young woman who returns to her family's farm to find that their sheep are being driven mad by corn modified to be immune to pesticides.[21] Ronnie Scheib of Variety praised her performance, writing: "With Corn Jena Malone proves conclusively that she can carry a movie."[21]

Malone was subsequently cast as Lydia Bennet in Joe Wright's adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (2005).[22] Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote, "Malone, as the saucy, boy-crazy youngest daughter, Lydia, offers an amusing caricature of teenage idiocy and entitlement."[22] The same year she had a supporting role in Rebecca Miller's drama The Ballad of Jack and Rose.[23]

In 2006 Malone made her Broadway stage debut as Sister James in a production of the Tony Award-winning play Doubt.[24] Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote that Malone "slides effortlessly and appealingly into the part of the dewy, impressionable Sister James."[24] She also appeared in films, co-starring with Chloë Sevigny in filmmaker M. Blash's improvised feature Lying (2006), playing one of several women attending a precarious weekend gathering.[25] Malone followed this with supporting roles in the independent comedy The Go-Getter (2007), playing a young woman reunited with her middle school crush, and the biographical drama Into the Wild (2007), in which she portrayed the sister of Chris McCandless.[26]

Malone performing with Jena Malone and the Blood Stains, 2008

In 2007 it was announced that Malone was releasing her first single on The Social Registry, a New York City experimental music label, as Jena Malone and the Bloodstains. A number of tracks were subsequently posted to her MySpace page.[27] Pitchfork Media has described Malone's music as "pretty out-there—bedroom electronics, spaced-out keyboards, and Malone's spare vocals."[28] In 2008 she formed the musical project The Shoe, which features Malone performing with a series of electronic instruments contained within a steamer trunk.[29] She began performing impromptu live shows on street corners in 2008.[29]

Malone appeared in the supernatural horror film The Ruins (2008) opposite Shawn Ashmore and Jonathan Tucker, playing one of several backpackers in Mexico who become trapped on a Mayan temple teeming with vines that can animate and attack those who come into contact with them.[30] The following year she returned to theater, portraying Lavinia in an off-Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's play Mourning Becomes Electra, opposite Lili Taylor.[31] In 2011 Malone played the role of Rocket in Zack Snyder's action film Sucker Punch.[32] The film's commercial failure caused Malone to reevaluate her career and consider focusing on photography and music.[33] After the success of her next role, in The History Channel's miniseries Hatfields and McCoys, Malone's passion for acting returned.[34]

In 2012 Malone starred in Dakota, a series on the YouTube channel Wigs, portraying the title character. She also played Carson McCullers in the film Lonely Hunter, directed by Deborah Kampmeir,[35] and had a supporting role in the independent drama In Our Nature (2012) opposite Zach Gilford and Gabrielle Union, playing one of several young people on a couples' getaway.[36]

2013–present: Mainstream films and other endeavors[edit]

Malone at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con

In 2013 Malone reunited with M. Blash and co-star Chloë Sevigny in the independent drama The Wait, portraying the sister of a woman who believes their dead mother will be resurrected.[37] The same year she was cast as Johanna Mason in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013).

In 2014 Malone exhibited 39 photographs she had taken in Myanmar that summer.[38][39] The exhibition, which ran from November 21 to 28, was called "The Holy Other."[38][39] It took place at MAMA, an art gallery owned by Malone's friend Adarsha Benjamin in Downtown Los Angeles.[38][39] Proceeds were donated to Girl Determined, a nonprofit organization that benefits girls' education in Myanmar.[39] Also in 2014 Malone had a supporting role in Paul Thomas Anderson's neo-noir film Inherent Vice (2014), portraying an ex-heroin addict who hires a detective (Joaquin Phoenix) to find her husband.[40] Malone also reprised the role of Johanna Mason in two Hunger Games sequels, Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) and Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015).[41]

Malone was cast as Jenet Klyburn[42] in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, also directed by Zack Snyder.[43][44] Her scenes were left out of the theatrical release but included on the "Ultimate Edition" home video release.[45] In February 2015 Malone was cast alongside Elle Fanning in Nicolas Winding Refn's horror film The Neon Demon, which focuses on an aspiring model in Los Angeles.[46] The film garnered criticism for a scene in which Malone engages in necrophilia. The Telegraph's Tim Robey deemed it the "most offensive film of the year" but conceded it was not "any fault of Malone's, who commits herself utterly to making it an anguished, desperate, if inevitably revolting minute or so of screen time. It's a question of context, and how this scene...  slots into the film's overall thesis."[47]

In May 2016 Malone gave birth to a son, Ode Mountain,[48] with her boyfriend, photographer Ethan DeLorenzo.[49] The couple announced their engagement on August 30, 2016.[50]

Malone co-starred with Riley Keough in So Yong Kim's drama film Lovesong (2016), playing a young woman who falls in love with her female best friend.[51] Kate Erbland of IndieWire wrote that "Malone is at her most effervescent and appealing" but that "the overall effect is one of a disjointed love story that can never quite find the tune, no matter how skilled its players."[51]

Malone is credited as co-writer and featured vocalist on the Foster the People track "Static Space Lover" from the band's third album, Sacred Hearts Club, released on July 21, 2017.[52]

In February 2019, Malone and De Lorenzo ended their relationship. Since August 2019 Malone has been dating the musician Alex Ebert.[53]

Politics[edit]

Malone endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[54]

Credits[edit]

Accolades[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lonardo, Thom (2012). "Jena Malone Interview". Un-Titled Project. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Rommelmann, Nancy (June 22, 2000). "Jena at 15". LA Weekly. Archived from the original on June 20, 2019.
  3. ^ Clements, Joanne (November 18, 2014). "EXCLUSIVE: 'I was a deadbeat dad' Jena Malone's father Edward Berge reveals she has forgiven him for abandoning her as a child". Daily Mail.
  4. ^ Fyen, Stian (November 13, 2013). "Hunger Games-stjerna vil utforske sine norske aner". Dagbladet (in Norwegian).
  5. ^ a b c d e Bueno, Antoinette (December 22, 2014). "Jena Malone on Unconventional Childhood: 'I had 2 Moms, and It Was Awesome'". Entertainment Tonight. Archived from the original on April 21, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e Kern, Richard (2003). "Jena Malone". Index Magazine. Archived from the original on December 17, 2006.
  7. ^ "Meet Pride & Prejudice's Jena Malone". YM.com. Archived from the original on September 9, 2006. Retrieved June 17, 2006.
  8. ^ Zarker, Karen (April 6, 2008). "20 Questions: Jena Malone". Pop Matters. Archived from the original on April 13, 2019.
  9. ^ "Jena Malone on "Saved!"". About.com. Retrieved June 17, 2006.
  10. ^ "A Childhood in Hollywood". LA Weekly. Retrieved June 17, 2006.
  11. ^ "Jena Malone". Golden Globes. Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Marnell, Blair (October 25, 2015). "Jena Malone Movies and TV Spotlight". ComingSoon.net. Archived from the original on May 6, 2017.
  13. ^ Riggs, Thomas, ed. (2000). Contemporary Theatre, Film and television. 31. Detroit, Michigan: Gale / Cengage Learning. p. 249. ISBN 978-0-787-64636-3.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  14. ^ "Stepmom (1998)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on July 27, 2013.
  15. ^ O'Neill, Ann (November 14, 1999). "Actress Sues to Keep Mother Away From Assets". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 20, 2019.
  16. ^ Miller, Samantha (December 10, 2001). "Girl, Accelerated". People. Archived from the original on February 28, 2019.
  17. ^ Brunett, Adam (July 22, 2004). "Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut: The Strange Afterlife of an Indie Cult Film". Indie Wire. Archived from the original on April 2, 2019.
  18. ^ Holden, Stephen (October 26, 2001). "FILM REVIEW; Dyspeptic in Paradise, as Life Falls Apart; Then ..." The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 7, 2019.
  19. ^ "Jena Malone from Saved". The Jay Leno Show (Interview). Interviewed by Malone, Jena. New York City. 2004.
  20. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Saved!". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on January 7, 2019.
  21. ^ a b Scheib, Ronnie (November 10, 2004). "Corn". Variety. Archived from the original on June 20, 2019.
  22. ^ a b Holden, Stephen (November 11, 2005). "Marrying Off Those Bennet Sisters Again, but This Time Elizabeth Is a Looker". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 6, 2019.
  23. ^ Dargis, Manohla (March 25, 2005). "A 60's Holdout and His Daughter, Searching for an Epic". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 21, 2019.
  24. ^ a b Brantley, Ben (February 15, 2006). "A Tale of Moral Indecision Becomes One of Mystery". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 15, 2018.
  25. ^ Thompson, Anne (May 22, 2006). "Rookie helmer slides into Fortnight". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 5, 2007.
  26. ^ Harvey, Dennis (September 1, 2007). "Into the Wild". Variety. Archived from the original on July 10, 2018.
  27. ^ "Jena Malone". Myspace. Retrieved February 17, 2007.[non-primary source needed]
  28. ^ Phillips, Amy. "Actress Jena Malone Records Social Registry 7". Archived from the original on February 19, 2007. Retrieved February 17, 2007.
  29. ^ a b Solarski, Matthew (May 22, 2008). "Jena Malone Builds Instrument, Starts Label, Busks". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on December 8, 2010.
  30. ^ Seitz, Matt Zoller (April 5, 2008). "Watch Out for That Malevolent Jungle Vine". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 3, 2018.
  31. ^ Rooney, David (February 19, 2009). "Mourning Becomes Electra". Variety. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  32. ^ Mendelson, Scott (March 25, 2015). "Famous Flops: 'Sucker Punch' Was An Ahead Of Its Time Attack On 'GamerGate' Culture". Forbes. Archived from the original on June 21, 2019.
  33. ^ Waller, Philip (April 22, 2011). "Housing market builds up". Daily Express. Archived from the original on June 21, 2019.
  34. ^ "Jena Malone almost quit acting after Sucker Punch knocked her out". San Francisco Chronicle. December 6, 2013.
  35. ^ Cox, Gordon (October 7, 2011). "Malone books biopic. Thesp to star in 'Lonely Hunter'". Variety.
  36. ^ Holden, Stephen (December 6, 2012). "'In Our Nature,' Directed by Brian Savelson". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 21, 2019.
  37. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (January 31, 2014). "A Study of Sublimated Grief". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014.
  38. ^ a b c Robinson, Joanna (November 21, 2014). "Hunger Games Star Jena Malone on Inspiring Girls Everywhere to Catch Fire". Vanity Fair.
  39. ^ a b c d 'Outlook Beverly Hills', The Beverly Hills Courier, Volume XXXXVIIII, Number 46, November 21, 2014, p. 22
  40. ^ Lane, Anthony (December 8, 2014). "Swinging Seventies". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on February 25, 2019.
  41. ^ Dean Schmitz, Greg (July 6, 2012). "Weekly Ketchup: Jena Malone Joins Catching Fire Cast". Rotten Tomatoes.
  42. ^ Wakeman, Gregory (June 16, 2016). "Jena Malone's Batman V Superman Role Has Leaked, Find Out Who She Played". CinemaBlend.com. Archived from the original on June 17, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  43. ^ Holmes, Adam (October 18, 2014). "Batman V Superman Confirms Jena Malone for a Mystery Role". Cinema Blend.
  44. ^ Culzac, Natasha (October 18, 2014). "Batman v Superman: Side-kick Robin 'to be woman played by Jena Malone'". The Independent.
  45. ^ "Jena Malone Cut From 'Batman v Superman' Theatrical Release (Report)". Variety. March 3, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  46. ^ Gingold, Michael (October 18, 2014). "The Neon Demon". Fangoria. Archived from the original on November 20, 2015.
  47. ^ Robey, Tim (July 7, 2016). "The Neon Demon is the most offensive film of the year – and not because of the necrophilia". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on March 31, 2019.
  48. ^ Bologna, Caroline (August 25, 2017). "Jena Malone Knows She Isn't Alone in Her Struggle With Depression As A Mom". HuffPost. Archived from the original on June 22, 2019.
  49. ^ Schnurr, Samantha (May 31, 2016). "Jena Malone Gives Birth to First Child". E!. Archived from the original on June 1, 2016.
  50. ^ Mizoguchi, Karen (August 30, 2016). "Jena Malone was Engaged to Ethan DeLorenzo.– See Her Cute Announcement Featuring Their Son Ode". People. Archived from the original on January 1, 2017.
  51. ^ a b Erbland, Kate (February 16, 2017). "'Lovesong' Review: Riley Keough and Jena Malone's Sizzling Chemistry Can't Save This Heartbreaker". IndieWire. Archived from the original on June 20, 2019.
  52. ^ Foster The People (Ft. Jena Malone) – Static Space Lover, retrieved July 21, 2017
  53. ^ "intermission". August 12, 2019.
  54. ^ "Jena Malone on Instagram". Instagram.

External links[edit]