Kelli Garner

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Kelli Garner
KelliGarnerTorontoFilmFestival2007 Crop.jpg
Born Kelli Brianne Garner[1]
(1984-04-11) April 11, 1984 (age 31)
Bakersfield, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 2000–present

Kelli Brianne Garner (born April 11, 1984)[2] is an American film, stage, and television actress. Garner made her feature film debut in Larry Clark's thriller Bully (2001), followed by a supporting role as Faith Domergue in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator (2004). Over the following several years, she had a lead roles in the films Thumbsucker (2005), Lars and the Real Girl (2007), and in the Disney animated film G-Force (2009).

More recent roles include the film Horns (2014) opposite Daniel Radcliffe, and the mini-series The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, in which Garner portrays Monroe.[3]

Early life[edit]

Kelli Brianne Garner was born in Bakersfield, California.[2] Although she described herself as a "shy" adolescent, Garner caught the attention of a talent agent while attending a friend's bar mitzvah, and was subsequently cast in an Eggo commercial.[4] While a student at Thousand Oaks High School, Garner was cast in director Mike Mills's short film Architecture of Assurance in 2000.[4] Garner was a talented soccer player in high school, and had planned on pursuing it as a career before she began working as an actress.[4]


Garner had appeared in several short films before being cast in a supporting role in the television film Time Share in 2000. In 2001, she was cast in Larry Clark's controversial crime thriller Bully (2001), in which she portrayed Heather Swallers, a teenager who participates with her friends in an orchestrated murder of one of their peers; Clark cast Garner in the film after seeing her performance in Mike Mills's short Architecture of Assurance.[4] The film, which was based on the real-life 1993 murder of Bobby Kent, received critical acclaim.[5]

Her next major role came at age nineteen in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator (2004), in which she portrayed actress Faith Domergue, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes.[6] According to Garner, she wore brown contact lenses to her audition in order to further embody Domergue; she has said that she tripped and fell when entering the audition room in front of director Scorsese and star DicCaprio.[7] "I thought I'd lost the job," she recalled, "But I think it was that moment that made it work [because] the character was someone who was trying to be much older than she was."[7] The following year, she appeared in the comedy Man of the House,[8] and the independent teen drama Thumbsucker (2005), opposite Lou Taylor Pucci and Vince Vaughn. She had supporting parts in the independent films London (2005) and Dreamland (2006), the latter of which earned her a Best Actress award at Method Fest Independent Film Festival, shared with co-star Agnes Bruckner.

In December 2005, Garner starred in the Off-Broadway production of Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead at the Century Center for the Performing Arts. She later appeared in two Green Day music videos, "Jesus of Suburbia" (with Thumbsucker co-star Lou Taylor Pucci) and the unreleased "Whatsername".[9]

In 2007, Garner appeared in a lead role in the critically acclaimed drama Lars and the Real Girl as Ryan Gosling's co-worker and love interest.[10] In 2008, she appeared again onstage in an Off -Broadway production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull opposite Dianne Wiest.[4] She had a minor part in the comedy Taking Woodstock (2009), and in the Disney film G-Force (2009), which she followed with a supporting role in Going the Distance (2010), opposite Drew Barrymore. Between 2011 and 2012, she had a lead role as Kate Cameron on the series Pan Am.

Garner was next cast in Alexandre Aja's horror-fantasy Horns (2014) with Daniel Radcliffe, and played the title role in the Lifetime mini-series The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, opposite Susan Sarandon as her mother.[3] She also appeared in the independent film When I Live My Life Over Again (2015) with Christopher Walken and Amber Heard.

Personal life[edit]

Garner was romantically linked to actor Johnny Galecki beginning in 2012.[11] The two separated in 2014, but remained friends.[11][7]


Year Title Role Notes
2000 Architecture of Reassurance Heather Short film
2000 Time Share Kelly, the Beach Girl Television film
2001 Bully Heather Swallers
2002 Love Liza Huffer Girl
2002 Hometown Legend Josie
2002 Related Short film
2002 Outside The Girl
2004 Aviator, TheThe Aviator Faith Domergue
2005 Toast, TheThe Toast Bride
2005 Youth in Us, TheThe Youth in Us Alicia Short film
2005 Thumbsucker Rebecca
2005 Man of the House Barbara "Barb" Thompson
2005 London Maya
2005 Piggy Banks Archer
2006 Dreamland Calista Best Actress at Method Fest
2006 Return to Rajapur Samantha Hartley/Samantha Doyle
2007 Normal Adolescent Behavior Billie
2007 Lars and the Real Girl Margo
2008 Red Velvet Linda
2009 Taking Woodstock VW girl
2009 G-Force Marcie
2010 Going the Distance Brianna
2011 Lie, TheThe Lie Brianna
2012 Neighbors Maggie Jerritt Short film
2013 Two Wrongs Jenny Television film
2014 Horns Glenna Shepherd
2015 Americana Kate
2015 When I Live My Life Over Again Corinne
Year Title Role Notes
2001 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Kirstie Episode: "The Body"
2001–02 Grounded for Life Tracey 2 episodes
2002 Da Möb Melanie Spores (voice) Episode: "Lo Fidelity"
2003 Regular Joe Nikki Episode: "Boobysitting"
2004 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Brittany O'Malley Episode: "Mean"
2009 American Dad! Waitress (voice) Episode: "Stan Time"
2010 My Generation Dawn Barbuso Main role; 2 episodes
2011–12 Pan Am Catherine "Kate" Cameron Main role; 14 episodes
2014-15 Looking Megan Murray Episodes: "Looking for a Plus-One" and "Looking for Sanctuary"
2015 The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe Marilyn Monroe


  1. ^ "Kelli Garner". Ask Men. Retrieved 2015-10-26. 
  2. ^ a b "Today's Girl: Kelli Garner". July 22, 2009. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Sullivan, Kevin P. (2015-03-26). "First look: Kelli Garner in The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2015-10-27. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Dransfeldt, Jeffrey (2008-01-20). "Kelli Garner of T.O. reaches for intriguing film roles". VC Star. Retrieved 2015-10-26. 
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger (2001-07-20). "Bully Movie Review". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2015-10-26. 
  6. ^ "Lifetime Casts ‘Pan Am,’ ‘The Aviator’ Actress Kelli Garner As Marilyn Monroe In Upcoming Miniseries". Beauty World News. 2014-10-28. Retrieved 2015-10-26. 
  7. ^ a b c Garner, Kelli (2015-05-22). "Kelli Garner on The Talk". The Talk. ABC/Good Morning America. 
  8. ^ Willis, John; Monush, Barry (2006-11-13). Screen World Film Annual. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 190–. ISBN 978-1-55783-706-6. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  9. ^ "Green Day - Whatsername (Official Unreleased Music Video)". YouTube. June 26, 2009. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  10. ^ "'Lars and the Real Girl' is a Whimsical Fable". New York Daily News. 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2015-10-26. 
  11. ^ a b Rouse, Wade (2014-08-27). "Johnny Galecki Splits from Kelli Garner". People. Retrieved 2015-10-26. 

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