Olivia Thirlby

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Olivia Thirlby
Olivia Thirlby 2012.jpg
Thirlby at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival premiere of Dredd
Olivia Jo Thirlby

(1986-10-06) October 6, 1986 (age 34)
Years active2006–present
Jacques Pienaar
(m. 2014)

Olivia Jo Thirlby[1] (born October 6, 1986) is an American actress. She is best known for her roles as Leah in the comedy-drama film Juno (2007),[2] as Natalie in The Darkest Hour (2011) and as Judge Cassandra Anderson in Dredd (2012).

Early life[edit]

Thirlby was born in New York City, to an advertising executive mother and a contractor father.[3][4] She was raised in Manhattan's East Village, attending school at Friends Seminary in the city's Gramercy neighborhood, where she graduated in a class of 57 students.[2] She also attended French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts in upstate New York, and Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts (the Long Island summer arts camp also attended by Natalie Portman and Mariah Carey). She took classes at the American Globe Theatre, and briefly at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London where she completed a stage combat course with the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat (BASSC).[5] She is of Jewish descent.[6]


While still in high school, Thirlby was offered a role in The Secret. In 2006, she made her film debut in United 93 and her television debut in Kidnapped.

In 2007, she played Leah in Juno. Around this time, she and her Juno co-star Elliot Page were slated to star as the respective title characters of Jack & Diane as two young women who fall in love which unlocked lycanthropy in one character but both dropped out before production, and the cast was replaced numerous times over. She plays Stephanie, a marijuana-smoking "popular girl" from New York City, in Sundance Audience Award-winning mid-1990s period piece film The Wackness, which was released in the U.S. on July 3, 2008, and stars opposite Josh Peck.[2] Thirlby was cast in the Judd Apatow-produced, David Gordon Green-directed stoner comedy Pineapple Express as the girlfriend of Seth Rogen's character, but was replaced by Amber Heard after rehearsing for the film.[7] She reunited with David Gordon Green on the animated TV pilot Good Vibes.[8]

She made her stage debut in Farragut North, a play by Beau Willimon at the Atlantic Theater Company in New York City. The Off-Broadway production ran from October 22, 2008 – November 29, 2008 with official opening on November 12[9] and transferred to the Geffen Playhouse in June 2009.

Thirlby appeared in the 2009 HBO series Bored to Death. She voices promotional video excerpts from the novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher which, since October 2008, have regularly been posted to YouTube.[10] She also appeared in the 2011-released film Margaret. She was attached to star in Christmas in New York, though the film was not made,[11] as well as For Ellen, where it appears she did not accept a role.[12]

Thirlby starred in the Russian science-fiction film The Darkest Hour, released in 2011, directed by Chris Gorak, and produced by Timur Bekmambetov.[13] Thirlby was also cast in the lead role of Max in the upcoming drama comedy The Other Side.

Thirlby starred as Judge Cassandra Anderson in the 2012 film adaptation of Judge Dredd, with Karl Urban in the title role. She next starred in the indie film Nobody Walks co-starring John Krasinski and Rosemarie DeWitt. She plays Martine, a young artist taken in a couple's home. It premiered at 2012 Sundance Film Festival. In 2016, Thirlby co-starred as the young attorney Lucy Kittridge in the Amazon Studios legal series Goliath. Thirlby featured as MCC minister Rebecca Dowery in the 2019 Showtime drama series The L Word: Generation Q.

Personal life[edit]

Thirlby is a participant in iO Tillett Wright's Self-Evident Truths Project. In an interview with Brooklyn Magazine in 2011, Thirlby publicly came out as bisexual and stated why she decided to be a part of a photography project that focuses on people who are "anything but 100 percent straight."[14]

She has been married to Jacques Pienaar since December 28, 2014,[15][16] whom she met on the set of her 2012 film Dredd.



Year Title Role Notes
2006 United 93 Nicole Carol Miller
Unlocked Abby Short film
2007 Snow Angels Lila Raybern
Juno Leah
Love Comes Lately Sylvia Brokeles
The Secret Samantha Marris
2008 The Wackness Stephanie Squires
Eve Kate Short film
2009 New York, I Love You Actress Segment: "Brett Ratner"
The Answer Man Anne
Uncertainty Sophie Montero
Breaking Upwards Erika
What Goes Up Tess Sullivan
Solitary Man Maureen (uncredited)
2011 No Strings Attached Katie Kurtzman
Margaret Monica Sloane
The Darkest Hour Natalie
2012 Nobody Walks Martine
Being Flynn Denise
Dredd Judge Anderson
2014 Red Knot Chloe Harrison
5 to 7 Jane Hastings
Just Before I Go Greta
2015 The Wedding Ringer Alison Palmer
The Stanford Prison Experiment Christina Maslach
Welcome to Happiness Trudy
2016 Between Us Dianne
2017 Chappaquiddick Rachel Schiff
2018 Damascus Cover Kim Johnson
White Orchid Claire
2019 Above the Shadows Holly
TBA You Above All Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2006–2007 Kidnapped Aubrey Cain 5 episodes
2009 Bored to Death Suzanne 4 episodes
2011 Good Vibes Jeena Voice role; main role, 12 episodes
2016 Goliath Lucy Kittridge Main role
2019–2020 The L Word: Generation Q Rebecca Dowery 5 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Farragut North Molly Stearns Linda Gross Theater
2012 Lonely, I'm Not Businesswoman Second Stage Theatre[17]
2014 O.P.C. Romi Weil American Repertory Theater


  1. ^ AlloCine. "Olivia J. Thirlby – Recherche AlloCiné". AlloCiné. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Louie, Rebecca (June 28, 2008). "Olivia Thirlby is smoking in 'The Wackness'". Daily News|location=New York. Retrieved June 29, 2008.
  3. ^ Johnson, G. Allen (August 19, 2010). "Olivia Thirlby keeps busy with multiple movies". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  4. ^ "Olivia Thirlby: Life After 'Juno'". Entertainment Weekly.
  5. ^ "Olivia Thirlby". IMDb. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  6. ^ "Badass Ladies You Should Know – sorrynotsorrybi: Olivia Thirlby, born October 6,..." badassladiesyoushouldknow.com.
  7. ^ Yuan, Jada (June 22, 2008). "Olivia Thirlby Spurns Pot, Embraces the Munchies". New York. Retrieved June 24, 2008
  8. ^ Michael Schneider (October 20, 2008). "Fox draws up cast for 'Good Vibes'". Variety.
  9. ^ Jones, Kenneth (September 5, 2008). "Blumberg, Whitlock, Thirlby Join Atlantic's Farragut North". Playbill. Archived from the original on October 11, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  10. ^ Rich, Motoko (March 9, 2009). "Jay Asher's 'Thirteen Reasons Why,' About Teenage Suicide, Climbs Best-Seller List". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  11. ^ "Sundance Interview: Jeff Daniels, Olivia Thirlby, And John Hindman". Cinemablend.com. January 25, 2009. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  12. ^ "Massena gets ready for its film close-up". Watertowndailytimes.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2013. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  13. ^ "More Carrie Images – Pre and Post Bloody Carnage – Dread Central". Dreadcentral.com. August 27, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  14. ^ Trish Bendix (December 7, 2011). "Olivia Thirlby on being bisexual and participating in "Self-Evident Truths"". AfterEllen.com. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
  15. ^ "Jacques Pienaar on Instagram: "married this jewel a year ago today happy #anniversary my darling wife . @missthirlby"". Instagram. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  16. ^ "olivia thirlby on Instagram: "Two years of mawwage to this handsome fool, my best friend, my adventure buddy, my brother, my boom&vortels, my favorite boyfriend, my…"". Instagram. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  17. ^ "Lonely, I'm Not, Starring Topher Grace & Olivia Thirlby, Begins Off-Broadway Run". Broadway.com. April 10, 2012. Retrieved July 4, 2013.

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