Brie Larson has emerged as one of the most promising and talented actresses of her generation.
With an Academy Award under her belt and a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe heading to multiplexes in early 2019, this former child star and vocal sexual harassment victims advocate’s career looks as unstoppable as the Marvel character she’s about to portray.
Here are twenty six fascinating facts about the life of Brie Larson.
She’s The Daughter Of Chiropractors
Brie Larson was born on October 1st 1989. She is the daughter of Heather and Sylvain Desaulniers, two chiropractors who ran a practice together until their divorce. After her parents divorced, Brie’s mother moved her and her sister Raya to Los Angeles.
Her Original Name Was A Bit Of A Mouthful
Brie Larson wasn’t always know by that name. She was christened Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers. In later life, Brie realized that her name was a bit of a mouthful, so decided to shorten her first name and come up with a new surname that rolled off the tongue a little easier. Brie told Glamour magazine that she chose ‘Larson’ as her surname as that had been her grandmother’s maiden name.
Her Heritage Is Pretty Complicated
Brie’s mother, Heather, has Swedish, Welsh, German, English and Scottish ancestry. Her father, Sylvain, is French-Canadian from Manitoba. Growing up, Larson’s first language was in fact French, not English.
She Was Home-Schooled
Unlike most kids in the States, Larson was home-schooled by her mother. She has talked about how this didn’t really bother her as she was more interested in staying in her room drawing than she was going to school dances and such. Larson was a painfully shy child. However, she expressed an early interest in drama, and her mother eventually enrolled her at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco where she studied acting.
She Found Early Fame On The Tonight Show
Larson’s first TV appearance was in 1998 when she was nine years old. She performed sketches on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. She was then cast in the sitcom, Schimmel, which starred the comedian, Robert Schimmel. Unfortunately, the show was put on hiatus when Schimmel was diagnosed with cancer. After ten months on hold, Fox decided to ax the show.
She Was Cut From Hope & Faith
After Schimmel‘s cancellation, Larson landed the role of ‘Emily’ in the Bob Saget-starring sitcom, Raising Dad, after its name was changed from Your Dreams. The show aired in the 2001-2002 season, but was not well received. It was cancelled after just twenty two episodes. Larson was then cast in the pilot for the sitcom, Hope & Faith. When the show was green-lit for a full season, Larson’s character, alongside others, was dropped and the show went on without her.
She’s Also A Talented Musician
Larson isn’t just a talented actress and director. She’s also a budding musician. In 2003, she released her first single through her own website called ‘Go Goodbye‘. She followed this up with her second single, ‘Invisible Girl‘. The songs were well received, and Larson was offered a record contract by Casablanca Records – a subsidiary of Universal Records. As a result, Larson removed her songs from her website for contractual reasons.
She Reached Number 33 In The Charts
In October 2004, Larson released her first single under contract called ‘She Said‘. The song was the first single from her forthcoming album, and reached number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was the 99th best selling CD single of the year.
She’s Released An Album
Larson’s first – and so far only – album was called ‘Finally Out of PE‘. The album was heavily promoted on child-oriented radio stations such as Radio KOL and Radio Disney. Despite this, the album sold just 3,500 copies in the States. Larson has recorded another album, but it has never seen the light of day.
She Had A Pretty Crowded Work Schedule In Her Teens
Larson continued to work steadily throughout her teens. In 2003 she starred in the Disney Channel’s Right on Track alongside Beverley Mitchell. In 2004, she appeared in the teen movie Sleepover and had a small role in 13 Going on 30. She also lent her voice to a character in the movie Farce of the Penguins, and appeared in an episode of Ghost Whisperer in 2008.
She’s Recorded Songs For Movies
In 2006, Larson appeared in the movie Hoot alongside Logan Lerman and Cody Linley. She also recorded a song for the movie called ‘Coming Around‘. It wasn’t the first time she’d recorded a song for a film. In 2005, she recorded a song for the movie Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus called ‘Hope Has Wings‘.
She Was Praised For Her Performance In United States Of Tara
In 2009, Larson was cast as the character ‘Kate Gregson’ in the Toni Collette-starring sitcom, United States of Tara. The show was well received and went on to run for three seasons. Larson’s performance was singled out for praise, with the New York Times saying she played a teenager ‘so well and naturally’.
Scott Pilgrim Was A Big Life-Changer
In 2010, Larson’s career got several boosts. She appeared in the comedy-drama Greenburg, and followed this up with an appearance as the character ‘Envy’ in Edgar Wright’s cult classic, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Larson described Scott Pilgrim as ‘a big life-changer for me’.
She Recorded A Song For Scott Pilgrim
As well as appearing as Envy in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Larson also recorded a song for the movie entitled ‘Black Sheep‘. The song was well received, and it revived rumors that Larson was going to return to recording music. However, so far recording ‘Black Sheep‘ has been the last time she has performed music professionally.
She Left An Impression With 21 Jump Street Audiences
Following on from the success of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Larson was cast in the big screen remake of the ’80s police comedy, 21 Jump Street. The movie starred Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, and Larson’s performance came in for particular praise. Slate called her “a find of major proportions”. The magazine went on to say that “she’s not only beautiful but funny, with a scratchy contralto voice, and unlike the usual female in a buddy movie, she comes across as a real person.”
She’s Also A Director
In the same year as the hugely-successful 21 Jump Street, Larson made her directorial debut with the shot film, The Arm. The movie was critically acclaimed and went on to win a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Larson also made a guest appearance on the sitcom, Community.
Her Films Have Been Nominated For Awards
In 2013, Larson returned to the director’s chair with another short film that she co-scripted called Weightlifting. Weightlifting was again well received and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the South by Southwest Film Festival. It didn’t win, but many people agreed Larson was one to watch as a future director.
She Was Perfect For Don Jon
In 2013, Larson starred alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the romantic comedy, Don Jon. Described as ‘bruisingly funny, bracingly smart’ by Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine, Larson was again picked out for praise, with Travers calling her performance ‘terrific’.
She’s Dating A Rock Musician
In 2013, Larson also began dating the musician, Alex Greenwald. Greenwald is the lead singer of the California rock band, Phantom Planet. In 2016, Larson and Greenwald jointly announced to their fans that they were engaged. They have yet to set a date for their wedding.
Room Changed Everything
2015 saw Larson’s career propelled into the stratosphere with the release of Room. An adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s smash hit novel, Room told the story of a woman and her child held prisoner in a 10ft x 10ft room. For the part, Larson stayed away from sunlight and kept to a restricted diet to achieve the right look for her character. Room was well-received by critics and audiences alike, and Larson’s performance in the movie earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress at the 2015 Academy Awards.
She Hit Box Office Gold With Kong: Skull Island
In 2016, Larson followed the success of Room with the big-budget action movie, Kong: Skull Island. Starring Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Hiddleston, Kong: Skull Island made $566 million at the box office, making it Larson’s most financially successful movie to date. Her performance was praised by Ann Hornaday in the Washington Post, despite her having ‘very little to do’.
Her First Feature Didn’t Go Down Too Well
In 2017, Larson made her feature film directorial debut with the comedy movie, Unicorn Store. The movie starred Larson, Samuel L. Jackson and Joan Cusack in a story about an art student who becomes fascinated by unicorns. The film was not well received by critics, with Variety labeling it a ‘creative misfire’.
She Stands Up For Sexual Assault Victims
Larson is a vocal campaigner for the victims of sexual assault. Following a performance by Lady Gaga at the 88th Academy Awards, Larson brought on to the stage several victims of sexual assault to highlight the issue. She hugged each one in turn as they left the stage during a commercial break.
She Snubbed Casey Affleck
Larson very publicly snubbed the actor Casey Affleck at the following year’s Academy Awards. As the previous winner of the Best Actress Award, she was charged with the traditional task of handing over the Oscar to the winner of the following year’s Best Actor Award. Affleck has been accused of sexually harassing women, and instead of applauding him as he picked up his award, Larson took a step backwards and put her arms at her sides during the audience’s standing ovation. Speaking about the incident later, Larson said, “I think that whatever it was that I did on stage kind of spoke for itself.”
She Also Snubbed The Cinefamily Theater
Larson’s commitment to sexual assault victim advocacy was again on display when she publicly distanced herself from Cinefamily, a movie theater in West Hollywood. The theater’s co-founder, Hadrian Belove, and it’s vice president of the board of directors, Shadie Elnashai, have both been accused by several women of sexual assault. The theater has since closed.
She’s Suiting Up For Marvel Studios
So what’s next for Brie Larson? Well, next year looks set to be her biggest yet as far as her career is concerned as she debuts as ‘Captain Marvel’ in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The character will appear in her own standalone movie alongside Samuel L. Jackson, before joining the gigantic cast of the next Avengers movie. It looks like there’s no stopping the rise and rise of the once shy girl from California!