Gillian Jacobs

Gillian Jacobs

Birth Name


  • Gillian Jacobs as Britta on Community.
  • Gillian Jacobs as Britta on Community.
  • Gillian Jacobs as Britta on Community.
  • Joel McHale as Jeff and Gillian Jacobs a...
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Gillian Jacobs is an American film, television, and stage actress known during the early stages of her acting career to perform roles of lost girls with tortured souls. She grew up in an upper middle class suburb called Mount Lebanon, just outside of Pittsburgh. It was there that…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Gillian was voted #43 in BuddyTV's 'TV's 100 Sexiest Women of 2009'.

    • Gillian appeared in her first play when she was in third grade and performed at Little Lake Theatre and in Ken Gargaro shows as a child. Her mother enrolled her in an acting course when she was eight years old.

    • Her father, Bill, worked as an investment banker while her mom, Martina, is employed at Carnegie Mellon University, working with alumni relations.

    • Gillian was one among the 31 featured rising Hollywood stars in the "On the Edge of Tomorrow" feature in NYLON magazine's May 2009 issue.

    • As a teen, Gillian used to read through the American Theatre magazine and dreamed of starring in an Off-Broadway production.

    • If she had a porn name, it would be Bubbles Sunnyhill, since her childhood goldfish was named Bubbles and they used to live in a street called Sunnyhill outside of Pittsburgh.

    • She considers watching "super trashy TV" like America's Next Top Model as her guilty pleasure. Her favorite TV show is 30 Rock.

    • Her favorite non-healthy snack is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. She likes snacks that have the combination of peanut butter and chocolate.

    • Gillian considers her nude scenes, shot at a strip club in Newark, to be the toughest scenes she's done for the movie Choke. Although she has done nudity on her prior films, Gillian was still hesitant to do those scenes in the film.

    • She won the annual Shakespeare Monologue Contest at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and Pittsburgh Public Theater twice.

    • Gillian takes her coffee black.

    • Film and TV Movie Credits:
      The Box (2009) as Dana Steward
      Gardens of the Night (2008) as Leslie
      Choke (2008) as Cherry Daquiri/Beth
      Blackbird (2007) as Froggy
      Up All Night (2007) as Marni
      Building Girl (2006) as Katie

    • In Fall 2007, Jacobs starred as Amanda Blue in the Off-Broadway production of A Feminine Ending at Playwrights Horizon. She also appeared in Stephen Adly-Guirgis' The Little Flower of East Orange at The Public Theater during the Spring of 2008.

    • In May 2004, Jacobs, then a 4th-year student at Juilliard School in New York, wrote a feature article for the school's online journal entitled "For Drama Students, It's California Here We Come".

  • Quotes

    • Gillian: (On feeling out of her element compared to the comedic background of her cast mates on the TV series "Community") I've learned a lot. I've learned a lot from this man, Jim Rash [who plays Dean Pelton]. He's a Groundling and he actually asked me to go and do improv one night at the Groundlings. I was foolishly like, "Yeah, sure!" And then I got there and was instantly terrified, like, "What have I done?" But I feel like I've absorbed some stuff … The only reason I was able to pull it off is getting to work with people like Jim and Donald Glover and Chevy Chase.

    • Gillian: (On if she prefers the episodes on the TV series "Community" to be big themed episodes, more grounded, or mixed) I like that we don't have to pick. 'Cause I don't think I would want to be on a show that was all one or the other, you know? But it's really nice to go from doing something hyperrealistic, like the hospital episode, which was faux-documentary style-to go from that to something that's really heightened reality, I think that's really fun. And you feel sort of challenged as an actor. You've got to keep all your chops up rather than just doing the same thing week after week.

    • Gillian: (On if her character Britta on the TV series "Community" frustrates her to play) No, I love it.

    • Gillian: (on being compared to other actresses) I've gotten 'a blond Liv Tyler' a lot but I'd never gotten an 'Elisabeth Shue,' But I was happy to get the compliment. I'm not gonna turn it down.

    • Gillian: I realized I didn't want to do anything else. I was a boy in Oliver; I was in Annie and everything else.

    • Gillian: I had play rehearsal at Juilliard while the MTV awards were filming at Lincoln Center. You're trying to get to class and it's like, 'Out of my way, Whitney Houston!

    • Gillian: Once, these girls on Bedford Avenue audibly mocked my outfit. One says, 'Those shoes are so stupid!' And the other says, 'The dress is OK but is that a Boston bag?' I had this tote that said 'Boston' on it, which solidified that they were indeed talking about me. My heart pounds when I think about the red carpet. But I still wear those dumb shoes. I carry my Boston bag with pride.

    • Gillian: (on working as a teaching assistant at Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts, where she previously studied drama) I was extremely lucky to get a chance to return to Governor's School. Being surrounded by this enthusiasm and dedication provided me with new inspiration for my own work. At times, it is possible to lose the joy and drive in your work, but the students of Governor's School reminded me why I have chosen theater as my life's work and why I am so privileged to do so.

    • Gillian: I'll always go back to the theater. It's fulfilling and there's an immediacy to it.

    • Gillian: (describing her audition for the stripper role in "Choke") I thought, 'what shall I wear to this audition?' And I just bought these ridiculous shorts. No, they weren't just shorts. They were shorts that had like suspenders attached to them. (background comment that they were 'hot pants overalls') Yes! And I thought I should wear these. And I had to walk down Canal Street in New York to the audition and that's where the truckers are coming off the bridge. So I got a lot of honks. So I thought I'm doing something right.

    • Gillian: (on exploring her other talents) I want to be Jackie Onassis and have a second act as a fiction editor. I don't think I wanna write.

    • Gillian: (on playing an exotic dancer in "Choke") It's so different from who I am, but it has been an opportunity to be a character actress, which I think is sometimes rare for young actresses starting out.

    • Gillian: (on "Gardens of the Night" writer/director Damian Harris helping her prepare for her role in the movie) Damian lent me hours and hours of taped interviews he had conducted with street kids, counselors, pimps and parents of missing children. I remember having to stop the tape and go for a walk after hearing a particularly chilling tale of parents forcing their toddlers to participate in pornography.

    • Gillian: If you grow up doing one thing you don't always think you can do another, but I always loved improv comedy.

    • Gillian: (on making the film, "Gardens of the Night") Shooting the film was exhilarating and exhausting. Our locations were scarily authentic. I have spent more time in cheap motels, highway underpasses and a closed boy's reformatory than one ever should. Spending day in and day out in these locations brought me face to face with the world we were attempting to portray.

    • Gillian: (on playing the role of lost girls) I'm not conservative, but I am kind of clean living in my own life. I've had to learn how to fake taking drugs - I've snorted fake coke, smoked fake heroin. It's been an education.