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 her love for acting grew as she dreamed of one day appearing on Broadway. Gillian performed in local productions at the Pittsburgh Public Theater and once starred as Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
After she graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School in 2000, Jacobs moved to New York to attend the prestigious Juilliard School, where she refined her acting skills.
Six months after graduation, Gillian would land her first professional acting job in the 2005 comedy Building Girl. The following year, she made her television debut in a three-episode appearance as Adele Congreve in NBC's short-lived religious drama The Book of Daniel, which top-billed Ellen Burstyn and Aidan Quinn. While she was tapped to play Kimberly in the pilot episode of ABC's Traveler, the part went to Pascale Hutton when the show was picked up. Her other television appearances include guest-starring roles as Joanne Ostler, a villain in Fringe, as Sue Smith, a struggling music artist in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and as Tess Frimoli, a ballerina in Royal Pains. On the big screen and on stage, one would think that a Juilliard graduate like Gillian would choose characters of glamour and prestige.
On the contrary, the front-end of her career would include challenging roles that are on the other end of the social spectrum. In her short and still-budding acting career, she has portrayed a rape victim in the play Cagelove (2006), a 16-year-old homeless junkie in Blackbird (2007), a druggy girlfriend in Philip Seymour Hoffman's The Little Flower of East Orange (2008), a sexy blonde stripper in Choke (2008), and a sexual abuse victim in Gardens of the Night (2008). Ironically, in 2009, she was cast as Britta on NBC's Community, a comedy about a group of misfits attending a community college.