Jennifer Carpenter was born on December 7, 1979 in Louisville, Kentucky. As a child, she went to St. Raphael Elementary School and then on to Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville.
Jennifer trained at the Walden Theater Conservatory and studied acting at the Juilliard School in New York City. She
As of 2008, Jennifer is dating her Dexter co-star Michael C. Hall
Jennifer knew she wanted to act when she was only eight years old.
Jennifer performed in the play A Midsummer Night's Dream when she was in grade school.
Jennifer frequently went shooting with her father while growing up.
Jennifer attended Sacred Heart Academy.
Jennifer attended the Walden Theatre Company in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
Jennifer attended The Juilliard School of Acting.
Jennifer was cast in the Broadway revival of The Crucible before she graduated from Julliard.
Jennifer made her feature film debut in Ashe Wednesday.
Jennifer auditioned three times for her part on Dexter.
Jennifer prepared for her role on Dexter by reading forensics books.
Jennifer does charity work for Clothing Immaterial.
Jennifer is a fan of the The Dixie Chicks.
Jennifer considers The Shining to be one of the best horror films.
Jennifer is not the daughter of director John Carpenter.
She won a 2006 MTV Movie Award in the "Best Frightened Performance" category for her part in The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
She was nominated for a 2006 MTV Movie Award in the category of "Breakthrough Performance" for her part in The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
She appeared in the play The Witches Hunt on Broadway, directed by Sir Richard Eyre.
She is 5' 8" (1.73 m).
She had to learn how to use both sets of vocal cords for her role in The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
Her sister is a chiropractor.
[On why she wanted to play Emily Rose]
Jennifer Carpenter: I wanted to play this role because I thought the story was so incredible and so fascinating that it's almost unbelievable, which is exactly why I wanted to help tell it. I liked the idea that Scott Derrickson wasn't thinking of using a lot of special effects, which was sort of a brave call nowadays. And I liked the idea of being invited to make something new, something that hadn't been made before.
[On if she believes in demons]
Jennifer Carpenter: I believe in possibility, but I'm not sure I believe in demons. I was trying to like downgrade that word to superstition. "Am I superstitious?" And I realized, "No, but maybe it's superstition, maybe it's OCD." They might be closer than you think. Like when I pick a book off a shelf, I'll look at all of them. They're the exact same book with the exact same words inside, but I'll think that one is meant to go home with me. Now I sound crazy. [laughs] And I'll never pick the first thing up off a shelf, it has to be the one behind.
[On her character from Dexter]
Jennifer Carpenter: I get that she's a fighter for what she believes in, like her destiny is always on the horizon and she's chasing it with all her might. She doesn't always have the vocabulary to say what she means, which is why she has a bad mouth. But her heart is in the right place.
[On living in Los Angeles]
Jennifer Carpenter: When I first got to L.A., I was stretching $20 a week, waiting tables, and I did that for about six months. I didn't mind it at all, I was really happy for that experience, but it made me really get aggressive about what I want. I've been doing this since I was eight, and never considered doing anything else, so I really had to kick it into gear.
[On The Exorcism of Emily Rose]
Jennifer Carpenter: If anything, it just makes you look at your beliefs, whatever they are, and see how much space you've left for possibility. There was a great line that's not in the film now, but I think Tom's character says it, and it was, 'Faith without doubt is a dangerous thing.' I think I understand what that means now, whether it's faith in politics or faith in religion or faith in science. You have to always be open to some more.
[On the barn scene from The Exorcism of Emily Rose]
Jennifer Carpenter: I wasn't sure if I was allergic to hay or not, I'm from Kentucky and you would think I would know but I didn't. I took an antihistamine and I didn't know that they make your blood thin and your heat race. So I was spending all day screaming and I almost fainted once. Right before I fainted I came to and opened my eyes and I didn't know where I was or who anyone was so I took a breather and started up again. It was almost happening each time and all I knew was that the scream was the intention to get my sister to leave the barn. So when I see it now I know how I felt and what I was trying to do. It was so scary for me how I was feeling that it scares me now.
Jennifer: My sister is a chiropractor and she says I have an unusually flexible lower back, but I don't do yoga, and I don't feel like I'm very bendy.