Jessica Szohr

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Jessica Szohr

Szohr in 2008
BornJessica Karen Szohr
(1985-03-31) March 31, 1985 (age 27)
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, U.S.
Years active2003–present
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Jessica Szohr

Szohr in 2008
BornJessica Karen Szohr
(1985-03-31) March 31, 1985 (age 27)
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, U.S.
Years active2003–present

Jessica Karen Szohr (pronounced zorr;[1] born March 31, 1985) is an American actress. Szohr began her screen career starring on television shows such as CSI: Miami and What About Brian. She gained recognition in 2007 with her breakthrough role as Vanessa Abrams on The CW series Gossip Girl.[2] She most recently appeared in the 2010 horror film Piranha 3D and in 2011 comedy I Don't Know How She Does It.


Early life

Szohr is of Hungarian and one quarter African-American descent.[3] She was born in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, a place she describes as a "family-oriented small town".[4] The oldest of five children, Szohr played soccer, served on the student council, and was part of the cheerleading squad while in school.[5] She started a cleaning company with a friend, cleaning their teachers’ houses.[6]

Szohr started modeling at age six. Her first national campaign was for Quaker Oats at age ten,[5] and she also appeared in print ads for Kohl's department store.[7] Subsequent modelling gigs followed, including prints for Crate & Barrel, Mountain Dew, Sears, Jockey and JanSport.[2] Szohr graduated from Menomonee Falls High School a semester early[8] and moved to Los Angeles with her mother at the age of 17 to pursue an acting career.[5] She told Seventeen magazine that she "almost moved home like five times."[6]


Szohr earned her laurels as a frequent presence on U.S. television during the 2000s. She appeared in numerous guest stints in television series such as That's So Raven, My Wife and Kids, What I Like About You and Joan of Arcadia. She also appeared in three episodes of CSI: Miami as Samantha Barrish.

In 2007, she appeared in a major recurring role as Laura for six episodes in the now cancelled ABC Dramedy television series What About Brian. Along with Stacy Keibler, she played a neighbour to the main character Brian O'Hara (Barry Watson).[9] She also appeared in the music videos for Best Days by Matt White and Over You by Daughtry, in which she played Sarah.

Jessica Szohr as Vanessa Abrams in Gossip Girl's episode "The Lady Vanished".

In the same year, Szohr earned her breakthrough role on the hit CW Teen Drama television series Gossip Girl.[10] Based on the novel series written by Cecily von Ziegesar, Gossip Girl’s premise follows the lives of privileged young adults on Manhattan's Upper East Side in New York City. She plays Vanessa Abrams, Dan Humphrey’s (Penn Badgley) childhood friend and occasional love interest.[11] Szohr described her character to Ocean Drive magazine, "Vanessa doesn't change for other people. She says what she thinks. [...] she’s just a badass girl from Brooklyn".[4] The portrayal of Vanessa in the TV series has drawn criticism from Ziegesar, who claimed Vanessa is "one character they ruined".[12] Originally cast as a recurring role,[13] she became an additional series regular after the season one episode "The Blair Bitch Project". She left the cast of the show at the end of the fourth season.

She has appeared in small roles in films such as Somebody Help Me, The Reading Room and Fired Up.

Szohr next signed on to Dimension Films' horror Piranha 3D directed by Alexandre Aja.[14] The film was a remake of the 1978 comedy-horror Piranha. In the film, she played Kelly Driscoll, "a hot young townie caught up in the excitement of co-eds who have descended upon the area for spring break."[15] The role required her to be underwater; Szohr later told the New York Daily News that filming was difficult because she was "not the best swimmer."[16] Filming began in June 2009, and the film was pushed back from its original release date in March to August 2010.[17] She also appeared in a Funny or Die video promoting the film alongside Kelly Brook and others.[18]

She was awarded the Breakthrough Actress in Film award at the 2010 Breakthrough Of The Year awards for her work in Piranha 3D.[19]

In April 2010, Szohr joined the cast of the romantic comedy Love, Wedding, Marriage, along with Mandy Moore and Kellan Lutz. The film began principal photography in April 2010 and was filmed in New Orleans.[20]

Szohr will have a role in the independent post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie, Hirokin which began production in July 2010.[21] Her role as Orange has been described as a "cunning temptress". She is also set to star in the Eric Amadio directed indie film, Walks alongside Brittany Snow and Rumer Willis.[22]

She will star in the indie drama Art Machine as an outlaw hipster and a pyrotechnic artist. Directed by Doug Karr, the movie is being shot in New York.[23]

In May 2011, it was confirmed that Jessica would not be appearing as a regular cast member on the 5th season of Gossip Girl, and that her character Vanessa would be cut along with Taylor Momsen's.

In October 2011, Jessica finished filming a horror comedy film in East Lothian, Scotland titled Love Bite with co-star Ed Speleers.

In November 2011, Jessica filmed a drama in L.A. called Light Years.

Personal life

Szohr was in a relationship with her Gossip Girl co-star Ed Westwick from late 2008. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Szohr admitted the two were "just friends" for a year but decided to give a relationship a go when they found themselves single. "It can be a little awkward [...] It kind of just happened." Szohr said in the interview, "when all of a sudden [you have feelings for] someone you'd call to talk about a different boyfriend."[24] In April 2010, Westwick split from Szohr[25][26] but the two reunited while filming season 4 of Gossip Girl in August 2010.[27] In February 2012, it was reported Westwick and Szhor had rekindled their relationship.[28]

Szohr has an affinity for snowboarding, hiking, yoga and soccer. She describes her hobbies as a result of her being "from Wisconsin".[16] Szohr has also said that she is a huge Green Bay Packers fan.[29] She also told Parade magazine that, in order to avoid real-life gossip, she doesn’t "read blogs, I don't have MySpace, I don't have Facebook or Twitter -- none of that."[30] She lived in Los Angeles for about 2 years, but recently moved to New York.[2] She is now on Twitter @iamjessicaszohr

Szohr’s real-life fashion is what she calls "simple and casual." Speaking to Vogue, she said "I wouldn’t say I’m trendy or follow any particular trends."[31] She also has 11 tattoos, including her grandparent’s anniversary on her left arm and a cherub on her foot.[32]

In 2010, Szohr was named in People magazine's "100 Most Beautiful People in the World".[3]

In the same year, she ranked #18 at FHM's Germany Sexiest Women in the World magazine.[citation needed]


2005The Reading RoomDayvaHallmark Channel Original Movie
2006House at the End of the DriveKrista
2007Somebody Help MeNicoleDirect-to-DVD
2009Fired UpKaraCameo
2010Piranha 3DKelly DriscollNominated - MTV Movie Award for Best Scared-As-S**t Performance
2011Love, Wedding, MarriageShelby
Art MachineCassandra Moon
I Don't Know How She Does ItPaulasupporting role
Tower HeistSasha Gibbs
2012Love BiteJulianaMain character
Light YearsLita(filming)
2003My Wife & KidsDee-Jayepisode "Not So Hostile takeover"
2004What I Like About YouLizepisode "Lunar Eclipse of the Heart"
2004Drake & Joshepisode "Two Idiots and a Baby"
2004Joan of ArcadiaNikkiepisode "Double Dutch"
2005That's So RavenJordash Hiltoperepisode "The Big Buzz"
2007CSI: MiamiSamantha Barrish3 episodes
2007What About BrianLaura6 episodes
2007–2011Gossip GirlVanessa AbramsMain Role (Season 1–4); 82 episodes
2012Punk'dHerself1 episode
Music Video
2007"Best Days"Matt White
2007"Over You"SarahDaughtry


  1. ^ Madeleine Marr (2009-03-16). "Jessica Szohr isn't a glamour girl". The Miami Herald: p. A8. 
  2. ^ a b c "JESSICA SZOHR as VANESSA ABRAMS". The CW. Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  3. ^ a b "Most Beautiful 2010 16 of 17". People.,,20360857_20364406,00.html#20776532. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  4. ^ a b "Szohr's High School 'Very Different' From 'Gossip Girl' World". AOL News. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  5. ^ a b c Prato, Alison (2009-05-26). "Gossip Girl's Jessica Szohr Dresses up and Dishes on Ed Westwick". Page Six Magazine (New York Post). Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  6. ^ a b "Seventeen Interviews Jessica Szohr from Gossip Girl!". Seventeen. 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  7. ^ "Jessica Szohr". US Magazine. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  8. ^ "Gossip Girl Transformations". InStyle.,,20208061_20207867_20473217,00.html. Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  9. ^ "Stacy Keibler and Jessica Szohr Join What About Brian". Movie Web. 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  10. ^ Ausiello, Michael (2007-09-16). "Exclusive Girl Gossip: Brian Babe Joins Cast!". TV Guide. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  11. ^ Byrne, Fiona (2007-11-20). "The Night We Met Vanessa From 'Gossip Girl' and Didn't Kill Her". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  12. ^ "Gossip Girl Author Loves the Show, Hates Vanessa". People. 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  13. ^ Dodd, Stacy (2007-09-23). "Jessica Szohr". Variety. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  14. ^ Kroll, Justin (2009-05-26). "Jessica Szohr added to 'Piranha 3-D'". Variety. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  15. ^ "Jessica Szohr to Be Devoured by Piranhas". New York Magazine. 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  16. ^ a b E. Osterhout, Jacob (2010-08-15). "'Gossip Girl' star Jessica Szohr battles her fear of deep lakes in 'Piranha 3D'". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  17. ^ Connelly, Brendon (2010-01-15). "Piranha 3D Pushed Back At Least Four Months, Might Not Even Be 3D". Slash Film. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  18. ^ "Piranha 3D: For Your Consideration". Funny or Die. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  19. ^ "Agron & Szohr Land Top Breakthrough Honors". W.E.N.N. 2010-08-16. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  20. ^ Scott, Mike (2010-04-27). "Dermot Mulroney to try directing with new Orleans-shot romantic comedy". Nola. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  21. ^ McNary, Dave (2009-05-26). "Thesps join 'Hirokin' list'". Variety. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  22. ^ McNary, Dave (2009-04-20). "Brittany Snow 'Walks' to indie drama". Variety. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  23. ^ Kit, Borys (2010-10-25). "EXCLUSIVE: Joseph Cross, Jessica Szohr Starring in Indie 'Art Machine'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  24. ^ Waterman, Lauren. "Jessica Szohr Plays it Cool". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  25. ^ "Gossip breaks up Ed Westwick & Jessica Szohr". New York Post. 2010-04-08. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  26. ^ Weiner, Juli (2010-04-08). "Are Two Gossip Girl Couples Now Four Gossip Girl Singles?". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  27. ^ Parvizi, Lauren (2010-08-10). "Ed Westwick & Jessica Szohr 'back together'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  28. ^ "Ed Westwick reunites with Jessica Szohr". Sky News Australia. 2012-02-17. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  29. ^ Frederick, Brendan (2008-10-22). "Jess is More". "Complex". Retrieved 2011-01-08. 
  30. ^ Hayne, Tim (2010-08-11). "Jessica Szohr on Real-Life Gossip: 'When You're Coming Up, People Want to Bring You Down'". Parade. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  31. ^ Mathews, Dana (2009-02-07). "It Girl: Jessica Szohr". Vogue. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  32. ^ Gold, Marissa (2010-02-15). "Jessica Szohr's Tattoos - Celebrity Tattoos". Stylelist (AOL). Retrieved 2010-08-20. 

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