Everyone is talking about Brie Larson right now. The latest powerhouse to join the Marvel Universe, Larson was recently announced as the lead in Captain Marvel. Her solo film won’t make its way to theaters before 2019, but there are plenty of reasons to love Larson and plenty of shocking things that you don’t know about her. She may have played a fantastic teenager in several films (like 21 Jump Street) but did you know she was homeschooled and went through some incredible hardships growing up? You might be excited for Captain Marvel, but make sure you don’t forget her upcoming role in a Bollywood musical that also stars Donald Sutherland.
Larson is clearly gorgeous, but she is also incredibly talented and is the most recent recipient of the Best Actress Academy Award for her breathtaking role in Room. You know she’s amazing in it, but do you know the extreme lengths she went to when preparing for the role? Her chemistry on-screen with Jacob Tremblay was fantastic, but it is matched by their outstanding relationship off-screen as well.
Larson is an inspiration to many people, but what is truly inspiring is her attitude towards the adversity that she has faced in her life.
You’ll even learn a creative hobby that you can do in your spare time to help you unwind, that Larson said is instrumental in helping her clear her own head. At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, you’ll learn all that and more when you read 20 things you didn’t know about Brie Larson.
Have a friend that’s a huge Brie Larson fan? Feel free to share the list on social media!
20. She Had A Music Career
Larson may be an outstanding actress, but perhaps it was her past history with music that helped her win the affections of her famous musical boyfriend. Larson’s debut album, Finally Out of P.E, came out in 2005 and it gave Larson several opportunities to put on live concerts. In an interview, Larson said she titled her album that because she had a P.E. teacher who really hated her. It was an incredibly difficult thing to deal with, as she was a huge teacher’s pet.
Larson also recorded a song, “Coming Around”, which appeared in the 2006 comedy Hoot, which Larson was also starred in.
Fans of Larson may also have recognized her jamming out with the band Metric for the movie Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. While you may have enjoyed her performance, it was also the last public appearance of Larson’s singing.
19. She Was Homeschooled
While you may have seen Larson rock out in a high school setting for 21 Jump Street, the truth is that the actress was actually homeschooled. It is unclear as to which age Larson was when she decided to start being homeschooled (after all, she did meet that P.E teacher!), but she ended up graduating high school at the age of 15.
When talking about her experiences, Larson said “I just didn’t relate to anybody and felt like a weirdo and kind of liked that I was a weirdo. I’d be home all day doing schoolwork and so I’d just watch movie after movie after movie after movie,” and that in particular, she was incredibly inspired by Toni Collette. You can imagine that made it all the more amazing when Larson got the chance to work alongside Collette in the series United States Of Tara.
18. She Auditioned For A Role Through Skype
Brie Larson has had no shortage of variety when it comes to work, but one of her most dramatic roles came in 2013 with the film Short Term 12. The movie followed Larson who played a supervising staff member at a residential treatment facility. In a true sign of the growth of technology, Larson actually auditioned for the role through Skype! She claimed it was the best script she had ever read, and Skype was the most accessible way to get in contact with Destin Daniel Cretton who wrote and directed the film.
The other lead in the film, John Gallagher Jr., also auditioned for his role through Skype. The film also cast Alex Calloway, who auditioned for a role after finding the ad on Craigslist and sending in an audition on a cell phone. It is clear that Cretton didn’t care how you auditioned, as long as you could prove that you can act! The movie was a huge hit with critics and is currently sitting at 99% on Rotten Tomatoes.
17. She Doesn’t Dig Social Media
While you can imagine being a popular movie star means that you would always have people trying to contact you, for Brie Larson, that’s one of the last things she enjoys. In an interview with GQ, Larson opened up more about her living situation, saying “I mean, I live with no phone signal, in the hills surrounded by trees and I have like a mom and two baby deer that come by all the time and my dogs and the squirrels are in a full on feud every morning. It’s gotten to the point now where the squirrels throw these little spiky balls from the trees at the dogs which I think is really funny.” Is it just me or does that literally seem like a scene out of a Disney movie?
When Larson was asked about the role of social media in society, and in particular in reference to its usage in 21 Jump Street, Larson said “I don’t have any of those things. I mean I text message, and I have email. But that’s it. I don’t have any of the other ones.”
16. Her Thoughts On Bigger Budget Studios/Movies
Larson has had plenty of experience at the start of her career working with independent films. As her career got larger, she started getting offered more projects, including the 2014 film The Gambler that also starred Mark Wahlberg. When talking about the benefits of working on a studio movie, Larson said “It has the time and the finances to do it right. I’m so used to doing independent films, which I love so much, but it’s like camping. It’s the difference between like staying overnight in a tent and staying overnight in a hotel.” If she thinks she’s stayed overnight at a hotel, we can only imagine how she would describe the experience once she starts work on the monumentally huge Captain Marvel.
15. Her Struggles Growing Up
Brie Larson does not have a close relationship with her father, but more on that below. When she was growing up, it was her mother and younger sister that she was leaning on for support. After they moved from Sacramento to Los Angeles, when she was only 7 years old, Larson said she only had “Two pairs of jeans and a couple of shirts and a pair of shoes, and we ate Top Ramen noodles every night, But my Mum has this incredible imagination, and she instilled so much life into that space that I didn’t realize that we didn’t have anything.” Larson also said that she started to normalize some of the deficiencies she had growing up, such as a lack of toothbrush, proper nutrition and being unable to wash her face and hair.
14. Her Relationship With Co-Star Jacob Tremblay
Brie Larson’s most impressive acting performance came in 2015 when she starred in Room. She received an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance. Her main co-star in the movie was Jacob Tremblay, who is currently only 9 years old. You can imagine that over the course of filming Larson and Tremblay would have gotten increasingly closer, and in an interview, Larson talked more about her friendship, saying “‘He’s like my best pal – we did everything together, to the point that when Ma comes home and is reunited with her mother, I realized I myself felt incapable of talking to another adult. I didn’t know how not to talk about Star Wars, or which animal would beat which other animal in a battle.”
13. Who She Is Dating
Sorry fellas, while you may be fantasizing about spending a night with Captain Marvel, she’s been in a long-term relationship with Alex Greenwald since 2013. They also announced their engagement this past May. While you may think Larson is the only impressive one in that relationship, think again. Greenwald is a talented musician and record producer and is most prominently known as the lead singer of his rock band Phantom Planet. Greenwald started the band in 1994, with their biggest claim to fame being that they were the ones who performed the theme song for The O.C.
12. Her Relationship With Her Father
Above, we hinted at the fact that Larson does not have a good relationship with her father. But if we’re being honest, no relationship would be a better description. Larson said back in February that she has not talked to her father in over 10 years. He did not have a clean divorce with Larson’s mother, and Larson said “When legally I didn’t have to have visitation with him anymore, I jumped on it, As a kid I tried to understand him and understand the situation. But he didn’t do himself any favors. I don’t think he ever really wanted to be a parent. It wasn’t until truly recently that I realized that’s why so much of my work was so volatile.”
11. When She Wanted To Be An Actress
Do you know what you wanted to be when you were a child? For Larson, she knew at the age of 6 that acting was going to be her dream, and by the time she was 7, she was already in acting lessons. Her mother was less than convinced, especially because Larson admitted to being exceptionally shy when it came to interacting with other individuals, saying “I was nervous to even talk to other kids in my class, I would hide in my room when my parents had people over….[but] I found I could perform in front of 200 people, [even if I] would still feel nervous having a one-on-one conversation.”
10. What Her First Acting Role Was
Larson first got her feet wet as an actress by playing the Indian that chases the turkey during the Thanksgiving play when she was in the 2nd grade. Larson said that she was also convinced that she wanted to be an actress after watching The Sound of Music at the local Music Circus.
Larson got her first legitimate gig, working on the Jay Leno show. In an interview, Larson talked more about her first ever skit, saying “It was this Barbie commercial where I got to pour mud all over Barbie dolls and watch the heads pop off. It was so exciting, a lot of fun.”
9. Why She Got Cast in Room
Before you saw Brie Larson in Room, you may have recognized her from the hilarious comedy 21 Jump Street. This may have made it all the more shocking to see her deliver such a raw and captivating performance, but one person who was not surprised was the director, Lenny Abrahamson.
Abrahamson has complimented Larson on various occasions, once saying “Brie has this very special quality, which is that she can go to these very dark and emotionally raw places, but she does it with such simplicity and grace…There’s no showboating. There is just a truthfulness and an honesty about the performance.”
There is definitely no doubt that Larson’s raw performance in another one of her films Short Term 12 was partially why Abrahamson had so much confidence in Larson. Anyone who has been fortunate enough to watch Room will also understand why it will be incredibly easy to get confident behind any role that Larson chooses to pursue.
8. She Is A Writer And Director
Brie Larson may be an acclaimed actress, but you might also want to keep your eyes on her as someone behind the scenes as well. Back in 2012, Larson and two of her close friends wrote and directed the short film, The Arm2. The movie won an award at the Sundance movie festival, leading Larson to say that she had never felt more proud of herself than in that moment. You can imagine that moment was probably matched, if not surpassed when she took home her Best Actress award.
In 2011, Larson also wrote and directed the movie Weighting but it did not receive much acclaim. In the past, Larson has mentioned how it was working on writing her first traditional film, but you can understand why that might have taken a backseat now that she’s got a pretty busy schedule ahead of her!
7. Her Thoughts On Kong: Skull Island
If you were paying attention to Comic-Con this past month, then you’re well aware a trailer dropped for the upcoming juggernaut, Kong: Skull Island. Larson is not only one of the leads, she’s also one of the only females in the movie. She talked about this experience in an interview, saying “Everyone was super, hyper aware of [the fact that I was the only main female] when we started, They were like, ‘Are you okay? It must be hard being the only girl.’ I was looking at them going, I love this movie. However, we’ve got 20 representations of masculine, and we have one representation of feminine. It’s a lot of pressure. I have to be Chaka Khan—I have to be every woman!”
If there is anyone able to pull it off, it’ll be Larson. The movie also stars Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Hiddleston. You can definitely imagine there will be plenty of testosterone being thrown around on set.
6. Her Dedication For Room
You may know that Larson was outstanding in Room, but do you know all of the things she did behind the scenes to get ready for the role? Emma Donoghue who wrote the screenplay remembers being amazed at Larson’s dedication to lose 15 pounds to give herself the image of a hollow, sinewy look of a longtime hostage. In a particularly fun story, Donoghue recalled a time in which they were out for a lavish dinner and Larson picked up a piece of bruschetta, ate the tomatoes off of the top, and then put the bread back down. Donaghue said how he knew “She was trying to stay very lean for the part, and I thought that showed an iron will, who can put down the bread when they’re eating the topping off a bruschetta?”
5. Why She Stopped Doing Music
Above you learned more about the relationship that Larson has had with music, but do you know why she quit? Larson started recording her album Finally Out of P.E., but said that the overall experience with the album is what turned her off of the industry. Larson was particularly unhappy with the fact that she was being forced to record material that was not written by herself. Larson also said that “I came to realize that there has to be a purpose to my art, that my work has to be of service, if I am just doing this for financial gain, that counts for nothing – there’s nothing substantial in that.”
This was also one of the motivating factors as to why Larson enjoyed getting her start on smaller projects that she was passionate about, such as United States of Tara, Short Term 12 and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.
Larson had a second album that was coming closer to being released, but the project fell apart and never materialized. She announced back in 2008 that she was going to be releasing a 5 track EP, but sadly that also did not come together.
It also didn’t help her music career that her acting career was taking off. In an interview, Larson said “When what you do is play characters, every day, all day, I wasn’t really interested in playing a pop star on the weekends. I wanted to be myself, and it slowly turned into not being me at all, so I just didn’t really see the point.”
4. Why She Picked Trainwreck
There are a lot of roles in which Larson gets really heavy, so it must seem like a really fun swap when she gets the opportunity to work on some hilarious comedies like 21 Jump Street or Trainwreck. The latter movie was directed by Judd Apatow, who originally considered Larson for a role in his previous movie Bridesmaids (which he produced, but did not direct) after noticing her on United States of Tara. When talking about her decision to join, she said “ I’ll do this fun thing, laugh my ass off and eat whatever I want,” it also helps that Apatow often re-casts stars he loves, leading Larson to say “Once you’re in the family, they always bring you back.” Let’s hope that means we’re going to keep getting to see a lighter side of Larson as her career progresses.
3. She Is Doing A Bollywood Musical
Wait what? That’s right! Larson has admitted in the past that she loves to be always pushing her comfort zones, so after she finished filming the grueling Short Term 12, she decided to take a role playing a scientist in the Bollywood film Basmati Blues. Larson is responsible for creating genetically modified rice with her father and boss (played by Donald Sutherland) and is then sent to India to sell the rice to rural farmers. If that wasn’t weird enough, Larson beat out Kate Hudson for the role and the movie will feature music from the country group, Sugarland.
When talking about the role, Larson said “I got to spend time in the UCLA lab and got to be in Biohazard lab and learn how to split DNA. I don’t know. I just like to keep challenging myself and try to find material that isn’t manipulative.”
2. She Calms Down By Designing Typefaces
You should hope that everyone out there has some type of hobby they like to do to unwind. For Larson, she loves designing different typefaces, which may be better known as different types of fonts. Her favorite that she had created, was a font where each letter resembles a 3D Mouse Hole.
When talking about her hobby, Larson said “I made three or four different fonts during Short Term 12 – it was how I’d calm my mind between scenes, I have graph paper and gel pens and I would do the alphabet: just do ‘a’ over and over again until I got it perfect and then go to ‘b’ and then ‘c’. I definitely look like a weirdo with scraps of paper everywhere and the alphabet over and over again. But I can’t read a book and then jump into this character, so it ends up being the perfect thing for me: it’s creative, it keeps my mind active and you get something at the end.”
1. She Wants To Quit Acting
When it comes to reading different interviews with celebrities, you may be amazed at how many of them admit to often feeling like they want to quit their industry. When asked about it, Larson admitted that she thinks about quitting every single day, but that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Larson feels that if anything, that feeling makes her stronger, saying in an interview,
“I think it is the fact that I want to quit that keeps me going. It’s very complicated. But I think part of this whole exploration with every job that I do is, in terms of overcoming fear and by overcoming the fear I feel so much more complete, and I learn something new about myself…. And so what usually keeps me from quitting is that my reasons for quitting are just lame.
I wouldn’t want anybody else to talk to myself the way that I talk to myself. And I wouldn’t want anybody else to quit because they were scared. So, I feel like, by me continuing to push forward and put myself out there and try new things, not only do I get the joy of learning new things, but perhaps there’s some other person out there in the world who will be like, ‘Wow that’s like a very human person and I can totally see how that would be hard and really great—and I think I want to try it.’”
We’re sure there is no shortage of people out there who have been inspired by Larson.