Childhood, studies and fashion
Jennifer Connelly was born in Cairo, New York in the Catskill Mountains. She is an only child, her parents, her mother Eileen, was an antique dealer and ran a shop in Woodstock, her father Gerard, is the owner of a small textile industry and previously worked in the clothing industry. for children in New York. At the age of four Jennifer moved with her family to Brooklyn Heights, near the Brooklyn Bridge, she attended the private Saint Ann's School there until the third year, then moved to Woodstock where she attended the fourth and then graduated. In his family the religions were different, his father's grandparents were of Irish Catholic religion and Norwegian ancestry, while his mother's grandparents were Jewish, belonging to families from the Russian Empire and Poland, (his mother was educated in a Yeshivah). Jennifer Connelly thanks to her physical gifts since childhood, she was immediately noticed by an advertising executive friend of the family who suggested to Jennifer's father to audition in a fashion agency because he saw in the girl the potential to become an important baby model. Jennifer's parents searched for a representative and found a prestigious agency, the Ford Agency, so after her school Jennifer was accompanied by her mother Eileen for auditions. At the age of 10 Jennifer made her debut as a model and managed to establish herself in the field of advertising and later in television commercials. In an interview, Jennifer said she doesn't remember much from that time except for a TV commercial for Scott's toilet paper commercial.
Beginning of his career in the cinema
Jennifer Connelly begins acting for the cinema in her teens. This work of her leads her to travel everywhere, particularly in Europe and thanks to a trip to England, she makes her screen debut in the music video of the song "Union of the Snake" by Duran Duran. She then gets a part in an episode of the hit thriller television series 'The Thrill of the Unexpected' in 1982. But her real and first film role, albeit a small but very significant one, was that of a young dancer Deborah Gelly (the woman coveted by the protagonist Noodles, played by Scott Schutzman Tiler), an epic gangster movie Once Upon a Time in America , released in 1984, but mostly shot in 1982, when he was eleven. Sergio Leone on the advice of a casting director gave Jennifer a supporting role. In the film Robert De Niro plays Noodles, James Woods plays Max, there were also Joe Pesci, James Russo and Elizabeth McGovern in the role of adult Deborah, the love of Noodles' life. It is said that the director, Sergio Leone, needed a girl to play the role of Deborah as a young man, someone who was also able to dance gracefully. In one of the interviews Connelly stated that this was her easiest audition of her life. The first day she danced; on the second day she made a meeting with Leo; on the third day she made a meeting with Leone and De Niro and she was hired. One particular aspect of Connelly's face, her nose, was very helpful as it was just like McGovern's.
The first films as a protagonist
In the Italian horror Phenomena (1985) directed by Dario Argento, Jennifer Connelly worked alongside Daria Nicolodi and Donald Pleasence. Her role was that of an American teenager in a remote Swiss boarding school who discovers she has psychic powers that allow her to communicate with insects and use them to confront a vicious killer who is slaughtering young women in and around the school. Jennifer Connelly played the part of a model student who hosts in her house a friend of hers who is problematic with her, much to the chagrin of her boyfriend in the film 'Seven Minutes in Heaven', a 1985 film directed by Linda Feferman . Labyrinth was like a stepping stone for Jennifer, starring her alongside David Bowie quickly became popular. Fantastic film from 1986 by Jim Henson, unfortunately at the time it did not have the hoped-for success but today it is a true cult. In Labyrinth, Connelly plays the role of a young girl who, frustrated at having to babysit her brother, she calls the goblins to take him away, a task they do with care. This film, directed by Muppet creator Jim Henson and produced by George Lucas, sees the protagonist discover the key to the Goblin King's maze and rescue her little brother, encountering bizarre monsters and all kinds of fantastic animals along the way. In an interview, David Bowie, author of several songs written specifically for the film, said that the girl, Jennifer Connelly, reminded him of Elizabeth Taylor as a young man. Some Girls is a 1988 film directed by Michael Hoffman to debut her, Jennifer plays Gabriella in an unshared love with Michael, played by Patrick Dempsey. It was a bizarre black comedy in which student Patrick Dempsey (Michael) goes to Quebec to spend Christmas with his girlfriend, Gaby D'Arc, played by Connelly. Upon his arrival, however, Gabriella declares that she no longer loves him, but he remains nearby to receive lessons in life and love from Gaby's handsome sisters, from her father who spends most of his time naked and from her grandmother, convinced that he is her late husband. Connelly then continued her career internationally playing a dancer in the Italian film Étoile is a 1989 film directed by Peter Del Monte.
Pause for reflection and fluctuating career
After so much success, Jennifer Connelly needs a break and a serious evaluation of her life. In an interview Jennifer explained "I started working when I still didn't understand what I was like inside"; "when I was still a walking puppet. Some of the movies I've made ... I look back and shiver." Jennifer wondered several times if she really wanted to be an actress, if she really meant to grow up in front of an audience. She decided yes. After attending nightclubs not having the age to do so, she began to dress in black and listen to the music of The Cure. The nineties represent the period of the best and worst of her early career. In The Hot Spot (1990), directed by Dennis Hopper (who noticed her in Some Girls), Don Johnson plays the role of a violent boy who drives to a small Texas town and gets a job. , plans a bank robbery, attracts the attention of the boss's wife, Virginia Madsen, and falls in love with the young accountant girl played by Connelly. Jennifer, who is now a voluptuous woman, receives the attention of many male critics, especially when she is half naked. In one of her interviews, Jennifer, speaking of her occasional nudity in the film, later stated: "They were formative experiences, in the past I was very reserved and shy. I was a good girl and I wanted to be, but that cannot lead to such confidentiality. to be hindering. It was a gradual process. " Unfortunately, however, the film was neither a critical nor a commercial success. Along with a series of less successful commercial films, followed by the comedy Anything Can Happen, a romantic comedy written by John Hughes, which starred Connelly as a wealthy girl trapped for a night in a shop with a charmless boyfriend. portrayed by Frank Whaley. The two begin to understand each other when suddenly the shop is broken into by two thieves. At the time there was an accusation by People magazine that the film exploited the actress's body and the advertising campaign confirmed their opinion. Among the commercials was a cardboard silhouette, taken from a scene that included a mechanical horse, where Whaley is looking at Jennifer and the caption read "He is going to have the ride of his life".
The acting studies and the short musical interlude
In August 1991, on the cover of Esquire, Jennifer Connelly is defined as one of the most loved characters by women. She appeared alongside Jason Priestley in the music video for Roy Orbison's song "I Drove All Night" in 1992, which entered the top ten 4 years after the artist's death. She began to attend the English literature course at Yale University, at the invitation of her father, eager for her daughter to complete her studies never hindering her career as a model, graduated and two years later moved to Stanford University dedicating herself to classical and dramatic theater. . Later she Jennifer applied herself in acting under the guidance of prestigious teachers such as Roy London, Howard Fine and Harold Guskin. She then became famous in the Rising Sun when she recorded a single in Japan called Monologue of Love, in which the actress sings in Japanese and gives - on the B-side - an interview accompanied by background music.
1991 is a year of ups and downs for his career, in Disney's expensive Rocketeer Adventures, Jennifer Connelly stars with her then-boyfriend Billy Campbell; The plot of the film follows a young pilot who discovers a rocket backpack and uses it to save his girlfriend and fight against gangsters and Nazis in the 1930s in Hollywood. The predictions were that the film was intended to achieve the success of the Indiana Jones films. Unfortunately, however, the film was outclassed at the box office by Terminator 2 and Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves. This experience did not lead to a breakthrough in her career, due to the failure of this film Jennifer decided to take a break. In the 1992 television movie The Heart of Justice, Jennifer played Emma Burgess, the beautiful and mysterious daughter in whom her family seems to revolve around her. David Leader, played by Eric Stoltz, as he investigates a seemingly senseless murder, is drawn into the maze of suspicious and possibly shameful affairs of Emma Burgess' family, a wealthy Upper East Side family. Of Love and Shadow, a 1994 film directed by Betty Kaplan, based on the novel of the same name by Isabel Allende, Jennifer stars alongside Antonio Banderas (Francisco) in the role of Irene, a director of a magazine who lives in the shadow of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. In John Singleton's The University of Hate, a 1995 film directed by John Singleton, Jennifer starred in another detached character, this time a lesbian college girl, mentor to Kristy Swanson. Far Harbor, a 1996 indie film directed by John Huddles, Jennifer Connelly made a notable performance, playing one of seven young people who spend a weekend on Long Island. This film was shot in Sag Harbor, a former whaling town near Bellport, where Jennifer Connelly had spent part of her youth. Another co-star of hers was Marcia Gay Harden, who again paired with her - winning an Oscar - in the film Pollock. In the 1996 thriller Awkward Murders, directed by Lee Tamahori, Jennifer plays the siren who bewitches both Nick Nolte and John Malkovich in a 1940s-1950s Los Angeles. She began appearing in small roles in notable films, such as 1997's Shattered Innocence, where she stood out as a bad girl alongside Billy Crudup, Joaquin Phoenix and Liv Tyler. The 1998 sci-fi film Dark City by Alex Proyas (director of The Crow) which gave her the opportunity to work with actors of the level of Rufus Sewell, William Hurt, Ian Richardson and Kiefer Sutherland. In this film Jennifer played the role of the wife of Rufus Sewell, a man who wakes up in a dark world and discovers he has no memories and is surrounded by people who can make anything die, move and then revive anything.
Already the 2000s and its success
Only in the 2000s Jennifer Connelly was noticed by critics, at the release of the award-winning Requiem for a Dream, a 2000 film directed by Darren Aronofsky. In the film, presented out of competition at the 53rd Cannes Film Festival, Jennifer plays the role of a drug addict on the verge of a crisis together with Jared Leto and Marlon Wayans, making herself appreciated again by critics and revealing herself in all her dramatic potential. The film also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role to Ellen Burstyn. In 2001 comes the definitive consecration of audiences and critics with A Beautiful Mind, by Ron Howard, in which Jennifer plays the role of Alicia Nash, the suffering wife of the brilliant and schizophrenic mathematician John Nash (played by Russell Crowe), who won the prize Nobel in 1994; the film enjoyed vast commercial and critical acclaim, winning a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Her participation in A Beautiful Mind also earned her an article in Time. On the set of the film she also met Paul Bettany, who plays Charles, Nash's imaginary friend; the two later married in 2003. Following the great success of A Beautiful Mind, Jennifer found other interesting parts alongside prestigious directors and actors: in 2003 she dedicated herself to the Hulk, Ang Lee's version of the famous comic book character, in which Connelly played the role of Betty Ross , research scientist and ex-girlfriend of Eric Bana's troubled Bruce Banner. She is the protagonist of the drama The House of Sand and Fog, a 2003 film directed by Vadim Perelman, based on a novel by Andre Dubus III, which closely resembles an independent film made in the late nineties. The film sees her as an abandoned wife, who loses the family home inherited from her father, due to a bureaucratic error. Taking the opportunity is immigrant Ben Kingsley who is looking for a home for his exiled and disgraced family. Emotionally unstable, Connelly is unable to leave the house, she is too attached to her sense of pride and tradition, but neither does Kingsley, as he is working extremely hard to rebuild those same feelings for himself. In 2005 she played an abandoned wife in search of accommodation in Dark Water, a 2005 film directed by Brazilian director Walter Salles, the film is the remake of the Japanese film of the same name by Hideo Nakata based on the short story by K?ji Suzuki. Blood Diamond is a 2006 film directed by Edward Zwick. Connelly is engaged in the role of a journalist with multiple candidates Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou; Jennifer played a major role opposite Kate Winslet in Todd Field's Little Children, a reworking of the novel of the same name. Although the role of Kathy Adamson was very important in the story, director Todd Field gave less importance to the character on screen, focusing instead on the characters played by Winslet and Patrick Wilson. In 2007, Connelly will then appear on Reservation Road with Joaquin Phoenix and Elle Fanning, a film that has had a limited distribution. In 2008 she plays the role of scientist Helen Benson, along with Keanu Reeves, in the sci-fi remake Ultimatum to Earth. About her Her 2009 roles include a part in a small independent thriller with her husband Paul Bettany and a co-starring role with Jennifer Aniston and Ginnifer Goodwin in the film The Truth Is, She Doesn't Like You Enough. Also in 2008 she was nominated as "the face" of Balenciaga's advertisements, as well as testimonial of Revlon cosmetics. In 2011 she ventured into Salvation Boulevard, alongside Pierce Brosnan and Ed Harris, and Ron Howard's The Dilemma with Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Winona Ryder, Queen Latifah and Channing Tatum. In 2014 she was among the protagonists of Akiva Goldsman's Winter Story with Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, William Hurt, Will Smith and Matt Bomer and of the biblical blockbuster directed by Darren Aronofsky, Noah adaptation of the story of Noah present in the Old Testament. In 2016 she is the protagonist with Ewan McGregor and Dakota Fanning of American Pastoral, whose subject is based on the novel of the same name by Philip Roth.