Jessica Karen Szohr ( born March 31, 1985) is an American actress.
She started her screen career appearing 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’s teen drama series Gossip Girl (2007–12). She has also appeared in feature films including the 2010 horror film Piranha 3D, the 2011 comedy I Don’t Know How She Does It, and the 2013 film The Internship. In 2014, Szohr was in the Hallmark movie, Lucky in Love.
What About Brian
In 2007, she appeared in a major recurring role as Laura for six episodes in the ABC dramedy series What About Brian. Along with Stacy Keibler, she played a neighbor to the leading role, Brian O’Hara (Barry Watson). She also appeared in the music videos for “Best Days” by Matt White and “Over You” by Daughtry, in which she played Sarah.
In the same year, Szohr earned her breakthrough role on the hit CW teen drama series Gossip Girl. She plays Vanessa Abrams. 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”. The portrayal of Vanessa has drawn criticism from Ziegesar. Originally cast as a recurring role, Szohr was promoted to series regular after the season one episode “The Blair Bitch Project” in April 2008. In May 2011, it was confirmed Szohr would not be returning for the fifth season. She returned in for a cameo appearance on the series finale, “New York, I Love You XOXO”, on December 17, 2012.
Somebody Help Me
Szohr has appeared in small roles in films such as Somebody Help Me, The Reading Room and Fired Up. She signed on to Dimension Films’ horror Piranha 3D, in the role of Kelly. The role required her to be underwater; Szohr later told the New York Daily News filming was difficult because she was “not the best swimmer.” Filming began in June 2009, and the film was pushed back from its original release date in March to August 2010. She also appeared in a Funny or Die video promoting the film alongside Kelly Brook and others.
Szohr was awarded the Breakthrough Actress in Film award at the 2010 Breakthrough of the Year awards for her work in Piranha 3D.
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.
Szohr has a role in the 2012 independent post-apocalyptic sci-fi film Hirokin. Her role as Orange has been described as a “cunning temptress”.
Szohr stars in the indie drama Art Machine as an outlaw hipster and a pyrotechnic artist. In October 2011, she finished filming a horror comedy film in East Lothian, Scotland titled Love Bite with co-star Ed Speleers. In November 2011, Szohr filmed the drama Light Years in Los Angeles.
In 2012, Szohr helped Hayden Panettiere punk Glee actress Dianna Agron.
Szohr appeared in Taylor Swift’s 2013 music video for the song “22”. In March 2013, she was cast as the female lead in the Fox drama pilot The List, playing FBI agent Natalie Voss. However, it was reported on May 8, 2013 that Fox had passed on the pilot. In November 2013, Szohr was cast as Gretchen in USA Network’s medical drama pilot Complications.