Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Gillian Jacobs always had a passion for performing. She took her first acting class at age eight and was hooked from that moment. While growing up, she studied at the Pittsburgh Playhouse on weekends, where they reenacted sketches from the popular BBC series "Monty Python" (1969-1974) and listened to comedy albums. As a member of the Pittsburgh Public Theater, Jacobs frequently competed in its annual Shakespeare Monologue Contest, which resulted in her being cast in a production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." After graduating from high school in 2000, she moved to New York City and enrolled at the famed Juilliard School, where she graduated from in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in acting. Jacobs made her New York stage debut in an off-Broadway production of "Cagelove," where her portrayal of an assault victim earned her positive critical reviews. She also appeared in off-Broadway productions of "The Fabulous Life of a Size Zero" (2007) and "Little Flower of East Orange" (2008), directed by Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.While still a relative newcomer in Hollywood, Jacobs landed a recurring role in the controversial drama series "The Book of Daniel" (NBC, 2006), about an unconventional Episcopalian priest (Aidan Quinn) who has a narcotics addiction and who frequently talks to a Jesus-like figure who only appears to him. She starred in the independent drama "Gardens of the Night" (2008) as a young woman who, after she is kidnapped and forced into a life of prostitution and drugs, finds that she is incapable of leading a normal life. Jacobs also landed a featured role in the lackluster sci-fi thriller "The Box" (2009) as a possessed babysitter.After guest starring on a number of popular television series like "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and the pilot episode of "The Good Wife," Jacobs nabbed a juicy role on the ensemble comedy "Community," about a group of misfits who attend a community college. She played Britta, a hard-to-get coed who inspired a smarmy lawyer (Joel McHale) to start a Spanish study group. Aside from playing McHale's character's possible love interest, Jacobs' character evolved from being an unattainable, put-together woman to someone who carries an enormous amount of emotional baggage. The hit series also starred Chevy Chase as an elderly, bigoted businessman who keeps trying to teach Jacobs' character life lessons, and Ken Jeong as the study group's perpetually disturbed Spanish instructor. Though never high-rated, the series attracted a devoted cult following that supported the show after NBC canceled it and Yahoo! brought it to their streaming platform. Between seasons of "Community," Jacobs appeared in supporting roles in films including Steve Carell's "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" (2011) and the magic-themed comedy "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" (2013). Other broad comedies, including "Walk of Shame" (2014) and "Hot Tub Time Machine 2" (2015), followed. After the end of "Community," Jacobs returned to television as the female lead in "Love" (Netflix 2016-), a romantic comedy co-created and produced by Judd Apatow, who had previously worked with Jacobs in a recurring role on "Girls" (HBO 2012-17).
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