Jordana Brewster (born April 26, 1980) is an American actress and model. She made her acting debut in an episode of All My Children in 1995 and next took on the recurring role as Nikki Munson in As the World Turns, garnering a nomination for Outstanding Teen Performer at the 1997 Soap Opera Digest Award. Her first role in a feature film was in Robert Rodriguez's horror science fiction The Faculty (1998).
Her breakthrough came with her role of Mia Toretto in the action film The Fast and the Furious (2001). She reprised the role in its sequels Fast & Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011), Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Furious 7 (2015), and F9 (2021). Other film credits include the drama The Invisible Circus (2001), the action comedy D.E.B.S. (2004) and the horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006).
Brewster starred on the re-booted TNT series Dallas from 2012 to 2014. She also had a five-episode arc as Denise Brown in the first season of the FX true crime anthology series American Crime Story (2016). She recently starred as Dr. Maureen Cahill on the Fox buddy cop action dramedy Lethal Weapon (2016–2018).
Jordana Brewster was born in Panama City, Panama, on April 26, 1980, the older of two daughters. Her mother, Maria João (née Leal de Sousa), is a former swimsuit model from Brazil who appeared on the 1978 cover of Sports Illustrated, and her father, Alden Brewster, is an American investment banker. Her paternal grandfather, Kingman Brewster Jr., was president of Yale University (1963–77) and the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom (1977–81). Brewster is a direct descendant of Mayflower passengers William Brewster and Edward Doty. She left Brazil at the age of 10, settling in Manhattan, New York City, where she studied at the Convent of the Sacred Heart and graduated from the Professional Children's School. Brewster graduated from Yale University with a B. A. in English in 2003.
Brewster made her debut in daytime soap operas, with a one-time appearance on All My Children as Anita Santos. She next played the recurring role of rebellious daughter Nikki Munson on As the World Turns. From 1995 to 2001, she appeared in a total of 104 episodes of the soap opera. For her performance, she was nominated for Outstanding Teen Performer at the 1997 Soap Opera Digest Awards. Her first film role was in Robert Rodriguez's horror science fiction film The Faculty (1998), written by Kevin Williamson and co-starring Elijah Wood, Josh Hartnett, and Clea DuVall. In the film about strange occurrences involving the teachers of an Ohio high school, Brewster played a popular vindictive cheerleading captain and an editor in chief of the student paper. The film received mixed reviews, but grossed US$40 million in North America. In 1999, she appeared opposite Julia Stiles and Jerry O'Connell in a NBC television miniseries entitled The '60s, playing a student activist.
Brewster starred with Cameron Diaz and Christopher Eccleston in the independent drama The Invisible Circus (2001), portraying a grieving teenage girl who travels to Europe in 1976 in search of answers to the suicide of her older sister. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and received a limited theatrical release. The New York Times felt that Brewster "can't summon a credible range of emotion" in her portrayal. Her breakthrough came afterwards in 2001, when she took on the role of Mia Toretto opposite Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in the street racing action film The Fast and the Furious. As she did not have driver's license, she took driving lessons during production. Todd McCarthy of Variety, in his review for the film, noted that Brewster did a "better job here than she did as a searching teen in the recent The Invisible Circus." The film was a commercial success, grossing over US$207 million worldwide.
Following the release of The Fast and the Furious, Brewster took a break from acting to complete her B. A. in English at Yale from which she graduated in 2003. She returned to the screen when she played as a lesbian criminal mastermind in the action comedy D.E.B.S. (2004). A.V. Club dismissed the development of Brewster on-screen relationship with co-star Sarah Foster, writing that "D.E.B.S. oscillates between the glib camp smirkiness of its half-hearted action send-up and the thudding earnestness of its romance". It was distributed in limited release. She starred as the love interest of a high school student in the 1970s in the independent teen drama Nearing Grace (2005), which was screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
Brewster appeared in the drama Annapolis (2006), directed by Justin Lin and starring James Franco and Tyrese Gibson. In the film, she played a Midshipman 2nd Class named Ali, and the love interest of a man attending the United States Naval Academy. Annapolis was panned by critics and grossed US$7.7 million in its opening weekend, described as "uninspired" by Box Office Mojo. Brewster next starred in the slasher horror The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), opposite Diora Baird, Taylor Handley, and Matt Bomer. The film saw the four actors portray friends driving across Texas who are taken captive by the Hewitt family. Despite largely negative reviews, the film made US$51 million worldwide. For her performance, Brewster was nominated for both Choice Movie Actress: Horror–Thriller and Choice Movie: Scream at the 2007 Teen Choice Awards.
Brewster had a four-episode arc between 2008 and 2009 on the NBC television series Chuck, as Jill Roberts, the title character's ex-girlfriend from Stanford. She returned to the role of Mia Toretto in Fast & Furious (2009), the fourth film of The Fast and the Furious franchise. On the growth of her character over the course of the series, Brewster explained in an interview with AskMen.com: "In the first one I'm more of a wallflower and it's much more of a girlfriend-type role, but in [the new movie] I'm more of a woman. She's far more tough. I deal with the repercussions of living in my brother's world." The film earned negative reviews upon its premiere, but was a box office success, grossing US$363 million globally.
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