How to Teach at Home
by Christina Yeager
Jena Malone was able to make her dreams come true as an aspiring child actress. Moving up from film roles in “Contact” and “Stepmom” she would be cast into teen-motivated movies like “Donnie Darko” and “Life As A House” but eventually Jena would land some pretty noticeable screen time in “Sucker Punch” and “The Hunger Games” franchise. Jena Malone’s modest acting career is credited from homeschooling from the sixth grade to the eighth grade as it allowed her to hone her skill.
Jena Malone was born to Deborah Malone and Edward Berge in Sparks, Nevada on November 21, 1984. Jena says that her mother became pregnant with her after a one-night stand with a man she didn’t know. A man that was married to another woman. As a result, she was raised by her mother and her mother’s girlfriend. Jena’s interest in acting came about after watching her mother perform in community theater.
The move to Los Angeles for her family wasn’t an easy one. They were impoverished and struggled financially.
"The great thing about homeschool is you can learn what you need to learn, and you can take things that you're interested in."
Once the family was settled in Los Angeles, Jena landed some pretty prominent roles for her age and received some award nomination for her performance’s. Jena would soon find herself homeschooling to meet the demands of the filming schedules and it interested her due to public school boredom. She didn’t feel challenged.
"The reason I started homeschool is I was so bored in school. I'd be helping the teacher, like the teacher's assistant and helping other kids.”
Jena would eventually enroll in high school and drop-out not long after. She did receive her GED.
The nominations mentioned before came after her first roles as a child actress. Jena was nominated for Best Debut Performance at the 1996 Independent Spirit Awards. Also, she received a nomination for the same role at the third Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries. Jena would also garner a nod in 1997 when she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the category Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film for the television film "Hope".
Eventually, Jena would go one to win a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor, co-produce a film she starred in and enter broadway! Here are some of Jena’s most notable movie credits:
"Bastard Out of Carolina"
"Life as a House"
"Pride & Prejudice"
"Into the Wild"
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1"
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2"
"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"
Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor/Actress in 1997 for"Contact"
Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Scene Stealer in 2016 for "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 2"
Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award in 2015 for "Inherent Vice"
Jena Malone also has a Broadway stage role under her belt as Sister James in the theater edition of "Doubt".
Jena and her boyfriend, photographer Ethan DeLorenzo welcomed a son in 2016. They are no longer involved but continue to co-parent. She is also credited as co-writer and featured vocalist on the track "Static Space Lover" by Foster the People! This talented lady can do it all! Hopefully, she will continue to grace the Silver Screen and intrigue us in the future.