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Brit Heyworth Marling (born August 7, 1982) is an American actress and screenwriter. She rose to prominence after starring in several films that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, including Sound of My Voice (2011), Another Earth (2011), and The East (2013), which she co-wrote in addition to playing the lead role. She co-created, wrote, and starred in the Netflix series The OA, which debuted in 2016.

Brit Marling
Brit Marling TIFF 2014.jpg
Brit Heyworth Marling

(1982-08-07) August 7, 1982 (age 37)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
Alma materGeorgetown University
OccupationActress, screenwriter
Years active2007–present
Known forI Origins, Another Earth, The East, The OA


Early life and educationEdit

Marling was born in Chicago, Illinois,[1] the daughter of property developer parents John and Heidi Marling.[2][3] She was named "Brit" after her Norwegian maternal great-grandmother.[4] She has a sister, Morgan Marling, who has been dating writer and director Francesca Gregorini since 2014.[5] She grew up in Winnetka, Illinois,[6] and attended the arts program at Dr. Phillips High School.[3] Marling was interested in acting, but her parents encouraged her to focus on academics.[7] She graduated from Georgetown University in 2005 with degrees in economics and studio art, and was her class valedictorian.[8][9]


At Georgetown, Marling met her long-time collaborators, future directors Mike Cahill and Zal Batmanglij.[10] Marling spent the summer of her junior year interning for the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs as an investment analyst.[11] She felt a life spent there would have a lack of meaning and eventually turned down a job offer from the firm,[10] opting instead to move to Cuba with Cahill to film the documentary Boxers and Ballerinas.[12] Co-writing the documentary with Cahill and Shumaker, and co-directing with Cahill, the film helped Marling gain recognition in 2004.[13]

In 2005, Marling moved with Cahill and Batmanglij to Los Angeles. She attended auditions and was offered roles in horror films, but turned them down.[14] She stated she "wanted to be able to cast herself in roles that wouldn't require her to play the typical parts offered to young actresses, the perfunctory girlfriend or a crime victim."[15] She was discovered by talent agent Hylda Queally.[16]

Marling with her frequent collaborator Zal Batmanglij speaking at the 2012 WonderCon in Anaheim, California.

In the summer of 2009, she joined a group of freegans with friend and co-worker Zal Batmanglij, living in tents and retrieving food from dumpsters,[17] to explore how other young people were constructing a meaningful life.[18]

Marling co-wrote, co-produced, and acted in the 2011 films Sound of My Voice and Another Earth, directed by Batmanglij and Cahill, respectively. Both of these films were featured at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, with Another Earth winning the Alfred P. Sloan Prize for outstanding film with science, technology or math as a major theme.[19] In 2012, she played the daughter of Richard Gere's character in Arbitrage.

In 2013, she collaborated with Searchlight on the film The East, a leading role, acting alongside Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgård. Directed by Zal Batmanglij and co-written by Marling and Batmanglij, The East is based on the duo's experience as freegans and their concern with the side effects of prescription drugs.[17]

Marling and Batmanglij collaborated to create the drama series The OA which debuted in 2016 on Netflix.[20] It was written by Marling and Batmanglij, who produced the series along with Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner of Plan B, and Michael Sugar of Anonymous Content.[21]

Marling started filming for the second season of The OA in January 2018.[22] The second season, entitled "Part II", was released on March 22, 2019, and received very positive reviews.[23][24]

Despite having many roles in films she has co-written, Marling stated she "get[s] a lot more pleasure in acting in other people's stories"[17] since "one of the great pleasures of acting is surrendering to someone else's point of view of the world."[25]



Year Title Role Notes
2007 The Recordist Charlie Hall Zal Batmanglij's AFI thesis short film[18]
2009 Political Disasters Brit [26]
2011 Sound of My Voice Maggie Also co-writer/producer
Nominated—Georgia Film Critics Association Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
Another Earth Rhoda Williams Also co-writer/producer
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Sitges Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Performer
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Writing
2012 Arbitrage Brooke Miller
The Company You Keep Rebecca Osborne
2013 The East Sarah Moss/Jane Owen Also co-writer/producer
2014 The Better Angels Nancy Lincoln [27]
I Origins Karen
The Keeping Room Augusta
Posthumous McKenzie Grain


Year Title Role Notes
2011 Community Paige Episode: "Early 21st Century Romanticism"
2014 Babylon Liz Garvey 7 episodes[28]
2016–2019 The OA Nina Azarova/Prairie Johnson/The OA/Brit Also co-writer/producer, 16 episodes[29][30]


  1. ^ Hornaday, Ann (July 22, 2011). "Brit Marling of 'Another Earth' does stardom her way". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  2. ^ Broadben, Lucy (January 29, 2014). "Brit Marling: the Hollywood star on her Channel 4 series Babylon". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Moore, Roger. "Great Brit". Orlando Magazine. Retrieved September 26, 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ "Brit Marling Exclusive Interview - Another Earth". July 22, 2011. Archived from the original on 2017-08-03. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  5. ^ "Morgan Marling". IMDb. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
  6. ^ Caro, Mark (June 2, 2013). "Covert actress: Brit Marling infiltrates Hollywood". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  7. ^ Hirschberg, Lynn (March 2013). "The New Guard: Brit Marling". W. Retrieved September 26, 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  8. ^ The otherworldly Brit Marling, Interview Magazine, July 6, 2011
  9. ^ Alums Win Prizes at Sundance Film Festival Archived 2011-10-04 at the Wayback Machine, Georgetown Voice blog
  10. ^ a b "Brit Marling on Writing, Anarchists, and the Need to Get Her Heart Broken". TIME. June 1, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  11. ^ "Q&A: BRIT MARLING, INDIE STAR YOU NEED TO KNOW". Esquire. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  12. ^ Rosenblum, Emma (June 24, 2011). "How to Succeed in Hollywood Despite Being Really Beautiful". New York Times. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  13. ^ Boxers and Ballerinas (2004). Internet Movie Database. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
  14. ^ Seymour, Tom (June 28, 2013). "The East: from Goldman Sachs to freeganism, Brit Marling is a Hollywood conundrum". The Guardian. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  15. ^ Fernandez, Maria Elena (July 18, 2011). "Hollywood's Anti-It Girl". The Daily Beast. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  16. ^ "Hylda Queally". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  17. ^ a b c Chai, Barbara (January 28, 2013). "'The East' Intersects Anarchy Collectives With Corporate CEOs". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  18. ^ a b "Director Zal Batmanglij Talks Making 'The East,' Harnessing The Power Of Young Filmmakers & Creating An Anarchist Collective". Indiewire. Archived from the original on 2013-10-12. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  19. ^ "Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize Awarded to Mike Cahill's Another Earth at 2011 Sundance Film Festival" Archived February 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine,, January 28, 2011. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
  20. ^ SPENCER KORNHABER (17 January 2017). "The OA and the Dark Side of Science". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  21. ^ "Netflix Greenlights 'The OA' Reuniting Brit Marling And Zal Batmanglij". Deadline. March 5, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  22. ^ Kiefer, Halle. "Brit Marling Says The OA's Second Season Starts Filming in January". Vulture. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  23. ^ "The OA: Season 2 (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  24. ^ "The OA: Season 2". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  25. ^ "Q&A: Brit Marling, Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij, and Director Zal Batmanglij on Sound of My Voice". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  26. ^ "Political Disasters on Amazon Prime Video". Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  27. ^ Movies. "Wes Bentley and Brit Marling Join 'The Green Blade Rises' | The Wrap Movies". Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  28. ^ Sharf, Zack (December 1, 2014). "Watch: Brit Marling Heads to TV in Danny Boyle's 'Babylon' Trailer". Indiewire. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  29. ^ Spangler, Todd (March 5, 2015). "Netflix Orders 'The OA' Drama Series From Brit Marling, Zal Batmanglij of 'Sound of My Voice'". Variety. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  30. ^ Travers, Ben (December 29, 2015). "The 15 Netflix Original Series to be Excited About in 2016". Indiewire. Retrieved December 29, 2015.

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