Jessica Caroline Alexander (born 19 June 1999) is an English actress. She began her career in short films and garnered recognition for her role in the BBC iPlayer series Get Even (2020), and made her feature film debut in Glasshouse and A Banquet (both 2021). She gained further prominence in Disney's live-action musical fantasy The Little Mermaid (2023) as Vanessa.

Jessica Alexander
Alexander in 2022
Born (1999-06-19) 19 June 1999 (age 24)
Westminster, London, England
OccupationActress
Years active2013–present

Early life edit

Jessica Caroline Alexander was born on 19 June 1999 in Westminster, London, England.[1][2] She began acting at a church hall near home at age five and subsequently decided to pursue an acting career.[1][3]

Career edit

Alexander began auditioning for films at 14 years old.[2] She made her debut in the Yorgos Lanthimos-directed short film Necktie (2013).[1][4][5] In 2016, she appeared in another short film, titled Truck.[3] She made her television debut in the 2018 Italian Disney Channel teen dramedy Penny on M.A.R.S. as Lucy Carpenter, the antagonist of the first two series. That same year, she was scouted by Select Model Management.[2] She later signed with Next, where she was a model in product and clothing advertisements.[1] Alexander starred in the BBC iPlayer teen thriller series Get Even (2020), which had an international release on Netflix. Alexander played Olivia Hayes, a popular teenager who pretends to be wealthy and straight.[6][7][8] She drew parallels between the character and herself at age 16, in that they were both incredibly determined despite not fully understanding themselves yet.[9]

In 2021, Alexander starred as Bee in the South African dystopian thriller Glasshouse, directed by Kelsey Egan, whom Alexander had met through a previous project. Egan initially wanted a South African actress to play the role, but found none who suited the character. In October 2020, she sent the script to Alexander, who enjoyed it and auditioned a few months later.[10] The film was generally well received, with particular praise for its cast.[11] Alexander's second release of the year, the British horror film A Banquet, received more lukewarm reviews from critics.[12][13] Alexander's performance was lauded, however;[14][15][16] The Times's Kevin Maher dubbed her a "rising star",[17] while The New York Times's Lena Wilson favourably commented that her and co-star Ruby Stokes's performances were "wrenching".[18] In July 2022, she appeared in the Kate Cox-directed thriller film Into the Deep alongside Matthew Daddario and Ella-Rae Smith.[19] Screen Rant writer Rachel Labonte opined that despite the acting being "hindered by their characters being under-written, ... Alexander does the best job at considering what was left unsaid about Lexie".[20]

Alexander portrayed Vanessa, the human alter-ego of Ursula (Melissa McCarthy), in the musical fantasy film The Little Mermaid (2023), a live-action adaptation of Disney's 1989 film of the same name.[7][21] Of her casting, director Rob Marshall stated it was a conscious decision to cast a relatively unknown actress as Vanessa since McCarthy was already portraying Ursula. He also said: "She's just a beautiful, beautiful actress, and she went there. It's sort of rare for someone that beautiful and charismatic to be able to then turn into the sea witch literally in front of you and just lose it. It was exciting to see that change."[22] Alexander enjoyed playing the role, commenting that she "love[s] being demonic, and just going crazy on screen, so this was a perfect opportunity for that".[23] The Little Mermaid, and its performances, received generally positive reviews from critics.[24][25] Jordan Iacobucci of Comic Book Resources wrote that "Alexander's Vanessa is callous and conniving ... [she] takes the opportunity to go all-out, unleashing her villainous side in her final scene."[26] Her performance was also praised by fans and went viral on the video-sharing app TikTok.[2][23][27]

Alexander has an upcoming role in the Globoplay series Fallen (2023), which is based on the eponymous novel series by Lauren Kate.[28] The show follows Luce (Alexander), a young woman who is sent to a cult-like rehabilitation centre for a crime she has no memory of committing.[29]

Personal life and media image edit

Alexander is openly bisexual.[2][27] She is an advocate for the LGBT community and has been referred to as a queer icon.[2][3][27] She uses her Instagram to spread awareness about LGBT-related issues.[1] In March 2023, Alexander was included in the "Bright Young Things Class of 2023", a list by Tatler that names "the next generation of glam, gifted actors to watch".[30]

Filmography edit

Television and film roles
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2013 Necktie TBD Short film
2016 Truck Siena Short film
2018–2020 Penny on M.A.R.S. Lucy Carpenter Main role (series 1–2)
2020 Get Even Olivia Hayes Main role; 10 episodes
2021 Glasshouse Bee Direct-to-video film
A Banquet Betsey Direct-to-video film
2022 Into the Deep Lexie Streaming film
2023 The Little Mermaid Vanessa Film
Fallen Lucinda "Luce" Price Upcoming TV series; main role

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Wiseskamin, Kankawin (3 June 2023). "รู้จัก 'Jessica Alexander' เจ้าของบทเออร์ซูล่าร่างแปลงใน The Little Mermaid" [Get to Know 'Jessica Alexander', Who Plays Ursula's Transformation in The Little Mermaid]. Vogue Thailand (in Thai). Archived from the original on 7 June 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "¿Quién es Jessica Alexander? La actriz que interpreta a Vanessa en La Sirenita" [Who is Jessica Alexander? The Actress Who Plays Vanessa in The Little Mermaid]. Elle (in Spanish). 1 June 2023. Archived from the original on 5 June 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d Kandangwa, Sumnima (2 June 2023). "Meet Jessica Alexander, The Little Mermaid's Breakout Star: the Bisexual Gen Z Actress Plays Ursula's Human Incarnate for 6 Minutes in the Disney Film, and Sticks Up for Co-star Halle Bailey". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 8 June 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  4. ^ Migliaccio, Christina (26 May 2023). "La Sirenetta: tutto su Jessica Alexander, l'attrice che interpreta Vanessa" [The Little Mermaid: All About Jessica Alexander, the Actress Who Plays Vanessa]. ComingSoon.net (in Italian). Archived from the original on 26 May 2023. Retrieved 3 October 2023.
  5. ^ "Jessica Alexander". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 16 October 2023. Retrieved 3 October 2023.
  6. ^ Singh-Kurtz, Sangeeta (4 August 2020). "Get Even Is a Glossy British Murder Mystery". The Cut. Archived from the original on 30 April 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  7. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (1 March 2021). "Jessica Alexander Joins Disney's Live-Action Little Mermaid Pic". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 13 March 2023. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  8. ^ Paz, Maggie Dela (2 March 2021). "The Little Mermaid: Jessica Alexander Joins Disney's New Live-Action Film". ComingSoon.net. Archived from the original on 8 June 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  9. ^ "Jessica Alexander is Olivia Hayes: The Actress". BBC Media Centre. 5 February 2020. Archived from the original on 9 November 2021. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  10. ^ Alexander, Jessica (21 August 2021). "Fantasia 2021 Interview: Glasshouse – Jessica Alexander". Flip Screen (Interview). Interviewed by Hayley Paskevich. Archived from the original on 28 May 2023. Retrieved 9 June 2023.
  11. ^ "Glasshouse". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  12. ^ a b Wiseman, Andreas (3 September 2020). "HanWay, Tea Shop & Riverstone Team On Genre Pic 'A Banquet' With 'Resident Evil' Actress Sienna Guillory". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 1 May 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  13. ^ "A Banquet". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  14. ^ Thompson, Avery (25 May 2023). "Who Plays Vanessa in The Little Mermaid? Everything to Know About Jessica Alexander". Hollywood Life. Archived from the original on 8 June 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  15. ^ DeFore, John (11 September 2021). "A Banquet: Film Review | TIFF 2021". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 8 June 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  16. ^ Erbland, Kate (11 September 2021). "A Banquet Review: Overstuffed and Underfed, This Chilling Debut Bites Off More Than It Can Chew". IndieWire. Archived from the original on 9 June 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  17. ^ Maher, Kevin (11 March 2022). "A Banquet Review — Disturbing Horror Leaves a Lingering Taste". The Times. Archived from the original on 8 June 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  18. ^ Wilson, Lena (17 February 2022). "A Banquet Review: Starving for a Higher Purpose". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 8 June 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  19. ^ a b Grater, Tom (28 September 2021). "Ella-Rae Smith, Jessica Alexander & Matthew Daddario Board Thriller Into The Deep for Signature Films & Tea Shop Productions". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 3 October 2021. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  20. ^ Labonte, Rachel (25 August 2022). "Into the Deep Review: Early Promise Peters Out into a Disappointing Ride". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on 8 June 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  21. ^ Brajer, Jessica (26 May 2023). "The Little Mermaid (2023) Cast and Character Guide". MovieWeb. Archived from the original on 12 June 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  22. ^ Russell, Shania (27 May 2023). "Who Plays Ursula's Alter-ego Vanessa in The Little Mermaid? Director Rob Marshall on Casting Jessica Alexander". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 3 June 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  23. ^ a b Koh, Reena (1 June 2023). "Scenes of Jessica Alexander Playing Ursula's Human alter-ego in The Little Mermaid Are Going Viral on TikTok. The Actress Loves 'Being Demonic, and Just Going Crazy on Screen.'". Insider. Archived from the original on 12 September 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  24. ^ "The Little Mermaid". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  25. ^ Day, Debbie (22 May 2023). "The Little Mermaid First Reviews: Star Halle Bailey Animates This Live-Action Remake". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 8 June 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  26. ^ a b Iacobucci, Jordan (27 May 2023). "10 Best Performances in The Little Mermaid Live-Action Remake". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 8 June 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  27. ^ a b c Iftikhar, Asyia (29 May 2023). "Bisexual Star Jessica Alexander Gags Fans in The Little Mermaid: 'A Bad B***h'". PinkNews. Archived from the original on 5 June 2023. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  28. ^ Ravindran, Manori (9 September 2022). "Alexander Siddig Headlines Supernatural Series Fallen (Exclusive)". Variety. Archived from the original on 11 September 2022. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  29. ^ a b "Fallen (2023)". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on 8 June 2023. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  30. ^ Hanover, Lola (2 March 2023). "Bright Young Things Class of 2023: Tatler Crowns the Next Generation of Glam, Gifted Actors to Watch in the April Issue". Tatler. Archived from the original on 10 March 2023. Retrieved 3 March 2023.
  31. ^ Chung, Keira (25 May 2023). "《小美人魚》人型烏蘇拉Jessica Alexander不只愛看《神隱少女》,還是最辣吃貨!解碼潔西卡亞歷山大6個魅力點". Harper's Bazaar (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Archived from the original on 8 June 2023. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  32. ^ Àbíké-íyímídé, Faridah (8 October 2020). "In Case You Missed It: Get Even Is the BBC Teen Drama that Gets Representation Right". NME. Archived from the original on 8 June 2023. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  33. ^ Mahler, Matthew (12 July 2022). "Glasshouse Review: Post-Apocalyptic Thriller Depicts Dementia as a Pandemic". MovieWeb. Archived from the original on 9 June 2023. Retrieved 8 June 2023.

External links edit