Why We’re Pumped for the Red Carpet Return of Jennifer Jason Leigh
Get ready to see a lot more of Jennifer Jason Leigh. The seasoned film and theater actress and Hollywood mainstay, now 53, is getting ready to make the red carpet rounds for yet another award season. That’s thanks to her roles in two mega movies earning nominations: Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and the stop-motion film Anomalisa. Both scored nods at the Golden Globes, including one for Best Supporting Actress for Leigh's role as Daisy Domergue in The Hateful Eight and one for Best Animated Movie for Anomalisa. (She hasn’t attended the Globes since 2006!) And that’s just the beginning: She also scored a Critics’ Choice Best Supporting Actress nomination, and it is being speculated that an Oscar nod is on the way when nominations are announced in early January.
We’ve loved this ‘90s on-screen icon for years, from Fast Times at Ridgemont High to Short Cuts to Single White Female to Georgia, so we’re excited the return of her relatable personality and undeniable talent to the award season spotlight. “I almost never care about what I look like when I am acting," she once said during an interview with InStyle in 2003. “Is that career suicide?” The answer is no. It turns out, she absolutely shines on the red carpet, without making a spectacle in big ball gowns and elaborate hairstyles.
Rather, she makes a powerful statement in the subtlest of ways, choosing form-fitting gowns in neutral black and white shades from high-fashion houses like Prada, Rodarte, and Roland Mouret. For her, it’s never about dressing too old or too young. It’s about picking what she wants, what feels right, what will evoke confidence. "I have never lied about my age,” she told us. “No one likes aging, but it doesn't really freak me out. I realize that in Hollywood you're in trouble if you are over 33. At the same time, I can make fun of that too.”
As for makeup, she often chooses heavily-lined eyes and a nude lip. Once in a while, she’ll favor a bold red lip. "Even though I don't wear it that often, I think makeup is so much fun to play with,” she has told InStyle. "I love the way you can change your look so dramatically with it. I have two huge drawers—three feet wide and deep—filled with makeup. All of it is perfectly organized. I love the possibilities it represents.”
The possibilities for this award season are endless. Will she choose some of her tried-and-true favorites or surprise us with something new? For a peek, follow her makeup artist Kate Hollinshead on Instagram (@katehollinsheadmakeup), who often offers a first look at Leigh's outfits before the star hits the red carpet.
So, now that the countdown the Globes is on—January 10th is around the corner!—scroll down to see some of Jennifer Jason Leigh's most memorable red carpet looks over the years. JJL, we know you’ll bring it.
At the Hollywood premiere of Rush.
At the Golden Globe Awards.
At the Hollywood premiere of Georgia.
At the New York premiere of Georgia.
At the New York Film Critics Circle's 71st Annual Awards Dinner in New York City.
At the Los Angeles premiere of Kill Your Darlings.
At the New York City (left, in Rodarte) and Hollywood (right, in Roland Mouret) premieres of The Hateful Eight.