About Jessica

Jessica Szohr is an American model of Hungarian and African-American descent. She is best known for playing Vanessa Abrams in Gossip Girl.

Szohr (pronounced "Zee-oh-ar") was discovered at age 16 when she began working as a Kohl's Department Store model. She graduated from Menomonee Falls High School in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

Szohr has also modeled for Crate and Barrel, Mountain Dew, Sears, Quaker Oats, Jockey, Jansport, and Seventeen Magazine, where she received a full page ad for Claire's Boutique. Aside from her notable character Vanessa Abrams, her second most notable performance is acting in the video "Over You" by Daughtry. Szohr has had appearances in many TV shows including: Somebody Help Me, CSI: Miami, Gossip Girl, What About Brian, House at the End of the Drive, The Reading Room, That's So Raven, Joan of Arcadia, Drake & Josh, What I Like About You, Uncle Nino, and My Wife And Kids.

In 2007, she appeared in a major recurring role as Laura for six episodes in the now cancelled ABC Dramedy television series What About Brian. Along with Stacy Keibler, she played a neighbour to the main character Brian O'Hara (Barry Watson). She also appeared in the music videos for Best Days by Matt White and Over You by Daughtry, in which she played Sarah.

In the same year, Szohr earned her breakthrough role on the hit CW Teen Drama television series Gossip Girl. Based on the novel series written by Cecily von Ziegesar, Gossip Girl’s premise follows the lives of privileged young adults on Manhattan's Upper East Side in New York City.

"Vanessa doesn't change for other people. She says what she thinks. [...] she’s just a badass girl from Brooklyn"

She plays Vanessa Abrams, Dan Humphrey’s (Penn Badgley) childhood friend and occasional love interest. Szohr described her character to Ocean Drive magazine, "Vanessa doesn't change for other people. She says what she thinks. [...] she’s just a badass girl from Brooklyn". The portrayal of Vanessa in the TV series has drawn criticism from Ziegesar, who claimed Vanessa is "one character they ruined". Originally cast as a recurring role, she became an additional series regular after the season one episode The Blair Bitch Project.

She has appeared in small roles in films such as Somebody Help Me, The Reading Room and Fired Up.

Szohr next signed on to Dimension Films' horror Piranha 3D directed by Alexandre Aja. The film was a remake of the 1978 comedy-horror Piranha. In the film, she played Kelly Driscoll, "a hot young townie caught up in the excitement of co-eds who have descended upon the area for spring break." The role required her to be underwater; Szohr later told the New York Daily News that filming was difficult because she was "not the best swimmer." Filming began in June 2009, and the film was pushed back from its original release date in March to August 2010. She also appeared in a Funny or Die video promoting the film alongside Kelly Brook and others.

She was awarded the Breakthrough Actress in Film award at the 2010 Breakthrough Of The Year awards for her work in Piranha 3D.

In April 2010, Szohr joined the cast of the romantic comedy Love, Wedding, Marriage, along with Mandy Moore and Kellan Lutz. The film began principal photography in April 2010 and was filmed in New Orleans.

Szohr will have a role in the independent post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie, Hirokin which began production in July 2010. Her role as Orange has been described as a "cunning temptress". She is also set to star in the Eric Amadio directed indie film, Walks alongside Brittany Snow and Rumer Willis.

She will star in the indie drama Art Machine as an outlaw hipster and a pyrotechnic artist. Directed by Doug Karr, the movie is being shot in New York.