10 Jennifer Jason Leigh Facts That Reveal The Woman Behind The Oscar-Nominated Actress

Jennifer Jason Leigh seems to have finally come into her own, after 35 years in the acting business, with her role as Daisy Domergue in The Hateful Eight.

She has been nominated for best actress for the role, which was a truly inspirational performance.

But what is it that makes Jennifer Jason Leigh tick? Here are some really cool facts about the woman behind the actress.

1. Boomsbeat reports that Jennifer Jason Leigh was originally cast in Stanley Kubrick‘s movie Eyes Wide Shut. She played a patient of Dr. Bill Harford’s, who declared her love for Harford after her father passed away. Unfortunately, Leigh wasn’t available for reshoots due to scheduling conflicts, and her scenes were cut.

2. Jennifer Jason Leigh’s father was actor Vic Morrow, and he was killed in a helicopter accident while shooting Twilight Zone: The Movie. Two child actors were also killed in the accident. Leigh and her sister filed a lawsuit for wrongful death against Warner Bros. and Steven Spielberg and John Landis, which was settled out of court.

3. Jennifer Jason Leigh was born Jennifer Leigh Morrow. She adopted her stage name early in her career, choosing Jason as a middle name to honor of family friend and actor, Jason Robards.

4. Jennifer Jason Leigh prefers roles in independent films, rather than blockbuster hits.

“I’d much rather be in a movie that people have really strong feelings about than one that makes a hundred million dollars but you can’t remember because it’s just like all the others.”

5. In an interview with AnOther Magazine, Jennifer Jason Leigh revealed that she is nothing like the characters she plays.

“I’m so different to the roles I play, and perhaps that’s why they are appealing to me as an actor. But I would never want to inhabit my characters’ shoes in real life.”

6. Jennifer Jason Leigh beat out the likes of Hilary Swank, Demi Moore, Michelle Williams, and Robin Wright for the role of Daisy in The Hateful Eight.

7. Jennifer Jason Leigh attributes her ability to bring out such an overwhelming emotional response in her characters at least in part to watching her sister, Carrie, struggle with drug addiction.

“I think a lot of my personality was formed as a child by watching Carrie. She had a lot of temper tantrums, which made me want to be the opposite. I didn’t want attention, I wanted to be the good girl, so I would go clean my room while she was causing havoc.”

Leigh knew that she could let her emotions out safely through acting.

“…but I could allow it through acting, in a very safe way where I wasn’t hurting anyone or causing damage.”

8. Experiencing drug rehab through her sister was what allowed Jennifer Jason Leigh to effectively play a number of roles that featured damaged or neurotic characters.

9. Jennifer Jason Leigh quit school to focus on acting full-time after she acted as a blind, deaf, mute rape victim in Eyes of a Stranger.

“I knew I wanted to act from a very young age, but it also seemed that that’s what people did when you grew up in Hollywood. It’s the industry of this town, so it didn’t seem like this faraway dream, it seemed like that’s what people did when they grew up. Like if you lived in a railroad town you would work at the railroad. It felt very natural for me.”

10. According to Jennifer Jason Leigh, she is introverted and shy and she deeply dislikes Hollywood scandal and publicity.

[Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images]