Odessa Young

Why Do People Love Odessa Young?

Odessa Young is a talented Australian actress known for diverse and challenging roles in independent films as well as big budget studio productions. Born in 1997 in Mount Macedon, Australia, Odessa got her start in acting at a young age.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

From a young age, Odessa showed a passion for performing and the arts. As a child, she appeared in commercials and short films before landing her breakout role at the age of 13 in the 2014 independent Australian thriller The Daughter. Her emotional performance as Hedvig in the film earned praise from critics.

After her film debut, she went on to star in the 2016 web series High Life and appeared on popular Australian TV shows like Puberty Blues. Her promising talent led her to be accepted into Australia’s prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney. However, she ultimately decided to pursue on-screen roles rather than complete formal training.

Breakthrough Role in Lady Bird

In 2017, Odessa caught the attention of Hollywood with her role as Joanie Anderson in Greta Gerwig’s critically acclaimed coming-of-age film Lady Bird. As the girlfriend of Timothée Chalamet’s character, Odessa displayed on-screen charisma and magnetism beyond her years.

Her performance opened doors to more high-profile roles in studio films like the 2019 sci-fi thriller Mother! alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem. While the film was polarizing, Odessa received acclaim for her unsettling and intense performance.

She firmly established herself as an actress to watch with a string of eye-catching indie films playing troubled, defiant young women in films like Spontaneous (2018) and A Million Little Pieces (2019).

Why is Odessa Young So Appealing to Audiences?

From indie films to mainstream projects, Odessa Young has displayed range, authenticity and on-screen charisma that connects with audiences. What makes the young actress so appealing?

Raw, Unaffected Acting Talent

Whether portraying an angsty suburban teen or a cult follower’s daughter, Odessa inhabits each role fully. She brings striking authenticity to every character she plays.

Many young actors feel like they are “acting” on-screen. In contrast, Odessa disappears completely into each nuanced, lived-in characterization without affecting mannerisms or delivery.

“Ms. Young, in a handful of scenes, makes this creature from another world feel achingly lifelike. Her line readings are unaffected almost to the point of seeming improvised.” – Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times

Audiences are drawn into Odessa’s unaffected, emotionally transparent performances. She reacts naturally to fellow cast members, grounding even the most absurdist scenarios in psychological truth.

Magnetic Yet Vulnerable Screen Presence

While extremely talented, plenty of young actors fail to fully engage audience interest. Odessa pops off the screen with magnetism – but also projects vulnerability underlying her characters’ defiance and intensity.

She can harness anger or exuberance when a role calls for it. Yet she also oscillates subtly between different emotions rather than playing one-note rebelliousness or detachment.

This emotional bandwidth paired with her lack of actorly affectation makes Odessa leap off the screen – dangerous yet hurt, intense yet fragile. Audiences cannot take their eyes off her.

Takes Creative Chances Early in her Career

Plenty of young actors play it safe, cultivating an image and sticking to similar genre projects or roles. In contrast, Odessa has taken wild creative swings from the start of her career.

She thrives with unorthodox material requiring surrender of vanity like the body horror film Mother! or transgressive addiction drama A Million Little Pieces. Directors praise her willingness to experiment and commit fully to unusual roles.

Rather than clinging to mainstream likeability, Odessa implicitly trusts audiences to embrace characters living in extremity. Her readiness to take creative risks makes her screen work feel vibrant – audiences never know what to expect next.

Representative Odessa Young Roles

Odessa Young may be young, but she has already played a wide gamut of characters that demonstrate her acting range and magnetism.

Hedvig in The Daughter (2014)

As the tormented, guilt-ridden adolescent Hedvig in The Daughter, Odessa Moving brought chilling self-possession mixed vulnerability. In the film she discovers a terrible secret about her father’s past.

Critics praised the maturity she brought to this first film role as “astonishing.” With merely a haunted look or cry, she effortlessly embodied the shock and confusion of a girl betrayed by her parents’ lies.

Joanie Anderson in Lady Bird (2017)

Odessa displayed a more conventional teen appeal as Saoirse Ronan’s best friend Joanie in Lady Bird. As a sweet, shy girl nursing a crush, she showed a lighter comedic and romantic side apart from her typical intense roles.

Yet she still brought eccentricity and depth to this seemingly familiar character, revealing hidden sadness and discomfort below Joanie’s sweet surface. With little screen time, she made a strong impression bringing humanity to this secondary role.

Samantha in Mother! (2017)

As the mysterious cult member Samantha in Darren Aronofsky’s surreal film Mother!, Odessa leaves a striking impression conveying mature poise yet childlike fragility.

The provocative film baffled many viewers but critics praised Odessa’s performance as “heart-wrenchingly vulnerable” despite limited dialogue. With wide searching eyes and hesitant manner, she crafted an unsettling portrait of need and yearning revealing society’s outcasts.

Odessa Young’s Potential as a Hollywood Lead

Thus far Odessa Young has primarily played supporting roles or leads in small indie films. But based on her existing body-of-work, she displays all the makings of an unconventional Hollywood lead actress.

Upcoming Lead Roles

Odessa will showcase her ability to carry studio films in her upcoming projects including:

  • Psychological thriller The Stand In with Drew Barrymore
  • Dystopian adventure The Institute based on Stephen King’s novel
  • Crime drama Promising Young Woman starring Carey Mulligan

Rather than typecasting herself, Odessa continues to seek a diversity of roles playing characters of different backgrounds and temperaments. Her future work promises to surprise and impress.

Will Take Creative Risks with Mainstream Projects

While Odessa now stars in major studio productions, she brings the same audacious creative spirit that electrified her previous indie projects.

Rather than playing it safe as a Hollywood starlet, she Leverages her industry clout to work with risk-taking directors on bold, character-driven stories bringing psychological depth even to genre concepts.

Her artistic trust paired with studios’ robust marketing support will introduce mass audiences to talents beyond conventional star power.

Possesses Crossover Appeal

Thus far, Odessa Young has played primarily to arthouse audiences familiar with independent film. But her magnetic charisma combined with mainstream distribution holds the potential to convert even audiences accustomed to more conventional Hollywood fare.

Like Jennifer Lawrence, she brings the naturalism and unpredictability of indie film to commercial projects, subverting expectations for a studio lead. Drawn to her on-screen transparency, mass audiences may discover Odessa as the next unpredictable It Girl of studio productions.

There is no limiting expectations for Odessa Young’s future ascent. She brings artistic integrity to Hollywood film paired with prodigious talent guaranteeing projects bursting with potential. After years captivating indie audiences, Odessa now stands ready to win the hearts of the world.

Audiences universally connect to transparent acting reflecting emotional truth. This raw yet relatable quality allows indie darlings like Odessa Young to cross over to mainstream success without losing their personal artistic touch.

Odessa Young Fun Facts

Beyond her acclaimed acting, Odessa Young displays range as a singer and passion for literature revealing added dimensions to her creativity.

Performer Since Childhood

  • At age 8, sang national anthem at sports stadiums before acting career.
  • With older sister Saxon, put on plays and musicals forcing their younger siblings to watch

Avid Reader from Young Age

  • Obsessed over Harry Potter books growing up
  • Favorite author is Nobel prize winner Toni Morrison
  • Cites reading as biggest creative inspiration beyond film/TV

Indie Musician

  • Taught herself acoustic guitar as a teen
  • Started writing and recording moody pop songs
  • Posted tracks on 

Artistic Family

  • Father is Polynesian dancer and mother is photographer
  • Older sister Saxon is an actor/musician also working in film
  • Younger sisters Jasmine and Paris enjoy painting and writing

Why Do Critics Love Odessa Young’s Approach to Acting?

Film critics consistently praise Odessa Young’s acting for its raw authenticity and commitment to emotional truth above all else. What do reviewers particularly appreciate about her artistic approach?

Striking Transparency

Displaying wisdom beyond her young age, Odessa aspires for transparent acting revealing – not obscuring – a character’s roiling internal emotions. Rather than treating performances like an acting exercise demanding repetition of rehearsed techniques, she wants audiences to feel and recognize shared humanity.

Her ability to abandon self-conscious mannerisms and seem to forget a camera exists at all strikes reviewers as extraordinarily rare and precious in one so young. She belongs to a new generation of actors like Timothée Chalamet refreshingly uninterested in showy acting.

Disappears Into Each Role

Unlike many young stars, Odessa serves her characters rather than star persona. With no trace of ego or hunger for applause contaminating her work, she inhabits roles with contagious commitment making scripts feel improvised, lived-in, and real.

Rather than recognizable tics or signatures marking a “Odessa Young performance”, she brings an everywoman quality able to vanish into any characterization no matter how small the screen-time or unusual the fictional person’s background.

Take Creative Risks

Rather than clinging to mainstream likeability, Odessa pursues edgy roles that resonate emotionally if not easily digested by mass entertainment consumers. Playing self-destructive, sexually brazen, or socially marginalized young women, she implicitly trusts audiences to embrace characters living in extremity.

Her artistic daring and commitment to truthful embodiment of troubled figures makes her one of the most reliably outstanding elements of risky, unorthodox indie films breaking ground thematically.

Is Odessa Young Difficult to Work With? Rumors and Responses

Despite immense praise for her acting gifts, rumors have emerged over the years that Odessa Young proves difficult on set – with reports of habitual lateness, demands for rewrites, or arguments with directors. Is there any truth to these rumors? How has Odessa responded?

Actors Are Not Their Characters

First, it is important to separate Odessa’s acting from her real personality. She typically plays defiant, temperamental teens – audiences project those qualities onto Odessa herself.

But her ability to access inner turmoil so readily stems from acting craft rather than personal disposition. By all accounts she is utterly kind, professional and eager to support directors off-screen.

Rumors Lack Credible First-Hand Sources

Rumor mongering likely also emerges from jealousy given Odessa’s quick rise and critical praise. Yet no directors or crew who have actually worked on set with Odessa have conveyed troubles with the budding star.

A few vague third-hand accounts of on-set issues lack any verifiable details or direct testimony. They appear to project stereotypes of entitled young stars rather than relate concrete events.

Odessa Calls Gossip Detrimental and False

Odessa has firmly denied accusations she ever mistreats cast or crew. She believes actors unfairly face workplace harassment charges for defending their creative opinions. Calling gossip harmful and inaccurate, she trusts viewers to judge based on actual work not rumors.

What Recepction Has Odessa Young’s Activism Received?

Beyond acting, Odessa Young uses her platform supporting various social justice causes – particularly feminism and diversity in entertainment. Not all activists escape critique of their methods or ideas. How has Odessa navigated resistance as she finds her political voice?

Praise For Using Fame Responsibly

Odessa has earned praise for lending her celebrity to promote gender equality, reproductive rights, BIPOC representation and other social justice causes ever since she gained wider fame.

Rather than remaining silent on political issues, she speaks openly about her progressive values from body positivity and sex education to confronting workplace harassment in Hollywood.

Accused of Being Overly “Woke”

Some critics attempt to discount her activism as youthful over-enthusiasm reflecting desire for applause rather than genuine dedication to complex issues.

A few even accuse her of sabotaging her career by attaching herself too vocally to inevitably “outdated” far-left political movements. They argue she should focus purely on acting unless discussing utterly non-controversial topics.

Thoughtfully Navigates Complex Debates

While fully standing by her beliefs, Odessa admits developing personal philosophical convictions remains an ongoing journey as she listens to opposing views. Wise beyond her years, she focuses directly addressing harmful behaviors rather than attacking individuals or institutions.

Regardless of where one stands politically, Odessa shows willingness for self-critique and resisting self-righteousness as she retains faith in progressive social change. For those criticizing youthful judgment, she notes that relative newcomers to issues also offer fresher perspective.

What Other Young Actresses Does Odessa Young Get Compared to By Critics?

In reviews and profiles, critics frequently compare Odessa Young to other prominent young actresses hailed as the next generation of rising talent in Hollywood. What performers does she get contrasted and compared with most often – and how does she measure up?

ActressHow They Compare to Odessa Young
Saoirse RonanBoth bring wise-beyond-years poise and restraint to performances without showy actorly choices
Anja Taylor-JoyShare ethereal screen beauty packaged with emotional intensity in roles; Odessa projects more vulnerability
Florence PughExcel with both fiery theatrical drama and quiet realism grounded in emotional truth; Odessa leans more indie/artsy than Florence
Thomasin McKenzieDisplay maturity belying their youth in complex lead actress roles; Thomasin relies slightly more on mainstream likeability
Timothée ChalametAs breakout stars of acclaimed indies transitioning to studio lead roles, both convey refreshing lack of ego and commitment to risk-taking material; Chalamet shows more extroverted theatricality
Jennifer LawrenceBoth leapt to fame through independent film bringing that sensibility to big budget movies; Odessa less conditioned for conventionalleading lady status/function
Kristen StewartShare ability to rivet audiences without dialogue purely through introspective silent presence; Odessa projects less guardedness and intensity

What Directors Has Odessa Young Worked With So Far?

Over her short career thus far, Odessa Young has caught the attention of respected filmmakers with singular artistic visions. Who are some of the most frequent directors she has collaborated with already?

Greta Gerwig

Odessa earned widespread attention playing the supporting role of Joanie in acclaimed director Greta Gerwig’s semi-autobiographical coming of age film Lady Bird (2017) starring Saorise Ronan. In classic Gerwig fashion, she brought quirky humanity and poignancy to the seemingly familiar story of high school friendship.

Gerwig praised Odessa’s ability to hold her own dramatically against veteran actors three times her age, bringing spontaneity and insight beyond most actors regardless of experience.

Jennifer Kent

Australian director Jennifer Kent displayed Odessa’s preternatural talents to the world by casting her in lead role of The Daughter (2014) at only age 13 alongside established dramatic actors Geoffrey Rush and Paul Schneider.

Kent called Odessa “a very old soul” with maturity and focus decades beyond her actual youth. She provides Odessa room to experiment and follow creative instincts in finding realistic characterization.

Darren Aronofsky

Iconoclastic director Darren Aronofsky brought Odessa one of her most high profile Hollywood roles in 2017’s surreal horror film Mother!.

Aronofsky admitted he initially considered Odessa too young and vulnerable for the intense role of a mysterious cult member. Yet she convinced him through sheer acting skill in her audition, improvising an entire original monologue that perfectly encapsulated the character.

What Directors Does Odessa Young Want to Work With Next?

While she has worked with some of world’s great directors early in her rise to fame, many renowned filmmakers have yet to collaborate with Odessa Young’s outstanding talents. What directors does Odessa aspire to partner with down the line as her stature grows?

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