Look back at the most memorable Jena Malone movies and television shows before she returns in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2!
For story reasons, Jena Malone’s Johanna Mason was sidelined from last year’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. That will change in a big way, however, when The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 hits theaters on November 20. Johanna has been freed from captivity, and she’s got more than enough reasons to seek revenge on the regime that decimated her life.
Malone also has supporting role in the much-anticipated Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, but it’s not clear whom she will play. Malone has been rumored to be portraying both Robin (Carrie Kelley) and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), both of which seem like a natural progression of her Hunger Games role.
For the last 19 years, Malone has risen in prominence as an actress, with roles on television and in film. Outside of Hollywood, Malone is also a musician and a photographer who nearly walked away from the industry in 2011. Instead, Malone is still active and her biggest roles may still be in her near future.
Ahead of the final movie in The Hunger Games franchise, ComingSoon.net has assembled a (spoilerish) retrospective of the ten most memorable TV and film projects from Malone’s two decades in Hollywood.
Jena Malone Movies and TV Spotlight: Contact (1997)
One of Malone’s earliest roles came when she was 12 years old. In Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation of Carl Sagan’s Contact, Malone played the younger version of Jodie Foster’s leading character, Eleanor “Ellie” Arroway. In Malone’s brief part in the movie, audiences saw the beginning of Ellie’s lifelong quest to find proof of alien life through interstellar alien transmissions.
Jena Malone Movies and TV Spotlight: Donnie Darko (2001)
Malone’s next significant role came in the cult sci-fi classic Donnie Darko, in which she played Gretchen Ross, the love interest of Jake Gyllenhaal’s seemingly-disturbed title character. Donnie Darko had a very unusual take on time travel and its consequences. And it’s Gretchen’s fate in the tangent timeline that inspires Donnie to embrace his own destiny in the prime timeline even though it dooms him.
Malone’s character actually gets the spotlight in the final scene of the movie, as she wonders how she knew Donnie and his sister without ever actually meeting them in the restored timeline.
Jena Malone Movies and TV Spotlight: American Girl (2002)
American Girl marked the first time that Malone headlined a film, which she also produced for director Jordan Bradley. Malone played Rena, a pregnant and suicidal teenager who accompanies her family on their annual trip to visit their father in prison. American Girl was not a widely seen film, but it was an important step in Malone’s progression as a movie star.
Jena Malone Movies and TV Spotlight: Saved! (2004)
Saved! was the next movie that Malone headlined as the featured star. She played Mary Cummings, a religious teenager who struggles to keep her faith after she is impregnated by her gay boyfriend in a misguided attempt to restore his heterosexuality. Mandy Moore also had a very memorable role in Saved! as Mary’s former best friend-turned nemesis, Hilary Faye.
Jena Malone Movies and TV Spotlight: The Ruins (2008)
It’s a rite of passage in Hollywood to star in a horror film. In 2008, Malone was the female lead of The Ruins as Amy, one half of two American couples who become trapped in an ancient Mayan temple and surrounded by very angry natives and apparently predatory vines that can infect anyone who touches them.
Amy gets to be the final girl of this story, but the alternate cuts of The Ruins suggest that she didn’t get very far before she shared the fate of her friends.
Jena Malone Movies and TV Spotlight: Sucker Punch (2011)
Malone’s first action oriented starring turn came in Sucker Punch alongside Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Vanessa Hudgens, and Jamie Chung. In Baby Doll’s (Browning) elaborate fantasy world, she plans her escape from a Brothel with four other girls: Rocket (Malone), Sweet Pea (Cornish), Blondie (Hudgens), and Amber (Chung). And in Baby Doll’s fantasies within her fantasy, all five of them are nearly unstoppable action heroines.
This film was also Malone’s first collaboration with Zack Snyder, the director of Batman v. Superman.
Jena Malone Movies and TV Spotlight: Hatfields and McCoys (2012)
In 2012, Malone co-starred in History’s “Hatfields and McCoys” miniseries, which fictionalized the violent story between the two families behind one of the most famous feuds in U.S. history. Malone played Nancy McCoy, the niece of McCoy family patriarch, Randall McCoy (Bill Paxton).
Malone has said that she nearly quit acting over the response to Sucker Punch. She also credits her role in “Hatfields and McCoys” for rekindling her passion of acting.
Jena Malone Movies and TV Spotlight: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
During The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Malone made her debut as the scene-stealing Johanna Mason, an ally of Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) during the 75th Annual Hunger Games. Johanna was a former Hunger Game victor who hilariously did not have any f***s to give after President Snow (Donald Sutherland) had already ordered the deaths of everyone she loved.
Johanna was absent from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 except for one scene near the end of the movie. But she’ll be back in force during The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2!
Jena Malone Movies and TV Spotlight: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
The veil of secrecy around Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is so intense that there still isn’t any confirmation about whom Malone will play in the movie! Will she be Barbara Gordon or Carrie Kelley? Maybe, but no one outside of the production knows for sure.
But after her turn as Johanna in The Hunger Games films, we think that Malone would make a great Batgirl!
Jena Malone Movies and TV Spotlight: The Neon Demon (2016)
Earlier this year, Malone filmed her next movie, The Neon Demon. Her role in the film is currently unspecified, but the story revolves around Jesse (Elle Fanning), a would-be model whose youth and vitality “are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means to get what she has.”
Malone co-stars in The Neon Demon with Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Alessandro Nivola, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Bella Heathcote, and Desmond Harrington.