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Blonde Ambition

Ready for her close-up, indie darling Jess Weixler takes a star-making turn.

Jess Weixler

“There’s a little part of me that wants to be a detective,” says Jess Weixler, who plays the daughter of Annette Bening’s character in this month’s dramedy The Face of Love. “I like looking at people and trying to figure out what makes them tick.”

So great is Weixler’s passion for exploring the human condition that the Louisville, Kentucky-born beauty followed it straight to New York’s prestigious Juilliard School, where she promptly got sick before auditioning. “I was so nervous and covered in hives!” confesses Weixler, who has since gone on to gain indie cred with 2007’s Teeth and 2012’s Free Samples, opposite Jesse Eisenberg, and major exposure on CBS’s The Good Wife, but still battles the occasional bout of butterflies.

“That feeling of being nervous and afraid of judgment, I hope it fades with age,” continues the actress, whose next role, as the sister of Jessica Chastain’s Eleanor in the upcoming two-part drama The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, would have likely induced hives were it not for the close connection between the two talents. “Jessica and I did every single play together at Juilliard,” explains Weixler, who went from the Oscar nominee’s classmate to roommate, first at school, and then for a short time in Los Angeles while Weixler searched for a place of her own.“It always worked because we like cooking together and watching art-house movies. We have similar taste and neither of us [is] too messy. We act like sisters anyway. It was nice to bring our own history to a project so many years later.”

Next up? The multitasker will co-direct and appear in Trouble Dolls, a comedy she co-wrote, featuring Jennifer Prediger, Megan Mullally, Jeffrey Tambor and Will Forte. “I’m excited about the people I’m working with,” Weixler says. “This year feels big to me.”