A curvy brunette with a charming smile and bubbling confidence, Ginnifer Goodwin has established herself as a star-in-the-making in the early 2000’s. With an impressive pedigree of training and education, Goodwin possesses the skills and talent to become the next big thing. And though she has shared screen time with more famous actresses, like Julia Roberts and Kate Bosworth, Goodwin has used her considerable gifts to separate herself enough to capture the attention of both critics and audiences alike.
Goodwin fostered her acting bug in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, where she attended the Lausanne Collegiate School. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Boston University, while performing in numerous student short films, as well as several college and local stage productions. Goodwin was given the Excellence in Acting: Professional Promise Award by the Bette Davis Foundation and graduated with honors. Soon after leaving BU, Goodwin studied at Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Shakespeare Institute in conjunction with the Royal Shakespeare Company. As a self-described Shakespeare nerd who fell in love with Romeo and Juliet in the fifth grade, Goodwin must have been thrilled. Following the Shakespeare Institute, the budding thespian earned an Acting Shakespeare Certificate from London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where she played Joan of Arc, Ophelia in Hamlet and Jessica in The Merchant of Venice.
A return to Boston allowed Goodwin the opportunity to perform at the Huntington Theatre, the leading professional stage in Beantown, where she starred in such productions as Dead End and As You Like It. Goodwin then moved to New York City and landed a guest role on Law & Order (NBC, 1990- ), playing Erica in the Myth of the Fingerprints episode. Goodwin then became a recurring character on Ed (NBC, 2000-2004), playing the bookish and cynical outsider, Diane Snyder. Though the recurring role offered steady work, Goodwin soon developed a taste for film after starring in Comedy Central’s first original movie, Porn ‘n Chicken (2002). Goodwin played Maya, one of several Yale students who are members of the Porn ‘n Chicken Club, a group dedicated to beer, fried chicken and porn. The actress then made her last appearance as Diane Snyder on Ed in 2003 in order to focus on films.
Goodwin starred in Mona Lisa Smile (2003) opposite such heavy-hitters as Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst and Marcia Gay Harden. Goodwin played Constance Baker, an insecure cellist on scholarship to Wellesley College, whose love life is sabotaged by a mean-spirited friend. While the film’s premise and storyline—a female spin on the familiar “Dead Poets’ Society” model—was predictable, Goodwin more than held her own amidst the star-studded cast. The actress made another star turn in her next film, Win A Date With Tad Hamilton (2004), playing best friend Cathy Feely to Bosworth’s Rosalee Futch. Cathy was a one-eighty from Constance—a more racy and daring character. But Goodwin charged into her character with her usual verve—she did a lot of research on Marilyn Monroe, the inspiration for the character. Unfortunately, the movie didn’t fare well at the box office, or with many critics, but Goodwin managed to escape unscathed.
The actress then delivered a particularly strong performance in director James Mangold’s biopic “Walk the Line” (2005) playing Vivian, the long-suffering first wife of country music singer Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix), who’s forced to watch her husband grow more distant and give himself over to booze and pills when he falls torturously in love with his fellow performer June Carter (Reese Witherspoon). After voicing a character on the animated Robot Chicken (Cartoon Network, 2005), Goodwin was seen as one of three wives married to a hardware store owner (Bill Paxton) in Big Love (2006), HBO’s much-anticipated series about one man’s battle with modern-day polygamy. Playing the youngest and most sexually active of the three wives, Goodwin evinced an innocent and agreeable nature, making her a favorite of her husband and causing friction with her two sisters (Jeanne Tripplehorn and Chloe Sevigny). The subject matter aroused both interest and controversy, the latter prompting the producers to put a disclaimer before every episode stating that the Mormon Church banned polygamy in 1890. Nonetheless, Big Love premiered in March 2006 to good reviews and strong ratings.
Goodwin is still appearing on Big Love which is now entering it’s third season come Summer 2008. She’s also recently wrapped filing the comedy He’s Just Not That Into You in the autumn on 2007. She co-stars with Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Long, Jennifer Connelly and Drew Barrymore.
The future is burning bright for Miss Goodwin, and we’re sure there is even more coming for this bright young star.