Jessica Szohr joins The Orville tonight as Talla, a Xelayan (the same species as Alara, who just left the show.) It appears that Talla will be the ship’s new chief of security, the same role that the character Alara filled before leaving the show. Here’s everything you need to know about Szohr, including where she’s from, her background and previous credits, and her family.
She’s a ‘Gossip Girl’ & ‘Shameless’ Star Who Originally Wanted To Be an Interior Designer
Jessica Szohr already has an impressive resume, even before joining The Orville. She’s known for playing Vanessa Abrams on The CW’s show Gossip Girl. Szohr also has a recurring role on Shameless, Season 8. She plays Nessa, Fiona Gallagher’s friend. She told Cosmopolitan that before she got the role, she was a fan of Shameless.
She has recently also been on Twin Peaks for Season 3, which aired about 25 years after Season 2.
Her credits also include Kingdom, Ted 2, Complications, CSI Miami, What About Brian, My Wife & Kids, and more.
She Was Born in Wisconsin & Is Close to Her Family, Including Four Siblings
Szohr was born in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin in 1985 and began modeling at a young age. When she was only 10, she moved to Los Angeles for her acting career. At 10, she was in a national ad campaign for Quaker Oats and was also in print ads for Kohl’s. She’s also been featured in ads for Crate & Barrel, Mountain Dew, Sears, Jockey, and JanSport.
According to her IMDB bio, Szohr is of Hungarian and black ancestry. Her father is of African American and European descent, IMDB notes, and her mother (whose maiden name is Szohr) is Hungarian, German, English, and Irish. The name Szohr is Hungarian.
While in school she played soccer, was involved in cheerleading, and was on the student council. She even started a cleaning company with a friend. This was all while starting a modeling career at the young age of six. Her original goal was to be an interior designer, but her agent convinced her to audition for pilot season. That’s when she got the role on My Wife and Kids, and the rest is history.
Szohr has a loving relationship with her family. She shared this cute picture with her grandfather on Instagram. Sadly, her sister shared on Instagram that their grandfather passed away in August 2018.
Here is her sister’s post about their grandfather, who sounds like an amazing man.
And she’s pictured here with her mom. Jessica Szohr’s siblings are Danielle Szohr Fulsher, Nick Szohr, Megan Szohr, and Sadie Szohr Roach. She told Hello Magazine in 2015 that her siblings range in age from 12 to 30, and she’s the oldest. She and her youngest sister are separated in age by 18 years.
Szohr told She Knows: “Growing up with so many siblings, I always wanted to make sure they were OK and that their friends were OK.”
Jessica’s sister Megan was married in 2016 and Jessica was a bridesmaid, Glamour reported. Megan was married in Jamaica.
Here’s a video she shared of her talented little sister Sadie:
Szohr once told Glamour about her family: “Right before I got Gossip Girl, I was on a show that got canceled, and I was ready to pack it in and go home to Wisconsin. Instead, my sisters all got on a plane to L.A., came to me, and said, We know you have something special and you need to stick with it.’ They helped me be where I am today.”