Jordana Brewster: Coming to Attention

Most of the year Hollywood up-and-comer Jordana Brewster makes a concerted effort not to get noticed, but a girl can't always hide in the shadows.


When not hiding from the paparazzi while out for the night in L.A. with Mark Wahlberg, her beau of two years, Jordana Brewster is scurrying from class to class at Yale, so it's understandable that she prefers a decidedly un-glam look. "At school, I basically wear one pair of jeans and sneakers for months on end," admits the 20-year-old sophomore. Now and again, though, Brewster is required to get done up, as she was for the hit miniseries The '60s, The Faculty, the upcoming Invisible Circus, and for the just-finished street-racing thriller Redline (she took a semester off to film the movie). Then there are those red carpet events and photo shoots that she's obligated to dress to the nines for. As these shots indicate, when Brewster wants to get a little attention, she goes all the way.

DENNIS HENSLEY: Do you get a lot of attention at school because you're famous? JORDANA BREWSTER: After The Faculty came out, I got recognized a lot, but it's died down.

Q: Do any of your fellow students resent you because of the attention Hollywood pays to you?

A: I've had a couple of mean things happen to me. They print Valentine's Day messages in this local newspaper, and there was one from an anonymous sender that said, "Jordana, get that stick out of your butt." That hurt my feelings for a couple of hours.

Q: In our 1999 "Most" issue, we named you Most Beautiful Girl in Hollywood. Did it make your day?

A: [Laughs] Actually, I saw it when I was at school. I was having a bad day and felt completely out of the Industry, so that was a really nice compliment.

Q: Glad we could help. Who do you want to get attention from in Hollywood?

A: Mark Waters, the director of The House of Yes. He got such good performances out of everyone in that film.

Q: When did you realize that you wanted to be an actress?

A: When I was really young. My sister and I would create different characters with our Barbie dolls--I'd be the crazy diva Barbie and she'd be the homeless Barbie.

Q: Did you get a lot of attention from guys in high school?

A: No. I went to an all-girls school and we had horrible formal dances with the neighboring boys' schools. I broke away from that whole thing, and just went out with my best friend to bars in New York.

Q: They'd let you in?

A: Yeah, New York is no problem. L.A. is where they really card you.

Q: You've been dating Mark Wahlberg for two years, yet you've managed to keep a rather low profile together. Is that challenging?

A: Well, we just know where not to go, especially in L.A. If you want to get attention, you know where to go. And if you don't, you go to more subdued places.

Q: How do you deal with being away from him while you're at school?

A: The phone bills are high, but it's worth it.

Q: You would have been in junior high when he first emerged as a rapper/underwear model. Were you a fan?

A: At my school there was a big brouhaha with him and Kate Moss being on the New York buses. They had petitions to get the posters removed because it was too provocative for kids.

Q: Did you sign the petition?

A: No. [Laughs] I don't think I was bothered by it.

Q: You play Cameron Diaz's younger sister in Invisible Circus. What was she like to work with?

A: Awesome. I think, in general, girls can be a lot meaner than boys, but with Cameron, there's no cattiness. She doesn't have an ego, and she's so warm. She doesn't have that wall that some people put up when they achieve a certain amount of success.

Q: Your mother, who's Brazilian, was a successful model. Was she always giving you beauty tips?

A: She'd say, "Don't eat crap, because you're not going to look good."

Q: If you want to get a guy's attention, what kind of outfit do you wear?

A: Usually tube tops. Whatever I feel is flattering is best, not necessarily what shows the most skin.

Q: What's a look that you love even though some people might consider it tacky?

A: I love putting these little stud thingies on my nails. I'll do little heart designs or flowers. My mom almost had a heart attack when she saw them. She said, "Baby, in L.A. maybe, but don't wear that in New York."