Jena Malone turns 29 years old today, and that’s not even the best part of her week. She’s really breaking out big in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. That film opens tomorrow (well, tonight) as pretty much the most anticipated movie of the year. At least among Hunger Games fans who probably don’t have any idea that Jena Malone started out as a child star back in 1996.
That was when she gave a surprisingly adult performance in the film Bastard Out of Carolina. Jena kept working after that, and we certainly noticed her in 2001′s Donnie Darko–but she still looked awfully young. She didn’t seem like a real object of desire until a 2004 indie called The United States of Leland. That had us thinking that Jena was set for stardom with her role in Sucker Punch, but that heavily-hyped 2011 film bombed.
Fortunately, Jena got a proper showcase with the surprise success of the 2012 Hatfields & McCoys miniseries on the History Channel–where Jena Malone stole the show as scheming Nancy McCoy. The character is a lot like her role of Johanna Mason. That’s the gal who famously tries to psych out opponent Katniss Everdeen in the books by getting naked during an elevator ride. (Okay, here’s the 50 Sexiest Jennifer Lawrence Photos, too.)
Why, yes, we do already have our tickets for Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Thanks for asking. Now we have your ticket to catch up with Jena Malone and her quirkly sex appeal. She’s a genuinely hip hipster gal with an acting career that mostly finances her work as a musician and photographer. That’s our kind of gal–and nobody can say that Jena’s conformed to Hollywood’s standard of beauty, either. She’s maintained her own quirky look that’s still sexy in all kinds of ways. Now get to looking for yourself–and prepare to be surprised…