Jennifer Missoni for Dossier Journal
Half Italian and half American, Jennifer Missoni is a sweet mix of New and Old World zest. She is the granddaughter of dream weavers Rosita and Ottavio Missoni, and possesses her famous family’s signature demure style. At the same time, she has cultivated a creative career far from the realms of fashion, on the big screen.
The 27-year-old actress has appeared in several TV shows, ranging from Law & Order to Gossip Girl, and just starred in Playbacknext to Christian Slater. With a few flicks on the works, she sat down with Dossier to talk about her passion for the craft and her secret to living in the present.
Giovanna Maselli: You started acting at a very young age. What is your first memory of being interested in the craft?
Jennifer Missoni: As a kid, I was always finding a way to put on a show and to perform. In the house I grew up in, there was a big forest in the garden and I spent a lot of time there just creating my own movies and stories. I watched a lot of American musicals because we didn’t have TV—my parents didn’t want us to have television, so all we had were VHS tapes. I didn’t know who Pippo Baudo [a famous Italian television host] was until I was 17 years old. [My husband] Tommy is always like, “Where the hell did you grow up?” It’s such a weird background and cultural mix… It’s bizarre.
Giovanna: Did you have any favorite movies?
Jennifer: There were three movies that really moved me as a kid: Strictly Ballroom by Baz Luhrmann, A Little Princess by Alfonso Cuaron, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers by Stanley Donen. But even Back to the Future made me want to be an actress.
Jennifer: The characters in those films… As I got older, I started to understand myself better and realized that I wanted to play women who are fighting a system of oppression—then I started really becoming more passionate about films like Erin Brockovich, Children of Men—the role that Julianne Moore plays in that movie—or the work that Charlize Theron did inMonster or North Country. That’s ultimately what I want to do. But when you’re young and you watch Back to the Future, there is so much joy in those performances.
Giovanna: It sound like you always had the idea of turning acting into a profession.
Jennifer: It wasn’t even an idea, it was just like I always knew that’s what I was going to do.
Giovanna: As an adult, what does acting mean to you?