“People recognize you for your work, and you can get lots of free makeup and
shampoo and clothes. That’s kind of fun.” Taryn Manning
American actress/musician Taryn Manning gained critical acclaim after playing
the very strong hooker in the Sundance Audience Award-winning film Hustle & Flow
(2005), in which she was handed a Washington DC Area Film Critics Association
nod, and for portraying the drug-addled best friend in Crazy/Beautiful (2001,
with Kirsten Dunst). One of the more multitalented young actresses in Hollywood
today, Manning is also well-associated with her roles in such films as the
Britney Spears vehicle Crossroads (2002), White Oleander (2002), the Eminem film
8 Mile (2002), Cold Mountain (2003) and A Lot Like Love (2005, with Ashton
Kutcher). She has appeared in guest roles in series like “The Practice,” “Get
Real,” “Pacific Blue,” “Boston Public” and “NYPD Blue.”
As a singer/songwriter, the member of the duo group Boomkat, along side older
brother Kellin, has launched a debut album titled Boomkatalog.O in 2003. Its hit
song, “The Wreckoning,” has created waves on pop charts everywhere.
Off camera, Manning, who has a 3rd degree green belt in karate, is an
accomplished dancer and karate who has won several competitions, including the
Arizona state championship. She also practices kickboxing and Tae Bo.
On September 2005, on “Craig Ferguson’s late night talk show,” Manning shared
her experience of being one of 140 passengers on JetBlue Airways Flight 292,
which had almost crashed. She said, “When we saw our plane on TV as ‘breaking
news’... it was the most surreal, out of body experience I ever had... I just
composed a little something so that if anything happened (family members) would
know that our last goodbye wasn’t on the phone... A lot of the women of course
were crying... There was a gentleman across the way who was writing in his
journal and crying, and seeing that isn’t easy.
Childhood and Family:
On November 6, 1978, Taryn Manning was born in a small town outside Washington,
D.C called Falls Church, Virginia. Her parents separated when she was 3 years
old, leaving Taryn and older brother Kellin under the care of their single mom
who worked two jobs in order to support her children. The three then relocated
to Tucson, Arizona, and when her brother went to college, 12-year-old Taryn,
with her mother, moved to San Diego, where her knack for performing arts was
discovered. Taryn’s musician/hotel manager father committed suicide in 1993.
Taryn began dancing at age 12, and by age 16, she had become the national
champion in dance. She was also a competitive karate and roller-skating, and won
the Arizona state championship in karate in her age group for two consecutive
years. The multitalented teen was also a gifted singer and attended the
prestigious Orange County High School of the Arts in Los Alamitos, California.
A dance and karate champion, Taryn Manning got her start in acting in the late
1990s with small roles in film and television productions. She appeared as a
groupie in the ABC film Come On, Get Happy: The Partridge Family Story (1999),
had an uncredited part as a girl in car in the drama picture Speedway Junky
(1999) and guest stared as a call girl in an episode of the hit David E. Kelley
show The Practice (1999). The same year, she also played Rebecca Peabody, a
recurring role in nine episodes of the brief Fox series “Get Real.”
Manning went on to guest star in many series such as “Pacific Blue” (2000),
“Popular” (2000), “NYPD Blue” (2000) and “Boston Public” (2001). During that
same periods, she was featured as a tatooed dancer in the drama/thriller
made-for-TV film Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (2000) and as autograph hound in The
Specials (2000, with Rob Lowe), but it was her role as Kirsten Dunst’s
drug-addled best friend in the teen drama Crazy/Beautiful (2001) that garnered
Manning critical praise.
She followed the success with appearance on major movies like the pop star
Britney Spears film debut Crossroads (2002, as one of Spears’ best friends),
Peter Kominsky’s revision of the Janet Fitch’s bestseller White Oleander (2002,
opposite Michelle Pfeiffer and Renee Zellweger) and the semi-autobiographical
film 8 Mile (2002, as rapper Eminem’s ex-girlfriend) and director Anthony
Minghella’s Civil War epic Cold Mountain (2003, starred Nicole Kidman and Jude
In the meantime, Manning, who was a 2001 contestant in “PopStars,” a reality TV
show similar to American Idol, was getting more serious about music and she
formed a duo named Boomkat, along with her brother, Kellin, in 2003. Their debut
album, Boomkatalog.O, was released on March 8, that same year. It spawned the
hit song “The Wreckoning,” which peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance
Music/Club Play chart.
The gifted performer returned to acting with the independent drama Dandelion
(2004), playing a couple of star-crossed small town lovers, and then took on
supporting parts in the minor films Debating Robert Lee (2004) and Lucky 13
(2005), as well as the comedy/romance Unbeatable Harold (2005). She offered a
hilarious supporting turn as Ashton Kutcher’s irritating sister in the
romantic-comedy A Lot Like Love (2005).
In crime/music Hustle & Flow (2005), co-staring opposite Terrence Dashon Howard
and Anthony Anderson, Manning delivered her most engaging performance to date as
a tough-as-nails prostitute whose pimp (Howard) decides to become a rap star.
For her efforts, she received a Washington DC Area Film Critics Association
nomination for Best Breakthrough Performance. As for the film, the Craig
Brewer-helmed was handed the Audience Award for Best Dramatic Feature at the
2005 Sundance Film Festival.
Recently, Manning starred as Cassandra in the horror film Cult (2006), teamed up
with Michelle Rodriguez, Oliver Hudson and Eric Lively in the action/thriller
The Breed (2006) and played the lead of Saga in the television film Banshee
(2006). She also appeared as Ellie Laird in the pilot episode of drama series
“Drive” (2006), starring K Callan. Manning will soon play supporting role Alanna
in the comedy film After Sex (2006). Additionally, she is set to have small role
in the comedy-drama Weirdsville (2007), star in the comedy/romance Jack and Jill
vs. the World (2007, with Freddie Prinze Jr.) and work with Nick Stahl in the
thriller The Speed of Thought (2007).