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8 Essential Brie Larson Roles to Watch Before the Oscars

by John Boone 3:40 AM PST, February 24, 2016
Playing 8 Essential Brie Larson Roles to Watch Before the Oscars

Get ready to see a lot more movies starring Academy Award winner Brie Larson.

The 26-year-old actress is the clear frontrunner to take home the Oscar this year for her, as they say, tour de force performance as a captive woman raising her 5-year-old son in Room. She may be everywhere now and quickly becoming a household name, but Larson didn't come out of nowhere.

EXCLUSIVE: Brie Larson Almost Missed Her Golden Globes Win, Despite Warnings From Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet

Here are eight of her greatest -- and we think, award-winning worthy? -- roles on her road to the Oscars:

1. Raising Dad (2001)

Photo: The WB

The cast of this WB series about a widower raising his two daughters is stacked, with Bob Saget (post-Full House), Kat Dennings (pre-2 Broke Girls), and a 12-year-old Larson, years before she played a Six Chick in 13 Going on 30. It only ran for a season, but you have to start somewhere.
Could've Won an Award for: Best Newcomer in a Show No One Remembers

2. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Photo: Universal Pictures

If you haven't seen this bonkers video game-graphic novel hybrid movie, you really are missing out. And not just for Larson, who plays Envy Adams, the titular Scott's ex-girlfriend who is the lead singer of the rock band, The Clash at Demonhead, and is dating a telekinetic vegan. We told you it was bonkers.
Could've Won an Award for: Best Wig

3. United States of Tara (2009-2011)

Photo: Showtime

Toni Collette may have had the showier role -- she played the Gregson family matriarch and her handful of alters -- but Larson, as her teenage daughter, Kate, got to flex her acting muscles, particularly during the stint where Kate was a vid girl who went by Princess Valhalla Hawkwind.
Could've Won an Award for: Something at the Golden Globes, right?

4. 21 Jump Street (2012)

Photo: Columbia Pictures

There was a lot going on in the Jump Street reboot, so you might not remember Larson's smaller role as Molly, the popular high school girl that Jonah Hill's character falls for and who gets kidnapped by the drug-supplying P.E. teacher. She was funny, but we're hardly surprised she opted out of the sequel.
Could've Won an Award for: Most Thankless Part by a Supporting Actress

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5. The Spectacular Now (2013)

Photo: A24 Films

Wait, wasn't it Shailene Woodley in that movie? Yes, Woodley played the lead, but Larson played Miles Teller's ex. While most ex-girlfriends in Y.A. movies get the bitch treatment, Larson's Cassidy was much more than that and had one of the best lines: "You'll always be my favorite ex-boyfriend."
Could've Won an Award for: Second Best Performance by Brie Larson in One Year

6. Short Term 12 (2013)

Photo: Cinedigm

If you were surprised by Larson's performance in Room, it's only because you never saw this largely unsung indie. She plays a young woman who works at a group home, trying to balance the problems of the kids she supervises with her own. She did get an Independent Spirit Award for it, though she lost to Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine (who went on to win the Oscar).
Could've Won an Award for: Best Actress (at the Oscars! Seriously, she's that good in this!)

7. Digging for Fire (2015)

Photo: The Orchard

If you aren't familiar with director Joe Swanberg's work, this could be a particularly polarizing viewing. It was co-"written" by New Girl's Jake Johnson, and we use quotes because it's all improvised. Larson pops in as a free-spirited stranger and manages to subvert any manic pixie dream girlness that a less-nuanced actress would have succumbed to.
Could've Won an Award for: Best Actress Supporting a Supporting Actress in an Independent Film, but like, an ACTUAL Independent Film

8. Trainwreck (2015)

Photo: Universal Pictures

Trainwreck was ALL Amy Schumer. But as Kim, Amy's more mature younger sister, Larson held her own opposite the current queen of comedy. Schumer and Larson crafted a complex, layered, and yes, funny woman, and there scenes together are some of the most emotional in the film. Jennifer Lawrence has a lot to live up to when she plays Schumer's sister next.
Could've Won an Award for: Best Use of Brie Larson in a Supporting Role (Now Let's Start Casting Her as the Lead in More Things, OK?)

BONUS! Did you know Brie used to be a POP STAR?! Back in 2005, she released a full album, Finally Out of P.E., and a single, "She Said," with a music video and everything.

That is DEFINITELY essential Brie Larson viewing.

Plus, the Golden Globe and SAG Award-winning actress adorably opened up to ET about her boyfriend, Alex Greenwald. Find out what she had to say about him in the video below.

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