Jenna Kanell boasts of a combination of talents that is quite uncommon in the film industry, especially for a lady – she is an actress, stunt performer, martial artist, writer, director, and filmmaker. Though she has been in the entertainment business since 2010, Kanell only began gaining wider recognition in 2017 and that is thanks to her role in the horror film, The Bye Bye Man. A horror nerd, Jena Kanell has starred in a couple of other horror films including Terrifier where she played the role of Tara Heyes. Here is a look at her story to Hollywood stardom as well as some interesting facts about her personal life.
Jenna Kanell – Biography, Age
Jenna Kanell was born on the 12th of November 1991 in Brookline Massachusettes. She spoke with a Boston accent until her family relocated to the Southern part of America. Though born in America, Kanell’s heritage has been traced to the Mediterranean and as well as the Middle East.
Though the high school she attended is unknown, Jenna Kanell did attend high school but while there, made up her mind to ditch college and that wasn’t because she didn’t have the passion to get more education, but she just believed that she could get educated without being in a classroom and so far, from the things that she has accomplished, Kanell has done extremely well as an autodidact.
To facilitate her self-learning journey, Kanell has become a travel enthusiast… you know what they say about widely traveled people being more knowledgeable than those who’ve read wider? Kanell could pass for a typical example. She oozes incredible brilliance at everything she does.
Acting Career Profile
Jenna Kanell isn’t just your average actress, for one, Hollywood fame isn’t her primary goal, she’s rather interested in involving herself with socially conscious projects especially those that people would rather not concern themselves with. However, with the rate at which she’s growing in her pursuits, fame would surely find its way to her.
Kanell’s first love is writing and she only began acting in 2010. She began by taking roles in short films, some of which include; Love Transcends, and Alone. Still, in 2010, Kanell has her first feature film role in A Girl Named Clyde. She continued to take up small roles in films and TV shows and occasionally some shorts. She appeared in a 2011 episode of Drop Dead Diva and in a 2014 episode of Vampire Diaries. Other TV shows she’s had parts include; NCIS: New Orleans, Shots Fired, and Princess Avengers: World Cleansers.
Also a filmmaker, Jenna Kanell has produced a handful of films and shorts including Civil, and The Good Die Young. She has directed a number of projects as well including the short films; #SLUT, Boy’s Club, Max & the Monster, among others.
Jenna Kanell’s family, in addition to her parents whom she has revealed have been a huge source of inspiration, also includes her younger brother named Vance.
Kanell’s brother Vance is a disabled boy. In addition to being autistic, he is also epileptic and suffers from cerebral palsy. Kanell has been her brother’s superhero all his life as she firmly believes that he can be anything regardless of his physical hurdles.
Inspired by her brother, she wrote, produced and directed her first short film “Bumblebees” – the Bumblebees are creatures that are able to fly by defying the laws of aerodynamics, and in relation to her brother’s disability, Kanell believes that her brother’s disabilities should not hamper his success in life.
She started writing the film upon receiving a mail from SAG-AFTRA informing her about The Disability Film Challenge. Kanell joined forces with actress Katy Tulka to produce the film which turned out to be a huge success winning the “Best Film” at The Disability Film Challenge among other awards.
The short film was written as a romantic comedy with Kanell’s brother Vance acting the lead role. The story follows his effort to overcome the hurdles of his disability including finding love. Bumblebees’ success led Jenna Kanell to give a TEDx Talk titled “A Bee Showed Me That Limits Are Lies.”
The short film has helped promote dialogues on disability and also earned her an invite to speak at Harvard Medical School. It has been screened in at least 30 film festivals around the world.
Thanks to her brother, Jenna Kanell has become a firm believer in Neurodiversity, a concept that people with neurological differences should be respected as just being a human variation.
Other Interesting Facts about Jenna Kanell
• In addition to acting, Jenna Kanell is also a martial artist and has performed stunt in a handful of films.
• She owns a production company Laser Pigeon Pictures LLC whose primary goal is to educate, empower and entertain through films.
• Her short film #SLUT won the First Glance Film Festival’s Papaya Films Bursury 2019.
• An animal welfare enthusiast, Jenna Kanell owns a cat whom she has thought how to perform tricks, something that she has described as one of her biggest achievements.
• Kanell happens to be good with languages as she was fluent in Hebrew before the age of 12.
• Her hobbies include skating and giving stick and poke tattoos.
• The late Serbian-American inventor, Nikola Tesla is her role model because of his radical visions and respect he had for women.
• Jenna stands at a height of 5 feet 4 inches.