Taryn Manning (born November 6,
1978) is an American actress, fashion designer, and singer-songwriter. She
is the vocalist for electronic duo Boomkat and co-owner of clothing brand,
called Born Uniqorn. Manning gained her first major role as an actress in
2001 when she played the role of Maddy in Crazy/Beautiful. She is
well-known for her film portrayals in Crossroads, 8 Mile, A Lot Like Love,
Hustle & Flow, Weirdsville and Jack and Jill vs. the World. She has
appeared in film genres ranging from drama and comedy to science fiction.
Manning was born in Falls Church, Virginia to Sharyn and Bill Manning. Her
parents divorced when she was two months old, and her mother took Manning
and her brother Kellin to Tucson, Arizona. At the age of 12, Manning and
her mother moved to California, where she attended Orange County High
School of the Arts. Her mother insisted on enrolling her daughter in
dance, karate, and acting classes despite their limited income. She has
been the State Champion in Karate in Arizona. When she was 14, her
musician father, Bill, committed suicide.
Manning began acting in the late 1990s, appearing in small roles in
several film and television productions, including episodes of The
Practice, Get Real,Speedway Junky(in an uncredited role), NYPD Blue and
Popular. Shortly after she began studying acting and went to different
schools to pursue her dreams. She also made a guest-appearance on the
critically acclaimed TV-series Boston Public, in a role that was
specifically written for her. In 1999, she was featured in an independent
film called Speedway Junky, which gave rise to later roles on television.
She also auditioned for the American version of Popstars, which aired in
early 2001 on The WB.
Television stardom led to roles in major motion pictures, and she made her
film debut with a part in the Kirsten Dunst and Jay Hernandez
romantic-comedy crazy/beautiful in which she played the best friend of
Dunst's character. Crazy/beautiful was followed shortly by a prominent
role in the 2002 feature film, Crossroads, where she played one of two
best friends of singer Britney Spears. When talking about filming of
Crossroads, Manning said: "It was absolutely insane filming that movie.
We'd be trying to film a scene and that whole hour, borders of our set
would be filled with screaming fans holding up signs as we're trying to
go, like 'Action!'" Continuing her connection with pop music, she appeared
in 8 Mile, as Eminem's former girlfriend. Next she appeared in Peter
Kosminksy's White Oleander, based on the novel of the same name. Along
with supporting roles in the minor films Lucky 13 and Debating Robert Lee,
Manning had notable appearances in A-list productions as well. She
appeared briefly in Anthony Minghella's acclaimed Civil War melodrama Cold
Mountain and in romantic-comedy A Lot Like Love.
E! Online picked her for its "Sizzlin' 16" list of 2002. She has appeared
on the covers of the July 2003 issue of FHM, the May 2007 issue of Stuff
and was the December 2007 entry in Stuff magazine's 2006-2007 pin up
calendar. She was ranked #33 in Stuff magazine's 103 Sexiest Women in
2003, #59 in Maxim`s Hot 100 Women 2003 and #60 in 2008.
Her breakthrough role was as Nola in the 2005 film Hustle & Flow, opposite
Terrence Howard, playing a prostitute in Memphis, Tennessee. The film
received critical acclaim and was generally considered a success. Manning
was nominated in the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards
for Best Breakthrough Performance. Director Craig Brewer saw Manning's
picture in a photography book and was convinced that the actress who
played Nola should look just like her. "There are some people who put on
trashy like a wardrobe, and Taryn can play those roles with dignity and
earnestness," Brewer said of Manning. Her other subsequent film roles
included roles in Unbeatable Harold and When the Nines Roll Over. When the
Nines Roll Over is a drama film centred around a jaded hipster A&R
executive tries to steal a talented and sexy young singer away from a
small label. Her next film was Weirdsville, a dark comedy co-starring
Scott Speedman and Wes Bentley. Boomkat's song "It's Not My Fault"
appeared on the soundtrack of Weirdsville as a duet by Manning and John
Rowley. In 2007, she played Ivy Chitty on the short-lived but critically
acclaimed Fox television series Drive, which was a drama about various
people competing in an illegal cross-country road race. In After Sex,
seven short films within one, Manning played the supporting role of
Alanna. She had leading roles in the horror films Cult and Banshee; in the
latter, she performed her own stunts. "I got hurt one day during one of
the chase scenes, where another car crashed into my car," Manning
explained of her stunts. There has been rumors of a Banshee sequel or
spin-off series in the future.
Manning appeared opposite Freddie Prinze Jr in the romantic comedy Jack
and Jill vs. the World. She played Rita Cherry on four episodes of Sons of
Anarchy; co-star Katey Sagal called her performance fantastic. At first
she made a guest appearance on the show and later rejoined, because her
performance was so well-received. Later in 2008 she appeared as the female
lead in Butch Walker's music video for "The Weight Of Her" and in
Will.i.am's collage-style music video, "Yes We Can". She co-starred with
Bill Pullman in the drama film Your Name Here, in which she played Nikki,
who is based on Victoria Principal. The film is based loosely on sci-fi
writer Philip K. Dick's life.
Manning's dream role would be in a musical like Moulin Rouge, because she
"grew up dancing". When she was a child, she appeared in many musicals and
plays. She admires her friend Gina Gershon's musical appearances. In 2009,
she appeared as Rose Atropos in a dramatic music-themed film The Perfect
Age of Rock 'n' Roll. The film received mostly favorable reviews from
critics and fans. Manning joined forces with Ron Perlman in two 2009
films, The Devil's Tomb and The Job. She also appeared in a horror film
Kill Theory, which tells the story of a group of college students, who
find themselves targeted by a sadistic killer. Drama film The Job
premiered at the San Diego Film Festival on September 25, 2009. Critics
called the film "entertaining and fun with twists that arrives like
She recently signed on to portray Caroline Bishop, the love interest to
Kris Black's coal miner turned boxer in Five Good Years. In February 2010,
she was cast in the Hawaii Five-O remake as the younger sister of main
character Steve McGarrett.
In 2003, Manning and her brother Kellin formed the band Boomkat. When
Manning is performing with her band, she wears stars around her eyes to
separate "the actress Taryn from the singer Taryn." The band first signed
a major label deal with American Idol producer Randy Jackson, but the deal
fell through. Robbie Robertson then signed them to DreamWorks Records,
which was Boomkat's label from 2002 to 2004. In 2002 she sang a rendition
of "I'll Take You There" with Tweet in several Gap commercials directed by
Peter Lindbergh. Their debut album, Boomkatalog.One, was released on March
18, 2003. Boomkat released two singles "The Wreckoning" and "What U Do 2
Me". The first single, "The Wreckoning", hit #1 on the Hot Dance
Music/Club Play chart. The band closed out 2003 as the #5 Hot Dance Club
Play Artist for the year in Billboard Magazine. Music from Boomkatalog.One
has also appeared in movies, including Mean Girls, Crossroads, The Hot
Chick, 8 Mile and The Italian Job.
After a hiatus, in an interview in October 2005's issue of Nylon magazine,
Taryn mentioned that Boomkat would be back eventually, and that she is
writing songs for the new album once they find another record label.
Boomkat released their first single in four years, called "Runaway" on
April 8, 2008. In early June 2008 Boomkat's second album A Million
Trillion Stars became available in online stores. In October 2008 Boomkat
played several shows throughout the Los Angeles area, hitting spots like
North Hollywood's NOHO Scene Festival and venues such as, the Viper Room
and Hotel Cafe. In December 2008 Manning recorded a version of Tom Petty's
"Christmas All Over Again", which premiered on her official Myspace page.
On March 3, 2009, their official first single, "Run Boy" was released
along with a visually electric music video. The single premiered on
People.com and received generally positive reviews. A Million Trillion
Stars was officially released in stores on March 10, 2009 by independent
record label, Little Vanilla Records. In 2009 Manning was featured on
indie band Dreamers' song "Lonely World", as well as in their new music
video called "The Dreamers". In the music video she takes on the role of
Ring Master. On October 28, 2009, she announced that Boomkat is working on
their third studio album.
In September 2009, Manning revealed that she is working on a solo album.
The album is "dance music and it’s colorful, flamboyant, if you will.
Boomkat’s a little darker, experimental, like Portishead kind of stuff,"
she told in an interview with Adam Bernard. She sang her first solo
single, "So Talented" in an episode of Melrose Place. The song was written
with the producer Linney (Darkchild Entertainment). On September 3, 2009,
it was confirmed that two tracks were completed for the album.
Boomkat's record company, Little Vanilla Records is owned by Manning. She
has a clothing line called Born Uniqorn with best friend Tara Jane. The
brand was founded in fall 2005. Born Uniqorn has hosted many benefits for
charity organizations in Los Angeles. Her fashion icons are Kate Moss,
Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet. Manning was honored with
"Film Fashion Visionary" award at the 2009 Bel Air Film Festival. She has
appeared in Juicy Couture's advertising campaign and in Frankie B`s spring
2009 campaign. They shot a short film, which follows a day in the life of
a Frankie B. woman. The video is called "Let's Get Lost" which is the
original song featured in the video by musician Gilby Clarke with vocals
Manning also works as a DJ. She was the DJ at World on Wheels, which
hosted an 80’s themed benefit for HOW (Helping Others Worldwide).
She also updates a weekly blog on younghollywood.com.
Manning had five small tattoos, but in 2005, she went through a laser
treatment to have some of her tattoos removed. She insisted she had "grown
out" of her love for skin art and wanted some of her tattoos lasered off.
She was particularly glad to get rid of her 'I love boys' tattoo on her
forearm because it brings back bad memories. Her favorite movies are
Boogie Nights, The Silence of the Lambs and Little Miss Sunshine. She
enjoys watching American Idol, The Bachelorette and MTV, even though she's
not "a huge TV watcher". She has two small dogs, called 'Penguin' and
'Speakers'. In her freetime she does yoga, writes songs and likes to hang
out with friends.
She was aboard the JetBlue airplane that had to make a three hour surround
flight and emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport on
September 22, 2005. In her own words: "it was the most surreal,
out-of-body experience I ever had". After her Flight 292 experience, she
planned to get engaged with her then-boyfriend actor Derek Magyar, but it
never happened. The couple broke up in September 2007 after several years
together. After the break-up with Magyar, she dated musician Mams Taylor.