Elizabeth Reaser was born on July 2, 1975 in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; but grew up in Milford, Michigan.
She’s a middle child in a trio of sisters. Her mother and father are divorced.
When asked what she was like in High School she said, “I was so bad. I ya know skipped school, I ran away from home, I was just out of control I don’t know what happened. I went to Catholic school – all girls school for most of my life and then I went to public co-ed high school and just couldn’t comport to what was happening, so I just sort of went nuts for a little bit.”
Elizabeth said when she was 18 that was when she thinks she turned her life around. “I knew I wanted to be an actress, and I knew if I was just partying and not taking care of myself that it was never gonna happen. So I got the courage to commit to that idea, and it made me clean up my act to an almost boring extent.”
Elizabeth began college at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan but afer one year she left to expand her horizons.
Elizabeth was accepted to the Drama Division at Juilliard and was awarded a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts.
Elizabeth didn’t want to go in and audition for Sweet Land because she hadn’t worked in a few months and didn’t want to humiliate herself; but ended up getting the part and winning a Jury Award for Best Actress in a Feature Film in 2006 for her role.
Elizabeth was cast as Dr. Alice Alden in 2006 TV show Saved, and in preparation she hung out in an emergency room researching the behavior of medical staff. Sadly the show was canceled after 13 episodes.
In 2007 Elizabeth started her recurring role as Jane Doe on Grey’s Anatomy. When Elizabeth got the part the only thing she knew about her character was there was a accident and something happened to her face. In Elizabeth’s first episodes she had to spend 3 hours in make-up to get the prosthetic on her face. She also wore fake teeth in her first episodes and while she had the mask on she couldn’t eat.
Elizabeth was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for Grey’s Anatomy. Her co-star Sara Ramirez went to college with her.
On her show The Ex List being canceled she said she was disappointed and thinks, “Everyone on the show and involved in it felt the same way. But we aren’t alone. A lot of shows have already been canceled.”
I don’t think anyone can say that the Twilight movies have not become big and very successful. Elizabeth said she didn’t realize this till later, “I don’t have much an awareness of the change in a way. I mean I know that things are changing. I think we know when I started realizing, it took me, I think we started shooting the third movie before I realized how big Twilight was. It was insane. I was completely, I had no clue. I’m just not in the world in that way. I don’t know what, just being a little older or something. I just wasn’t aware of it, and I know the premieres are a big deal, and people went and saw the movies but I was really shocked somewhere along in the third shooting Eclipse. I was like, ‘This movie’s crazy big.’ Everyone was like, ‘Uh yeah!’”
Elizabeth’s co-star Nikki Reed was asked what she’ll miss most from being a part of the cast and movie franchise she said, “I don’t know what I’ll miss. I guess uh. I guess I’ll miss the people that I became really close – I’ll miss ya know waking up in the morning and going to the gym with Elizabeth Reaser.”
When asked, “Are you close off screen?” Elizabeth replied, “These are the types of relationships [you can't create.] It bonded us in a way that’s so unique and will probably be life long.”
On working on Young Adult she said, “It was a real dream experience, I never thought that I’d get to have ya know? It’s just like high, high, end actors and the director. I mean it was a dream job and I never thought that I’d actually get it when I auditioned for it.”
In 2011 Elizabeth got back on the New York stage for the first time since 2003 for How I Learned to Drive and says, “Being a theatre actress was always my dream, and I’ve really missed it, when this opportunity came out of nowhere, it blew me away.”
Written by Kim exclusively for elizabeth-reaser.org. All quotes are taken from interviews.