Worked With:

Amber Tamblyn

Matt Servitto

Tom Ellis

Zooey Deschanel

Charlie Sheen

Theo James

Christian Slater

Hugh Laurie

Dave Annable

Richard Gere

Kristen Bell

Ellen Barkin

Odette Yustman Biography

Home > Actresses > Y > Yustman, Odette > Biography

Birth Name: Odette Yustman
Born: 05/10/1985
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA

Born Odette Juliette Yustman in Los Angeles on May 10, 1985, she was the daughter of Victor and Lydia Yustman; her father was of Italian-French origins, while her mother was born in Colombia and raised in Nicaragua (Yustman's first language was Spanish). She made her feature debut at five as a supernaturally precocious toddler in the Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy "Kindergarten Cop" (1990), but quickly tired of the wearying drive to and from her home in the L.A. suburb Riverside to auditions in Hollywood. Yustman graduated from Woodcrest Christian High School with plans to study business finance at Loyola Marymount University. But after a year of community college, she realized that her heart lay with an acting career, and moved back to Tinseltown to pursue her goal.

Minor roles in features like "Dear God" (1996) preceded her first turn as a series regular in the heavily promoted "South Beach" (UPN, 2006). The primetime soap, produced by Jennifer Lopez, featured Yustman as an aspiring fashion model pursued by her former college boyfriend in the glitzy Florida city. Critically lambasted, "South Beach" languished at the bottom of the ratings before the merger of UPN and The WB spelled its doom. Yustman then shuttled between minor roles in features like "Transformers" (2007) - which co-starred Meagan Fox, an actress with whom she was frequently compared and even confused - and "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" (2007). More substantial turns on television also added to her resume; most notably in a tawdry Lifetime movie called "Reckless Behavior: Caught on Tape" (2007), in which her kind-hearted schoolteacher is photographed in compromising positions by a sleazy cameraman (Antonio Sabato, Jr.). That same year, she had a supporting role as a love struck student on the well-liked but short-lived drama "October Road" (ABC, 2007-08). Her character, Aubrey Diaz, fell hard for the show's lead, author-turned-teacher Nick Garrett (Bryan Greenberg), but discovered that his heart still belonged to his childhood crush (Laura Prepon). In addition to her onscreen work, Yustman also provided voice-over work for the popular first-person shooter video game "Fallout 3" in 2008.

Yustman's breakthrough role arrived in a film in which she and her co-stars took a distinct back seat to the special effects. The JJ Abrams-produced and highly secretive "Cloverfield" (2008), about a monster that wreaks havoc in New York City, was one of the most highly anticipated motion pictures of that year, thanks in no small part to its extensive and complex marketing campaign. The film's human component was anchored by a failed relationship between an ad exec (Mike Vogel) and the woman (Yustman) he loved and risked his life to rescue after the creature destroyed the city. The blitz of media attention that followed the film before and after its release thrust Yustman front and center in the midst of a bonafide blockbuster.

The attention garnered by "Cloverfield" led to a flurry of roles for Yustman, including her first lead in "The Unborn" (2009), a supernatural chiller about a young woman pursued by the spirit of her unborn twin brother. Produced by Michael Bay, the picture was soundly trounced by the press. Undaunted, she proceeded to appear in the largely unseen spy comedy "Operation: Endgame" (2010), about competing teams of lethal spies, and a remake of the British psycho thriller "And Soon the Darkness" (2010), with Yustman and Amber Heard as American tourists stalked by a maniac while touring South America. That same year, she was cast as Kristen Bell's former high school tormentor in the comedy "You Again" (2010), which featured such powerhouse castmates as Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis and the ubiquitous Betty White.