5 Things to Know About Brie Larson

Hollywood's new "it girl" beat Cate Blanchett to win a Golden Globe.

ByABC News
January 11, 2016, 1:06 PM

— -- If you didn't know who Brie Larson was when she accepted Sunday's Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama, you soon will.

The 26-year-old actress who beat out Cate Blanchett for the award is getting serious Oscar buzz for her performance in "Room." Acting since she was 9 years old, Larson has previously played Michael Cera’s ex in "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," Jonah Hill’s romantic interest in "21 Jump Street," Toni Collette’s rebellious daughter in "United States of Tara," Miles Teller’s girlfriend in "The Spectacular Now" and Amy Schumer’s sister in "Trainwreck."

But with her starring role in "Room," as a woman held captive with her five-year-old son, Larson is finally coming into her own. And she seems ready and poised to handle the spotlight.

Emotional but composed during her acceptance speech, Larson thanked the usual roundup of folks: the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the filmmakers, cast and her significant other. But instead of pressing on after the music started to play her off, she apologized to "anyone I forgot" and promised to "write you a thank you card."

So who is Hollywood's new "It Girl?" Here are five things you need to know:

She changed her name

She was born Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers in Sacramento, California. Both her parents worked as chiropractors and separated when she was young. Larson, whose first language was French, later moved to Los Angeles with her mother and younger sister Milaine. "We had a crappy one-room apartment where the bed came out of the wall and we each had three articles of clothing," she told the Guardian. She later chose "Larson" as her stage name after her great-grandmother's maiden name, telling Glamour magazine that her surname was too difficult to pronounce.

She's precocious

At age 6, Larson was the youngest student ever to be admitted to the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. She recalled to the Guardian telling her mother, "I know what my dharma is: I’m supposed to be an actor." At 9, she was starring in sketches for "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." She signed her first recording contract at 13 with Universal. Homeschooled for most of her childhood, she graduated from high school at 15. Now, just 26, she is tipped for an Oscar, and has already racked up credits for director, composer, editor and writer.

She sings

At 16, she released the 2005 album, "Finally Out of P.E." She told Kidz World back then the reason for the title. "My P.E. teacher didn’t like me at all, which was hard to deal with cuz I was usually such a teachers’ pet. So when I found out I got my record deal, I was like, ‘Yes, I’m finally out of P.E.'" she said. Though she toured with Jesse McCartney for Teen People's Rock in Shop Tour, Larson only sold 3,500 copies of her album. But she still exercises her musical chops. In 2010's "Scott Pilgrim," she sings Metric's "Black Sheep" and is even included on the bonus soundtrack.

She's friends with Shailene Woodley

After starring together in "The Spectacular Now," Larson and Shailene Woodley have become close. Larson told GQ in 2014 that Woodley actually saw the real her even before she did. "I think we spend a lot of time trying to be the eagle when we’re the chipmunk. We spend a lot of time trying to be something else, some other illusion, some other idea of what a woman is," Larson explained. "Shai saw me as a beautiful complete person before I was ready to identify that within myself. I felt I needed to come into my own. But instead, I was there all along."

She has a boyfriend

The other person who gets her, as well as shares her passion for music, is boyfriend Alex Greenwald. He's the lead singer of Phantom Planet, the group that did "Californiaaaaa," the theme song of "The O.C." During her acceptance speech, Larson thanked Greenwald, calling him her "love," and he mouthed back the words, "I love you."