At the age of three, actress Najarra Townsend was taken to a local production of the musical fairy tale "Peter Pan" and instantly became fascinated by acting. That year she began modeling, and by age four was performing in children's theater. As she was growing up, her unconventional tastes were molded by her mother, who turned Townsend on to classic performers like singer Al Jolson and actress Bette Davis, giving her wide range of inspirations to draw upon. Since then, a restless urge to diversify her resume has driven Townsend: in addition to modeling, her love of music led her to a brief teenage stint with the failed girl group Flavor. After many short films, Townsend's national breakthrough came in Miranda July's quirky 2005 drama, "Me and You and Everyone We Know." As Rebecca, a 14-year-old girl curious about oral sex, Townsend drew acclaim her subsequent career has yet to match. She came closest as the lead in 2008's drama "Tru Calling," in which her charcter tries to start a gay-straight alliance at a high school. Despite Townsend's high hopes for the film (one of her favorites), it became better known for the controversy that ensued when critic Roger Ebert revealed in his initial review that he had stopped watching after eight and a half minutes.