Jessica “Jessie” Cave was born May 5, 1987 in London. Jessie is the second eldest of five siblings. She studied Illustration and Animation at Kingston University, London, before persuing acting. She was nearly a professional tennis player. Originally, she intended to study stage management at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and worked as a stage hand in London, before she changed her mind and went into acting.
Jessie made her acting debut in 2008, on a CBBC show, Summerhill. Since 2008, Jessie has appeared on stage and TV in a number of roles, including an adaptation of Great Expectations (2012), alongside Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes.
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Jessie won the role of Lavender Brown after attending an open audition, where over 7,000 girls auditioned. Before taking the Harry Potter role, Jessie was about to attend the Oxford School of Drama. In Harry Potter and the Half Bood Prince, Lavender Brown makes a beeline for Ron, and their over the top relationship, with all it’s public signs of affection, upsets Hermione. Jessie has described how nerve wracking her first screen test with Rupert Grint was:
“We actually had to improvise for a good 15 or 20 minutes, which is very scary. It’s a really long time. The director, David Yates, was there and he was just like, “Hi. Right. Here’s a plate of biscuits, Jessie. It’s a lovely plate of chocolate biscuits and I want you to do whatever you want with these biscuits.’ Rupert was in the room, sitting on the sofa, and I just thought, ‘What the hell am I going to do with this plate of biscuits?”
There was also the big kiss scene to deal with once filming started:
“It’s funny, I was filming for six months, but I remember my third day was the big kissing scene. I remember thinking, ‘Why are they doing this so early?’ It helped actually because the nerves kind of added to the scene. There were so many extras, like 70 other people in the room, it could have gone so wrong. The first day was kind of building up to the kissing scene, so it was immediately going into the deep end.”
Jessie appeared as Lavender Brown in the final three Harry Potter films.
Jessie runs a website, Pindippy, on which she posts short comedy videos, illustrations, blogs and other things that interest her. Jessie writes and stars in the videos herself, which are posted on YouTube. Many of these videos feature other Harry Potter stars. Evanna Lynch for example, appears in several videos, including episodes of Flat White and Bookworm. Other Harry Potter stars who have regularly appeared in Jessie’s videos are Scarlett Byrne, Katie Leung, Scarlett Byrne, Georgina Leonidas, and Alfie Enoch. Jessie’s younger sister, Bebe, has also appeared in several of the videos. Jessie posts many one off videos, as well as short series. These include Bookworm, Flat Whites, and The Waiting Room.
In 2012 Jessie took her show Bookworm, which originates in a character she created for a video sketch on Pindippy, to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
When Jessie launched Pindippy in 2011, she wrote on her blog:
“I have collected buttons, stickers and random bits of felt (my favourite material) for a while now, and wanted to do something with them, give them a showcase.
I love colour, I love clothes – I love clothing with animals, polka-dots, big collars, small collars, shoulder-pads, socks, long socks, short socks, coloured tights, big dresses, small dresses… I could go on and on – but I wanted to use all of my clothes for something.
I am an actress in my not-so-daily-day-job, (some of you may know me from playing Lavender Brown in Harry Potter), but I wanted to release some of the characters that have been in my head and put them in front of a camera.
I have written little scenes, inadequate chunks of attempted screenplays, overheard conversations in coffee shops and a diary for a long time, but this time I wanted to try and write a series of short scenes, or comedy sketches, with an aim to filming them.
And I love drawing, and have always doodled.
All of these things combined amounted to something called Pindippy.”
Jessie also stated in the same blog entry that:
“I would like to involve as many of my friends and friends of friends and not really friends but friendly people as possible in a variety of ways. It started out with just me, but slowly I hope to build to a whole Pindippy Co-Op… its early days. At first the scenes we filmed were very short, and we started by filming about 6 in one day, in my tiny little house. Only two of these first six made it any further and the rest morphed into something else or were subtly scrapped from the agenda.”
As well as posting videos and illustrations, Jessie regularly posts doodles, behind the scenes photos, videos, information, and general thoughts on her blog. Clothes for men, women and babies, as well as tote bags featuring Jessie’s illustrations and designs are available to buy through the Pindippy website store.