Newton, Massachusetts, United States
A talented comic presence on television and the improv stage, Jessica Chaffin's knack for outlandish characters made her a favorite guest performer on both children's and primetime TV series like "Zoey 101" (Nickelodeon, 2005-2008) and "United States of Tara" (Showtime, 2009-2011), as well as features like "The Heat" (2013). Chaffin was also one-half of the comedy act Ronna & Beverly, which featured her and Jamie Denbo as filter-free Jewish matrons dispensing unwanted advice to audiences. Their stage show found numerous celebrity fans, including writer/director Paul Feig, who oversaw a 2009 pilot for Showtime featuring the ladies, as well as a six-episode talk show for UK television. Feig later tapped both performers to give memorable turns in his hit features "The Heat," "Spy" (2015) and "Ghostbusters" (2016), which increased Chaffin's visibility in the entertainment industry. A co-starring role in Matt LeBlanc's family sitcom "Man With A Plan" (CBS 2016- ) helped further her long-simmering breakout.Born and raised in the Boston suburb of Newton, Massachusetts, Jessica Chaffin was one of six children by Scotch-English and Jewish parents. Like her future comedy partner, Jamie Denbo, Chaffin was introduced to sketch comedy via "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), but never performed in any stage productions until she relocated to Los Angeles. There, she met fellow Massachusetts native Denbo while studying improv under Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) founders Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh and Ian Roberts. The pair began performing together while also working individually on television projects. Chaffin's screen career launched with episodes of Nickelodeon's kid-friendly series like "The Amanda Show" (1999-2002) and "Zoey 101." From 2008 to 2009, she teamed with Denbo to provide voices for Poehler's Emmy-winning animated series "The Mighty B!" (Nickelodeon). The pair also began work on a pilot for "Ronna & Beverly" (Showtime, 2012), a sitcom based on a sketch they created for the UCB about two fifty-something Jewish mothers from Boston. Directed by Paul Feig and co-written and produced by "Weeds" (Showtime, 2005-2012) creator Jenji Kohan, the pilot received considerable word of mouth but failed to progress to a weekly series. Chaffin continued to work on various projects, both as a solo performer and with Denbo, including recurring episodes of "90210" (The CW, 2008-2013) and "United States of Tara," while honing the Ronna & Beverly material through live performances. In 2011, the comedy team debuted a popular podcast series, which in turn earned them a second television vehicle, this time a six-episode talk show on the UK's Sky Atlantic HD with Paul Feig on board as producer. The following year, Chaffin and Denbo received their biggest showcase to date in Feig's hit theatrical comedy "The Heat" (2013), which cast them as a pair of crass party girls opposite stars Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. Chaffin became something of a good luck charm for the writer/director, going on to appear in his hits "Spy" (2015) and "Ghostbusters" (2016) in small roles. During this period, Chaffin also appeared in a recurring role in the sitcom "New Girl" (Fox 2011- ) before joining the cast of Matt LeBlanc sitcom "Man With A Plan" (CBS 2016- ) as tough-cookie single mom Marie Faldonado.