Gillian Jacobs has never had alcohol, decided ‘at a very young age’ not to drink

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Gillian Jacobs was on Late Night with Seth Meyers promoting her movie I Used to Go Here, co-starring Jemaine Clement. It’s about a writer who returns to her college alma mater to teach 15 years after she graduated. Critics say it’s kind of charming and captures that mid-30s “what am I doing with my life?” experience well. You can see the trailer here. On Late Night, Gillian said that her college experience was different than most people’s because she went to Julliard (she didn’t give the name, Seth had to say the name for her) and because she doesn’t drink. She also said that more young people are discovering Community now that it’s on Netflix. We used to watch that show on repeat, my son has seen the entire series at least three times. Here’s some of what she said and you can see the interview below:

Her mom’s family owned a brewery when she was growing up
I have never had a drink of alcohol in my life. I am a real outsider in my family. At a very young age I announced to everyone that I was never going to drink. It probably felt like a betrayal of my family and their entire legacy, but I have stuck to it.

She had a different college experience
I went to a college that had no campus, no real social life. I went to college in Manhattan. I lived in Lincoln center. So even just having a lawn to sit on would have been a dream to us. [Seth says she went to Julliard] I voluntarily chose to go to different colleges during the summer and take academic classes. I wanted to get a taste of that, to be on a real campus and to be in a lecture hall.

Kids are discovering Community now that it’s on Netflix
It went on Netflix April 1st so there’s a whole new group of people discovering it. I now have the experience of my friends’ children discovering it.

[From Late Night with Seth Meyers via YouTube]

Gillian also has a scripted podcast with Josh Gadd called Blood Ties, the second season of which is coming soon. She said she loves doing voiceover work and that she’s asked to be on several cartoons like Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Adventure Time.

I’ve only met one person who doesn’t drink after deciding at a young age like that. He just knew it wasn’t for him. I know his family too and they’re not alcoholics at all. Sometimes people just decide they’re not going to mess with it. I had to learn the hard way that drinking wasn’t for me and I still find it surprising when people can have one or two drinks and stop.

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41 Responses to “Gillian Jacobs has never had alcohol, decided ‘at a very young age’ not to drink”

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  1. OriginalLala says:

    I’m such an unabashed Community lover, I can’t even admit to how many times I’ve watched/binged the entire series. #AndAMovie

    • Also Ali says:

      Cool Cool Cool

      My son and I are watching two episodes a night and we are on Season 4 now. I’m going to be SO sad when we get to the last episode.

      • OriginalLala says:

        By the time you get to the last episode, many of your cast faves will have already left so you’ll have said goodbye to the show in small ways many times. The last episode is so bittersweet!

    • Anne Call says:

      I started watching it when it came to Netflix and I’m obsessed now. Already feeling sad that I’m on season 4 and going to miss it so much. Love love Troy and Abed and the dean so so much.

  2. ME says:

    I’ve never had a drink either. It’s a personal choice but I feel like people get judged more for not drinking than for drinking. They think you’re “no fun” if you don’t drink. Also, please don’t drink and drive !

    • Kumquat says:

      I really dislike the taste of alcohol. I drank socially in college but had terrible hangovers even when I drank much less than everyone else. A few times guys would try to take advantage but I managed to escape, probably b/c I’m tall and athletic and never got completely blacked-out.
      My turning point was an episode in which I was violently yakking into my toilet while simultaneously pulling the contents of an ill-conceived Taco Bell taco out of my nose. The feeling of the “fire“ sauce hitting my nasal passages still haunts me to this day. LOL

      • ME says:

        Wow…now that’s a story ! I will never get that image out of my head, especially when I see the words “Taco Bell”. LOL thanks for that !

  3. stormsmama says:

    I wish i had never had even a sip of alcohol.
    Alas, a friend I admired got me to try beer at 13 and…I have spent 30 years reeling from the effects…

  4. Jegede says:

    Never had a drink in my life either.

    At A level college, it made me feel odd & out of place for a while, but eventually no biggie.🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

  5. Laalaa says:

    I was once told you can’t trust a person who never gets drunk because you never know how he/she truly is when he/she has no control.
    Just sit with that for a moment, the culture we live in.

    I drink occassionally, but less and less as time goes by. I feel like I am not doing well in life if I need a drink to “calm me down”. That’s just my preference, not judging anyone else’s behaviour!

    • Lucy says:

      I try not to take it personally when people say that because if I do, they’re always like “well, if it bothers you so much, it’s because you’re obviously not trustworthy”. Honestly, I don’t get it. But maybe there’s nothing there for me to “get”.

      • Laalaa says:

        oh, no!! I didn’t mean I agree with my first statement, I meant it as – can you believe somebody would say that about people who don’t drink!!

        Sorry, sorry!!

      • Lucy says:

        @Laalaa, no need to worry! I understood perfectly and completely agree with you :)

  6. lola says:

    I don’t like the taste of alcohol, so I don’t really drink.

    I had a bad experience when I was way too young because a grown up thought it was “funny” to switch my Sprite with his Prosecco and it didn’t go well. I don’t know if me not liking the taste of alcohol is because of that, or that my taste buds just don’t like it.

    • Chelsea Poole says:

      Ewww! (That is HORRID.) Switching wine for Sprite would’ve turned me off to both!!! 😱

  7. Diana says:

    Gave up drinking… checking sobriety app… 71 days ago and do not intend to go back. I loved it too much and knew I needed to change to feel better. And doing without feels a lot better. Reading “quit lit” really opened my eyes to alcohol- what it does to your body and why it’s best for me to stay away. I can’t moderate at all. Cutting it out completely is the only thing that works for me. Now I love waking up in the morning with a clear head and energy!!

  8. Case says:

    Good for her. My dad doesn’t drink (he has approximately one fruity drink per year on vacation and that’s it; which means yup, he’s not drinking at all this year because no vacation in sight) and it’s incredible to me how people noticeably look down on him for it at social events. He just doesn’t like the taste beer or wine or most cocktails. People take it so personally when others choose not to drink. It’s wild.

    I have a wine allergy I acquired in my early 20s (bummer), so I only drink beer and cocktails now. I drink them for the taste, not the feeling (hate being out of control), and stick to one or two at most when I do drink. Quarantine has showed me that I really only like drinking socially — out to eat with friends, things like that. Beyond that, I have no interest and I know I’m better off without it.

  9. SamC says:

    I’m in my 50’s and while I can’t say I’ve never had alcohol, I can’t stand beer, barely tolerate wine so never drank in my teens/college years, nor did my group of friends so never had the peer pressure either. I maybe have 5 drinks over the course of a year and even then don’t usually finish it. It’s never been a big deal for me, would rather imbibe or spend the funds on a really good dessert

  10. lucy2 says:

    Gillian is pretty interesting, I’ve heard her talk about her high school and college years, and she seems like she has always been very focused and intelligent.
    Blood Ties is pretty good, the second season started a few weeks ago.

  11. Snuffles says:

    I don’t drink either. I don’t like the taste of it or what it does to me. I tried it a few times in my 20s only to quickly learn, 1) I’m a total lightweight 2) I’m one of those “I just love everyone!” touchy-feely kind of drunks. And that was from only getting slightly tipsy.

    And I too was judged heavily for not drinking when I was out with friends. One had the gall to say he felt like *I* was judging HIM by not drinking. You can’t make this shit up.

    I later learned through DNA testing that my body can’t process alcohol or caffeine well. So I made the right decision on both fronts (I don’t drink caffeine either).

  12. Lucy says:

    I’ve started drinking SOME alcohol very recently, a single glass of white wine for lunch or dinner. I’m in my twenties and have never, ever gotten drunk in my life. Never got high on anything either. It’s something that used to conflict me so much due to social pressure/FOMO. Still does sometimes. But I just have no interest for doing it.

  13. Lindy says:

    One of my dearest friends has also never had a drink. She doesn’t like the smell or taste, and she says that if you make a fruity drink that hides the alcohol flavor, why not just have the fruity drink.

    I love good wine and Scotch and bourbon. But am very lucky to be one of those people who can have a single glass and be done. My ex husband was an alcoholic, so I’m skittish around heavy drinking.

    She just seems like she’s focused and knows herself. I hadn’t thought about it much, but our culture really does have a huge focus on drinking as part of social life.

  14. Dizzy says:

    “Some flies are too awesome for the wall”
    Started watching Community again, only watched sporadically when it was originally on. I love it, I love Abed.


    It’s none of my business, but I always wonder why people decide not to drink if they’ve never had one before. I know people who had a bad experience and have sworn off alcohol forever, and I’ve met a few who “could tell” it just wasn’t for them. No judgment, I just wonder. I would say I’m in the more don’t knock it til you’ve tried it camp, but then again I stay away from hard drugs.

    • Annabel says:

      I’m in the never-drank camp, and for me it was honestly always just kind of… an intimation of doom? I don’t know how else to put it. I’ve just always had this weird strong intuition that if I were to drink, it would be a terrible thing. (Could just be psychological baggage from childhood—a much-older sibling was an alcoholic when I was a kid.)

    • megs283 says:

      Crooksnnannies, why? There are plenty of things I have zero interest in experiencing: riding on a motorcycle, bungee jumping, deep sea fishing, backpacking through Europe, surfing. In my mind, someone choosing not to drink is doing the same as me.

    • Case says:

      I mean, I’ve never touched a single drug. One of my best friends in college smoked all the time and I never ever tried it or felt like I was missing anything. Zero interest. I hate the idea of taking something that alters my thoughts or mood. I think it seems dangerous. I think it would make me feel out of control, which I know I don’t like. Sometimes you have enough information about something to know you simply won’t enjoy it.

  16. Doodle says:

    As a former musician I have never smoked weed. I’ve been around it since I was 14 but never felt a need or a desire to smoke. I have no judgement towards people who do, but I’m synesthetic and have enough going on in my head all the time. Plus I don’t like the smell. I figure people who aren’t interested in drinking but haven’t ever had a drink are the same – there is something about it that they have either witnessed, smelled, or have going on in their heads that makes them say yeah, that’s not for me but it might be for you and that’s cool. I’m not sure why there always needs to be judgement involved in these things.

  17. classicmoviecat says:

    I’ve never drank and I never will. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried dropped dead somewhere around here. I’ve never met anyone who improved while drunk, only on movies.
    From someone who grew up in a family full of functioning alcoholics.

  18. deezee says:

    I decided at 9 not to drink. Parents were alcoholics but got clean when I was 7. I didn’t like what I saw so I decided not to do it. As an adult, it has been easy to uphold. Alcohol isn’t cheap, smells bad, ad that smell alone makes be nauseous. I also cannot stand drunkenness. I’m sure it stems from my childhood but anyone I have ever known that gets drunk around me, I completely loose respect for them.

  19. candy says:

    Most people who are never-drinkers have a traumatic story. My boyfriend in college lost his best friend to a drunk driver and chose to abstain after that. I have always struggled with unhealthy drinking and while I’ve been able to give up a few times, it has never completely stuck. I wish I had never started.

  20. Anna says:

    I love prosecco and mezcal and always will. Nothing quite like a finely crafted mezcalito and absolutely love a chilled glass of prosecco on a hot summer day with a couple of raspberries for garnish. That said, I am currently not drinking because 1) I had zero dollars so I had to quit and 2) it affects my weight and health and 3) I do have a tendency to drink too much given the stresses of my work and being who I am (racially, gender, etc) in this country. I don’t think it’s a badge of honor to never have had a drink. Yes, people have terrible problems with it, and in this country (USA), people’s relationships with food and drink are really messed up, and even with the ritual of eating and drinking. Completely upsidedown and toxic. But drink or don’t, just don’t judge people or make it some kind of contest. Good for you if you never wanted to drink and didn’t. Good for you if you enjoy a nice glass of wine or two.

  21. StrawberryBlonde says:

    I have maybe, maybe 5 drinks a year – and only ever when out for dinner with friends. My husband and his brother and his dad don’t drink. My husband might have 1 drink a year. None of them metabolize alcohol well. And my husband had a step father as a child who was a messy drunk when drinking. It definitely made him lose respect for his step father and he decided as a 12 year old he never wanted to look like his step father. My husband also has celiac disease and is a very picky eater so that rules out a lot of drinks. The one and only drink I have seen him enjoy is Amaretto and Coke. I would drink socially and get drunk in my 20s. But i am so over that now. I am 38 with a 1 year old. I also lost about 100lbs before having my son and alcohol just makes me gain weight. I would rather eat chocolate than have a drink. I do like hard cider, fancy cocktails and a dry red wine. But I can take it or leave it. I also had an ex who was an alcoholic and that was a very painful relationship, so I am a bit leery about substantial drinking now. I definitely hate how the culture lawds drinking as if people who don’t really drink are weird or not fun. I have felt the need to explain and justify why my husband and I are teetotalers, and that sucks.

  22. Likeyoucare says:

    I have never taste alcohol and didnt have the curiosity to try. But, i am a muslim hihi.

  23. Kyla says:

    I’ve never cared for the taste of alcohol. In college, I drank to get drunk a bit in my first year. I had some good times doing it. But after that, I drank very rarely over the next several decades. I’m now approaching middle age. For the past several years, I had *maybe* 5 to 10 glasses of white wine a year. In December 2019, I decided to stop completely. I just don’t like the taste. Give me a glass a ice water (with lots of ice) from the tap instead – that’s delicious to me!! It’s amazing how much people try to push alcohol on you. After politely declining, they still keep offering. I’ve had to say, “I don’t drink” or “I’m not drinking this year” to get them to back off. I feel weirdly judged by them too. I don’t get it.

  24. Fiona says:

    Nice to know I’m not the only person (I am the only person I know who hasn’t touch it)

    I decided at the age of 14 to never touch alcohol…and 20 years later I am so glad I haven’t…I know I couldn’t deal with hangovers (I hate being sick)

    I had a bad experience with an alcoholic…she locked me in her house and wouldn’t let me out (until I phone her daughter for her)…she didn’t physically hurt me but for years later I was terrified of anyone that was drunk

  25. Elisa says:

    I’ve had a sip or two, but never more than that. I’ve never been drunk. Alcohol tastes bad to me, plus I get the “Asian glow” after literally two sips, and the start of a headache. (I don’t usually get headaches otherwise). Honestly I don’t see the appeal of getting drunk. Good for Gillian for sticking to her guns, I don’t think drinking or not makes you a good or bad person (unless you’re abusive/ violent), but I’m sure she’s had a lot of temptation in her line of work (entertainment) and it’s probably been difficult. Although I hear Jennifer Lopez doesn’t drink either, and she’s one of the most powerful women in her industry.