Things You Didn't Know About Leslie Jones

There is no denying that Leslie Jones is currently one of Hollywood's "It" women. From starring alongside Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig in the all-female reboot of Ghostbusters to serving as an impromptu commentator at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio, Jones is everywhere as of late, even appearing in TV commercials for Allstate Insurance.

While Jones may be relatively new to the spotlight, she's certainly not a newbie to the entertainment industry. In fact, this actor-comedian has been fighting her way up the success ladder for more than two decades. But who exactly is Leslie Jones? Here are 10 things you (probably) didn't know about the instant Saturday Night Live icon.

She got her big break on 'SNL'

Leslie Jones' big break came when she joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2014, the iconic show that skyrocketed the careers of other fierce female comedians, including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph, to name a few. But even before joining the cast on screen, Jones worked as a staff writer for the show for nearly a year.

She's 49 years young

Jones was born on September 7, 1967, into a military family in Memphis, Tennessee. Her father served in the United States Army and the family moved frequently throughout her childhood. When she grew to be six-feet tall in high school, Jones admits she became insecure about her looks. "People used to call me names, so my mom had this beautiful African lady come talk to me. I was like, 'Oh my God, if I'm going to look like you then I don't care what anyone says about me,'" she told People.

She went to college on a basketball scholarship

Jones eventually embraced her height. In the process, she listened to the advice from her father, who told her to take up basketball. Good thing she listened, because she wound up attending Chapman University on a basketball scholarship. "I played basketball to please my dad," Jones wrote on her official website (via Us Weekly). "I also got free shoes and could miss class. When they told me I could get a scholarship to college, I said 'Cool. Where am I going?'"

She has quite the interesting resume

Before discovering her love for performing, Jones worked several different odd jobs in college, including as a cook, waitress, cashier, assistant to a judge, receptionist and perfume salesperson. She also has experience as a radio DJ, working for UPS and, get this, as a telemarketer for Scientology. Say what?!

She spent 25 years as a road comic

Before landing her gig at SNL, Jones spent more than two decades performing stand-up comedy on the road. One of her first big shows was opening for Jamie Foxx, who ended up giving a then-18-year-old Jones some very valuable advice. "He told me, 'You're like 18. You don't have anything to talk about.'" Jones recalled in an interview with People magazine. "Go get a job, go get fired, go get your heart broken and go break some hearts.'"

She took his advice and got a job at UPS while continuing to pursue her comedy. Eventually, she opened for other big names like Katt Williams and Dave Chappelle, made several appearances on HBO's Def Comedy Jam and BET's ComicView and recorded a stand-up special for Showtime.

Chris Rock think she's pretty funny

In an interview with The New Yorker, Jones recalled a conversation she had with fellow comedian Chris Rock after he saw her perform at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles in 2012. After her set, he told her, "You were always funny, but you're at a new level now." "You're right," she responded. "But I'm not gonna really make it unless someone like you puts me on." Rock proceeded to add her to a list he kept on his iPhone labeled "Funny people." Jones also told the publication that Rock was responsible for getting her in front of Lorne Michaels and the others to audition for SNL.

Jones wasn't intimidated by her 'SNL' audition

Auditioning for SNL is the dream for many comedians; and when Jones finally got her chance in 2013, there was no time for nerves. Sharing her audition story with CINEMABLEND, Jones recalled that when she walked onstage, it was extremely dark and everyone was sitting toward the back of the room. Obviously, she wasn't going to stand for that. "I got onstage, took the mic out of the stand, and went, 'Nope. Y'all are gonna have to move up to where I can see you.'" Jones said. "And Lorne got his ass up and moved." Talk about confidence!

'Ghostbusters' wasn't her first movie

Before landing a high-profile role in Hollywood's all-female reboot of Ghostbusters, Jones had a small role in the 2015 Amy Schumer comedy, Trainwreck. She also acted in movies alongside Martin Lawrence and Ice Cube.

She's got zero tolerance for bullying

Jones is no stranger to having haters throw shade her way—but that doesn't mean she will tolerate it, either. After Twitter trolls bombarded Jones with discriminatory tirades in July 2016, she fought back. In the process, one of Twitter's most notorious trolls was permanently banned from the social media platform. After the incident, a rep for Twitter told The New York Times that the company has "seen an uptick in the number of accounts violating these policies and have taken enforcement actions against these accounts."

Jones also came to the defense of Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas after haters began cyberbullying her during the Summer Olympic Games in Rio. "Yo I just heard Gabby getting attacked on her page show her the love you showed me #LOVE4GABBYUSA," tweeted Jones. The comment got plenty of attention, spurring an outpour of support from other celebs like Gabrielle Union and Shonda Rhimes.

She's a fan of Taylor Swift

If you took a look at Leslie Jones' playlist, you might find some T-Swift in there. According to Huffington Post, Jones is actually a fan of Taylor Swift, admitting the song "Mean" helped her get through a breakup.