Jessica grew up in Christchurch with her mother Aileen O'Sullivan, also a director. While studying performance, she realised she was more fascinated with observing actors than being one. Jessica began directing short films in her 20s, during an eight-year stint as an assistant director. After moving to Australia in 1994, she directed Heartbreak High and The Slap, which got her invited to the UK to helm British series Broadchurch.
This week Jessica was awarded best drama series director at the 2021 Emmy Awards for her work on the Netflix sensation, The Crown.
Jessica lives in London with her two children.