Brewster began her acting career in her late teens, with a 1995 one-episode role in the soap opera All My Children. She followed that appearance with the recurring role as Nikki Munson in As the World Turns, for which Brewster was nominated for Outstanding Teen Performer at the 1997 Soap Opera Digest Award. She was later cast as Delilah Profitt, one of the main characters in her first feature film, Robert Rodriguez's 1998 horror science fiction The Faculty. Her role brought her to the attention of a much wider audience, gained critical acclaim and achieved financial success. She also landed a starring role in a 1999 NBC television miniseries entitled The 60s.
Her breakthrough role came in the 2001 high budget car-themed action film The Fast and the Furious, which was a worldwide success. Brewster began being widely recognized. Other film credits include the 2004 action comedy film D.E.B.S., the 2005 independent drama Nearing Grace and the 2006 horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, for which she received two Teen Choice Award nominations.
She had a recurring role in the NBC television series Chuck and starred in the 2009 film Fast & Furious, the fourth installment of the The Fast and the Furious film series. After guest roles in several television shows such as Dark Blue and Gigantic, she appeared in the fifth film in the franchise, 2011's Fast Five, followed by Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7 and Fast & Furious 9.
Jordana Brewster is a direct descendant of the famous Mayflower leader William Brewster and several other notable early settlers of Plymouth Colony including several with a proven genealogy to early English royalty and the Emperor Charlemagne.