Shannyn was raised in Reno, Nevada, but she is Hawaiian-born. She is an ecletic mix of French, Hawaiian, Dutch, Irish, Filipino and German. An aspiring dancer, she moved out of the house at the age of seventeen to L.A. She began deejaying at the local clubs with her then boyfriend. In one of which she ran into Gwyneth Paltrow who spotted Shannyn. Her first role after she met her new acquaintance was Jocelyn, opposite Heath Ledger in A Knight’s Tale.