On the big screen, Kebbel has starred in a number of films which made their debuts at prestigious films festivals, such as The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, directed by Ryan O'Nan which premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival; I Melt With You, starring Rob Lowe and Jeremy Piven which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival; and Supporting Characters, directed by Daniel Schecter, which premiered at the 2012 Tribeca International Film Festival. Other film appearances include John Tucker Must Die (2006), The Grudge 2 (2006), The Uninvited (2009), and Think Like A Man (2012).
Kebbel was born in Winter Park, Florida. She has German ancestry on her father's side, and both German and English heritage on her mom’s side.
Her mother, Sheri, is a talent manager and owns a production company. Kebbel graduated from Crenshaw School in Winter Garden. She was a contestant at the 2002 Miss Florida Teen USA beauty pageant. Before pursuing a career in acting, Kebbel was a full-time model. She has since appeared in publications such as Maxim, H, Lucky, Men's Health, Stuff and FHM.
Within the first week of moving to Los Angeles, California, Kebbel successfully auditioned for her first major role portraying Lindsay Lister on The CW's Gilmore Girls. She went on to become a major recurring role throughout the third, fourth, and fifth seasons. She has since appeared in television shows such as Entourage, Grounded for Life, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and The Vampire Diaries. She has been cast in two pilots, Football Wives and No Heroics, both developed for ABC which have not been picked up.
In 2004, Kebbel made her film debut portraying a major supporting role alongside Kevin Hart, Tom Arnold and Snoop Dogg in the hip-hop comedy film Soul Plane. She has also had numerous notable roles in films such as Be Cool, The Kid & I, American Pie Presents: Band Camp and Reeker.
In 2005, Kebbel was announced to portray the role of Carrie Schaeffer alongside Sophia Bush, Brittany Snow and Jesse Metcalfe in 20th Century Fox's John Tucker Must Die. Filming took place in Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada during the summer of 2005. The film received negative reviews from critics and made a profit at the box office earning worldwide $68,821,702.
In 2005, Kebbel signed on for another 20th Century Fox film titled Aquamarine starring Sara Paxton and Emma Roberts and Joanna (JoJo) Levesque. Kebbel portrays the role of the film's villain, Cecilia Banks. The film was released in March 2006, and had some box office success, with earnings of $23 million worldwide.
In February 2006, Kebbel was confirmed to be starring alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar and Teresa Palmer in The Grudge 2. The film is a sequel to the 2004 Horror film, The Grudge which was a remake of the original Japanese film. Kebbel described her role of schoolgirl Allison Flemming as "The girl you see in the background of all the pictures that wants to be a part of everything but never really is". Filming took place in Tokyo, Japan in April that same year. The film was released on October 13, 2006. The film managed to be a box office success earning over $70 million worldwide.
In 2006 Kebbel was announced to star in the Indie Sports/Drama film Forever Strong alongside Penn Badgley, Sean Faris and Neal McDonough. Filming took place in August 2006 in Salt Lake City. This is Badgley and Kebbel's second film together, having appeared alongside each other in John Tucker Must Die. The film suffered in development hell and received numerous pushbacks. The film was released straight-to-DVD on September 26, 2008. Critical reception was generally negative.
In February 2008, Kebbel was announced to star as the central character Katherine in the Indie Horror Freakdog alongside Sarah Carter. The film received a limited cinema release on August 22, 2008 and was quickly released to DVD in February, 2009. Critical reception was universally negative.
In March 2008 Paramount Pictures announced Kebbel was portraying the role of Alex Ivers in the American remake of the 2003 South Korean Horror film A Tale of Two Sisters. Emily Browning and Elizabeth Banks were confirmed to be co-starring. Filming took place in late 2008 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Despite performances of the cast being well received, critical reception was mixed to negative. The film managed to have a mixed response from the box office and earned $40 million worldwide.
Kebbel also starred in the comedy The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, which premiered on September 9, 2011 at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. The film, slated for a wider release in 2012, is the directorial debut for writer/director/star Ryan O'Nan, and also features Michael Weston, Andrew McCarthy, and Jason Ritter.
In early December 2011, Kebbel landed a recurring role in season four of 90210 portraying Vanessa. In October 2012, Kebbel appeared on Hawaii Five-0, in a guest-starring role in the season three episode "Popilikia".