By Morgan McMurrin a
Ever since she was a little girl, Jillian Rose Reed has had her sights set on Hollywood. And now, after appearing on shows like “Zoey 101,” “Weeds,” “Community” and “The Middle” she’s starring on MTV’s newest show “Awkward,” which centers around the chaotic, yet fun, and sometimes embarrassing situations that high school girls experience. Check out what the up-and-coming actress had to say about her character and some of her own personal “awkward” encounters when she spoke with American Cheerleader magazine!
AC: People probably recognize you a lot from “Weeds.” What’s one of your favorite memories from that set?
Jillian Rose Reed: I’d say my favorite memory was the first time I did a scene with Mary Louise Parker. Getting to work with her was an experience I’ll never forget.
AC: How’d you first catch the acting bug?
JRR: When I was very young I started doing musical theater and my love for acting grew from there.
AC: Do you remember what your first audition was for?
JRR: It was for a “Geek Squad” commercial. I booked it and ended up playing the cool girl who made fun of all the nerds.
AC: Is it true that by the time you were 12, you’d already performed in 27 musicals?
JRR: That’s true! I was in an average of five plays a year from the age of five on and we performed hundreds of times.
AC: Do you think Broadway’s in your future?
JRR: Absolutely. My dream is to play Roxy in the musical “Chicago.” I’m definitely a Broadway baby.
AC: Now you’re starring on one of MTV’s only scripted shows, “Awkward.” What’s it like being part of such an iconic network?
JRR: It’s been such an amazing experience. I’ve watched MTV for as long as I can remember. Being a part of this new adventure of scripted television that they’re embarking on has been so much fun.
AC: Did you originally audition for the role of Tamara, or did you see yourself as another character on the show?
JRR: I actually read for the role of Jenna in the very beginning of the casting process. But that wasn’t the right character for me. I’m Tamara all the way!
AC: Were you anything like your character when you were her age?
JRR: I’ve always been like Tamara. We both have a love for theater and adventure. My friends nicknamed me Sassy, and Tamara is just that. She’s a bundle of sass!
AC: What do you think makes “Awkward” so relatable?
JRR: The characters and situations they get into are what makes it such a relatable show. Although these characters are exaggerated, l’m sure most people can relate to them. It doesn’t matter if you’re in high school now, or were 10 years ago, you’ll be able to relate to the things happening on the show.
AC: Your show tends to focus on embarrassing moments that high schoolers go through. Can you tell us about one of your most embarrassing moments?
JRR: One time I asked my friend to pick me up from a class. She told me she was parked out by the fountain, so without looking I got into the car that was there. I started to complain about how the seats weren’t clean and began tossing things onto the floor. Then I glanced over at the driver’s seat and, well…it wasn’t my friend! I had gotten into the wrong car and the girl in the front seat was looking at me like I was crazy! Needless to say, I got out and ran away. Fast.
AC: Your character has such a fun sense of style! When it comes to fashion are you as adventurous as her?
JRR: I love fashion, but I have to say, Tamara is a little more out there than I am. We’re both into vintage trends, but she tends to mix a lot of patterns that I wouldn’t. She also wears a lot of headbands and I’m not really a headband-wearing girl.
AC: What’s one trend you’d love to see Tamara rock this season?
JRR: I think Tamara needs feather extensions.
AC: Do you think girls watching your show will sport any trends your character dawns come this school year?
JRR: I hope Tamara will inspire girls to wear more cheetah print. Lets face it, cheetah print is fierce!
AC: Do you get any say when it comes to your character’s wardrobe?
JRR: We have a wonderful costume stylist, Nancy Ceo. Once in a while we work together to build outfits. She’s so brilliant though, I’ve never had anything to complain about.
AC: There are some cute guys in your cast! Which one would you like to see your character date?
JRR: Oh yes, Beau and Brett are very easy on the eyes. If I had to pick one guy for Tamara to date it would be Matty. That would create so much drama for the show!
AC: If you could write one of your show’s episodes, what would the storyline be?
JRR: If I could write an episode, Sadie and Tamara would become friends. They’re both so sassy and in control that I think it’d be awesome to see them join forces. It probably wouldn’t be funny though, my mind is nowhere near as brilliant as Lauren Iungerich’s.
AC: Can you give us any spoilers for this season?
JRR: I can tell you that Tamara has a love interest and it was super fun to film.
AC: You have the best one-liners on the show. What are some of your favorites?
JRR: I have two favorites. In episode three I got to refer to something I did as “A big fail Mary.” I thought that was so funny. I also get to say that something is “Major, may-jor.” It basically means something is so major you have to say it twice, once with an accent.
AC: Who would you love to have guest star?
JRR: I’d love to have Penn Badgley guest star.
AC: We love him! What character would he play?
JRR: He’d play Tamara’s hot new boyfriend, obviously!
AC: If you had to sum up your show in five words what would they be?
RR: Smart, funny, cute boys (that’s one word, I promise), edgy and sassy.
AC: Where do you see yourself in five years?
JRR: I see myself still working hard and hopefully accepting my Emmy.
AC: A lot of girls in high school are involved in sports like dance and cheerleading. Why are those great extra activities for girls to be involved in?
JRR: I think dance and cheerleading are probably the best sports for girls in high school. I’ve been a dancer most of my life and I can honestly say it’s one of the reasons I’m so confident in myself. Dance and cheer gives girls such empowerment and helps them to be confident with who they are. And it keeps you healthy, that’s a plus!
“Awkward” airs Tuesdays at 11 p.m. on MTV
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