Jillian Rose Reed is breaking-hearts and stealing scenes as Tamara on the latest teen comedy series AWKWARD. Offered the chance to play the vivacious red-head and best-friend of Jenna, the girl who everyone mistakenly thinks tried to commit suicide, Jillian leapt at the chance. She happily exclaimed that when she first saw the AWKWARD. script she thought, “Oh my gosh! It was the funniest and most well-written script I had ever read!” She was immediately drawn to the role and thought Tamara, while in a sense perceived as a bit crazy, that she was fun and relatable. She loved getting the chance to portray the “quirky best friend.” She also really admired Tamara’s sense of adventure. As she gleefully noted, “She’s down for any adventure!”
In addition to Tamara’s larger-than-life persona, Jillian also appreciated the more subtle flaws of the character as well. She revealed that in an upcoming episode, Tamara goes through some roller-coaster emotions with her best friend and she loved seeing how that relationship and turmoil was explored. But when it comes down to it, Jillian feels that Tamara is ultimately the best possible friend Jenna could have. She noted that at the core of the Jenna-Tamara friendship, “It is their differences is what makes them close – that and their love for each other.” In fact, Jillian feels confident that their friendship will stand the test of time. She proudly declared, “They’ll be friends forever as they’re able to overcome their obstacles.”
Jillian also appreciates Tamara’s funky vintage style, mixing patterns and lots of accessories. In fact, she loved the floral Doc Martin boots that she wore in one episode and sheepishly confessed, “I begged them to let me have them, but I didn’t get them.”
To date, the funnest scene Jillian has done on AWKWARD. was in the third episode when Tamara goes to a hot-tub party, picks up a party cup to snap a picture and ends up drinking nearly a cupful of cigarette butts. She admitted that she had to do a lot of takes for that scene, and that in her hurry to spit out the foul-tasting mess, she accidentally spit up on someone nearby. It was one of those mortifying moments that are pretty funny in hind-sight. But, for her, that was perhaps the most memorable and fun scene to try to do in front of the cameras.
With such an apt name-sake for the show, when asked if there was anything that was deemed too ‘awkward’ for the show, Jillian merely laughed and said, “The writing is so well done that there aren’t any situations that are too awkward.”
Looking towards the future when anything could happen on the outrageous, but heart-warming show, Jillian thought it might be fun if the writers ever dreamed it up to do a body-swap with Molly’s character Sadie. She playfully shared, “It would be fun to play someone mean!”
Then chiming in on the hot debate on whether she is Team Matty or Team Jake, Jillian confessed, “I’m Team Jatty! [A combination of both their names.] They’re both great and I think she should have them both!” Just as effusive in her love for her co-stars as well as their onscreen personas, Jillian shared that working with Ashley Rickards, Beau Mirchoff and Brett Davern has been just the best experience. She enthusiastically explained, “Oh my gosh! It’s amazing. We call ourselves the Little AWKWARD Family. There’s no drama and we all love each other!”
When asked what type of guy Tamara is likely to be dreaming of, Jillian was quick to reveal that Tamara’s dream guys are, “Band guys – musicians — the type who are in the marching band.” She thinks that the combination of sexy geeks is the perfect combo for Tamara. In fact, Jillian has the perfect actor already picked-out as she’d love it if they cast her celebrity crush, Penn Badgley.
Finally, teasing what is around the corner in the AWKWARD. world, Jillian said to be on the look-out for the introduction of the previously-unseen Ricky Schwartz, who is someone that Tamara mentions in every single episode. As to whether that leads to sparks or some other kind of mischief, Jillian invites you to tune in and see what happens next.
In addition, Jillian is ecstatic over the news of MTV’s second season pick-up of AWKWARD. and cannot wait to begin work on the second season. She also just made an appearance on Disney XD’s PAIR OF KINGS, which will be broadcast on August 22nd. In the meantime, Jillian is looking forward to spending some time with her family and starting school soon. For the young actress riding the wave of her current success has been a dream come true and she is loving every minute of it.
AWKWARD. currently airs Tuesday nights at 11:00 p.m. on MTV
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