Call Answered: Jessica Morris: "One Life To Live", "Ladies of the Lake", "A Christmas Cruise", "The Wrong Man"
Jessica Morris, Photo Credit: Tim SchaefferI'm always amazed at how much one person can do! Best known for her portrayal of "Jennifer Rappaport" on ABC’s One Life to Live, I am not surprised how much Jessica Morris has going on! I was exhausted just reading about it. So needless to say, I had to find out she does it all.
Jessica can be seen in so many things right now, I don't know how she had the time to do our interview, but she did and I couldn't be more grateful! This holiday season be sure to stay glued to your TV because you'll get to see Jessica along with Vivica A. Fox & Rib Hillis in ION's original holiday movie A Christmas Cruise airing December 16 at 9pm and on December 29 in The Wrong Man on Lifetime Movie Network.
Additionally, Jessica is currently filming the second season of Amazon's highly-anticipated web series Ladies of the Lake which will return in the summer of 2018!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I was very shy as a child to the point where my teachers were concerned, because I would make good grades but barely spoke a word in class. But I grew up performing as a dancer. I was a member in the local dance studio's company, went to competitions, auditioned, and danced year after year in The Nutcracker Ballet. When I did my first play, being on the stage already felt like home to me. And people were shocked to see timid me playing such a confident character. It turned out that playing someone gave me the courage to express myself. At that point, I fell in love with acting and never stopped.
2. You have so much going on from filming Season 2 of Ladies of the Lake on Amazon to your upcoming original holiday movie, A Christmas Cruise on December 16 on ION TV, The Wrong Man on Lifetime Movie Network on December 29, + about nine other projects in various stages of completion in addition to getting ready for the holidays. In this busy time, how do you stay centered, healthy, and moving forward? I have been very busy, and it honestly is hard to find time to work out, meditate, and do all the things necessary to keep myself balanced. I made the choice not to travel this holiday season, which will give me a little more down time for myself and for some rest and reflection, which is much needed. Writing is an amazing creative outlet for me, as well. It keeps me sane.
Jessica Morris3. Before we get in depth about your current projects, let's go back in time to One Life To Live, where you played "Jennifer Rappaport." What was the best part about being on that show? What was your favorite story line? Which story line made you roll your eyes and say, "I can't believe this is happening, but how cool I get to live this out as an actress"? The best part about the show was everything that I learned. I was a brand-new actress. It was one of my very first jobs. I grew up a lot and learned so much about my craft.
I loved the story line when my character's mom went crazy. It was some great stuff to work with and, Catherine Hickland, the actress that played my mom, was so convincing that it was scary and easy to react off.
When I lied, and told "Christian" that I was pregnant with his baby, that got a bit silly. But it was fun to get into being so manipulative and calculating.
4. Since we only have "One Life to Live," what is something you learned while on the show that you will carry with you forever? I learned to really appreciate every moment. It was a bit of a struggle to pick up my life in L.A. and move to NYC for five years so suddenly. Much of the time I was in New York for the show, I was desperate to come back to L.A. But since being back, I have missed my experience there and only thought of it fondly. So, I realized that I need to be happy right where I am every day.
Jessica Morris5. Now, let's get to the present. We'll start with Ladies of the Lake on Amazon, where you play "Crystal Amhurst," a trophy wife who is willing to do anything for her husband's attention & love. First, how did you first come to be part of this project & what are you looking forward to most about the new season? Secondly, what is the craziest or most unusual thing you have done to gain someone's attention/love? The producer, Michael Caruso, offered me the role, and as soon as I read the script, I was so excited to jump on board. In this new season, I am looking forward to "Crystal" being less of a victim and taking control of her life.
The craziest things I have done to get someone's attention? Hhmm, there are a handful of these stories, and some of them could get me arrested, so I will plead the fifth.
6. As mentioned above, you will be starring in the ION Original movie A Christmas Cruise airing December 16. In this film, you play "Pam's" best friend "Becky" who drags "Pam" along on a holiday themed sail in the hopes "Pam" will unexpectedly find the love of her life. What do you still aspire to do in your own life? What is the most unexpected thing to happen to you in your career so far? I have actually never been on a cruise. I need to make this happen soon. Also, there is so much traveling that I have put off because of work or not wanting to miss opportunities. But I plan on taking time to travel more in 2018. And I aspire to keep writing. In my career, I never really thought that I would end up writing scripts that I could star in. I have sort of surprised myself this year with a couple of developments on that front.
7. On December 29, you will be seen in The Wrong Man on Lifetime Movie Network where you play "Kim," a woman who after the untimely death of her grandmother, returns to their home to slowly discover the friendly, handsome man caring for her grandfather isn’t at all what he seems to be. What's the biggest loss in your life you have suffered? What do you miss most about this person? I have lost a few people in my life, and it is never easy to process this kind of pain. Definitive endings are something that are very difficult to wrap my brain around. When I think of these people, who are no longer in my life, I think about their smile, the sparkle in their eyes and their hugs.
8. You also starred in two Lifetime movies, The Wrong Roommate & The Wrong Student. What is something you did as a student that in looking back, you wish you didn't do? I was a good student and made excellent grades -- until I had my heart broken by my first love. I was destroyed. I thought I would never get over it. So, I kind of gave up during that time, and my grades began to slip. I failed a couple classes. I regret that. I will never again let a boy or a man come in the way of my success in life. Or, I will at least try.
Jessica MorrisJessica Morris9. There is a picture on your Instagram where you are at a bowling alley with your friend. What is something that was a sure-fire strike in your life and what is something that was a spare, just one pin off? Most of the time it's one pin off. I guess anytime I book a role I feel that it is a strike. And I must say that making the decision to move to Los Angeles was a definite strike. I have always felt that this is the right place for me.
10. There is another picture on your Instagram where you are alluding to a secret project. What is one secret you have not revealed in any other interview that you are ready to share with the world here? Unfortunately, I still cannot talk about that project. It should be coming out in 2018 though. But I do have a secret about the world: No one knows what the heck they're doing. We are all just pretending like we do. We are all excellent actors. Some of us just learned our lines better.
Jessica MorrisMore on Jessica:
Known for her portrayal of series regular "Jennifer Rappaport" on ABC’s One Life to Live, Jessica has cultivated her career as the leading lady in various television shows and independent films. Also making a memorable appearance in Universal’s theatrical success Role Models. Jessica has recently been the star of Lifetime TV’s hit movie The Wrong Student and has also had strong guest starring roles on popular primetime shows, including Fox’s Rosewood and TNT’s Perception. Jessica stands out as an actress who conveys honesty and depth through all of the characters she plays and has also discovered her passion for screenwriting.