Our interview with gorgeous actress Jessica Morris who is best known for her previous work as Jennifer Rappaport on One Life to Live, Morris is currently the lead in the hit mini-series Ladies of the Lake, which is available now on Amazon. She plays trophy wife Crystal Amhurst who is willing do anything for her husband’s attention and love. The series is based on the novel by Days of Our Lives producer Ken Corday and follows four wealthy wives as they go through life in the gated community of Avalon.
Her performance earned her a nomination for Best Lead Actress in Drama at the 2018 Indie Series Awards and the show was nominated for Best Digital Drama Series at the 2018 Daytime Emmys. The highly-anticipated second season Ladies of the Lake: Return to Avalon is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.
The new season picks up six months later when the women of Avalon return to face the repercussions of their decisions while also battling some old rivals and new enemies.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Ambitious, Passionate, Creative
Who is your biggest supporter?
I’m so grateful to have many friends and acquaintances in my life, who I believe genuinely support me and want the best for my life and career. But my biggest supporter is definitely my mom.
How did you get started in the industry?
I got a taste for professional acting when I was cast in a commercial that I shot in Tokyo at 16 years old. I had only done school plays before that. One day I was trying to figure out what to do with my life and a friend of mine suggested moving to Los Angeles, since acting was the only thing that I seemed to be excited about. I thought that sounded like a brilliant idea, so I saved a little bit of money and 3 months later I packed up my car and drove cross country to start fresh in California. I hit the ground running. Got an apartment, a waitressing job, got in acting classes and shot new headshots within my first week. Within a month I got an agent and just started doing it.
What was your first acting role?
My first L.A. job was the lead in a horror film. It was such an awesome experience and validated my decision to go down that path.
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
The best part is connecting with so many like-minded artists. And the positive energy that surrounds a set, when everyone is so dedicated to creating something special, is a feeling of oneness and synchronicity that is amazingly fulfilling. The worst part is the rejection. It can be tough to not take personally. If you are a sales person and you are selling toasters, it doesn’t bother you internally if someone doesn’t need or want to buy one of your toasters. As an actor, you are a sales person but YOU are the product. So when someone says “No thanks” it makes it more challenging to separate your feelings from that.
Best advice ever given?
I was told to just have fun. It’s simple but great advice. Getting stuck in your head and/or taking yourself too seriously can be very detrimental to you as an actor. Do the work and then let it go and enjoy being in the moment.
How did you find out about “Ladies of the Lake” and what was the casting process like for your role?
Michael Caruso called me about it. We already knew each other and he was somewhat familiar with my work, so luckily I didn’t have to audition. He just discussed it with me and then my agent received the offer.
Tell us about your character?
My character, Crystal, deals with an abusive husband and fertility issues in the first season. As much as she is suffering, she is always there for her friends and retains her grace and composure. Until she makes an impulsive decision that will haunt her and her friends through season 2.
What has been your most memorable experience from the set so far?
I wore these really long, fake nails for the shoot. I’m so used to having natural, smaller nails so I was very awkward with them on. In one scene, I was holding a wine glass with both hands, trying to avoid one of the nails falling off. They were like “Cut! Why are you holding the glass like a 5 year old drinking from a juice box?” It was pretty funny!
What other projects have you been part of?
I got my start in TV on an ABC soap opera called One Life to Live but since then I have done many Primetime TV spots including Rosewood, CSI, Perception, etc. Recently I have been the lead in several Lifetime movies, such as The Wrong Man. I have 2 horror films coming out this Fall. One is the lead in a controversial film, directed by Tom Six (The Human Centipede Trilogy), which is called The Onania Club.
Which project is still on your bucket list?
I would kill to be on The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s my favorite show.
Who is your favorite Actor/Actress? And why?
My favorite actress is Cate Blanchett because she looks stunning at every age and she is such a chameleon. She is extremely talented and able to truly transform herself into each different character that she plays.
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
I’ve always wanted to go to Italy. I want to admire the architecture, the art, enjoy the food and wine. I think I would love it there. I would go with whoever I feel I would have the most decadent time with on the trip.
3 things you can’t leave your house without?
I always need my phone, my keys and lip gloss.
What music do you like?
I like a little bit of everything. Whatever suits my mood at the time.
Your idea of a perfect Sunday is?
A perfect relaxing Sunday would include a hike or outdoor yoga and then brunch with friends.
Something people don’t know about you?
When I’m really tired or after having too much wine, I become very Southern.
How’s a normal day in your life?
I wake up and snuggle my cat Birdie, then have breakfast and a BUNCH of coffee on my patio and enjoy the fresh air. I do a short workout and after that, I either have a shoot or an audition to prep for. On days when I don’t have either, I work on writing projects. I basically always keep myself busy. Every once in a while I’ll let myself have a “robe day” and I’m sure you can imagine what that entails 🙂
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would like to meet Marilyn Monroe. She seemed like such a tenderhearted actress but also a bit misunderstood. I would also like to meet Joan of Arc because she seemed so ahead of her time and her strength and courage were astounding.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I love collard greens. But they are better with lots of unhealthy things added to them, like ham hock, butter and salt. I also love strawberries!
And your favorite cheat food?
Pizza all the way!
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
Still acting, hopefully on a really cool series. Writing more and having my scripts produced. Wiser, happier, healthier. Maybe in a successful marriage at that point. But who knows, right?! You can hope and plan but life will always throw you curve balls.
Do you support any charities?
I support Face Forward and The Farrah Fawcett Foundation.
Where we can follow you?
Facebook: Jessica Morris
Quote: “A younger woman may have fewer lines around her eyes, but an older woman has more going on BEHIND her eyes” “ Life is just sad sometimes. Because it’s unpredictable and fleeting. But that’s also what makes life magical!” –Jessica Morris
Drink: Skinny Vanilla Latte and Fresh Peach Martini
Celebrity Crush: Chris Hemsworth and Rose Byrne
Song: One of my favorites right now: In My Blood – Shawn Mendes
Movie: One of my all time favorites: Forrest Gump
Photographer: Tim Schaeffer at Cellar Door Studios @cellardoorstudios.la