Deborah Ann Woll Discusses Jessica with iF Magazine
September 12, 2009 by Janie Logan
Playing Jessica on True Blood is Deborah Ann Woll’s first time as a series regular. Not a bad way to start a career! The young actress showed her sweet personality when she spoke with iF Magazine about how her character has developed.
In season one, Deborah was excited by the part of the overprotected Christian teenager who becomes a baby vamp, but she was also nervous about being so bratty:
“I would say that [playing] the vulnerability is a little bit easier for me. Whenever you’re playing a side of a character that’s a little irritating or annoying, it’s a little bit of a worry that people will think that’s just how you are [laughs], so I think there’s a hesitation for me, which is why I was glad that they pushed me and said, ‘Keep going, we promise you this is right for the character.’ I had to trust the writer and the director a lot at that time.”
Deborah had so much fun in season two when Jessica was interacting so much with lovable Hoyt Fortenberry. She loved working alongside someone as charming as Jim Parrack:
“You just look in his eyes and it’s quite easy to fall in love [laughs]. That’s a really fun thing to play every day. It’s not a bad day at work when a cute boy makes love to you for hours.”
Not to mention, she got to enter uncharted territory for an actor as the perpetual virgin!
“I am now the source material for the regenerating hymen. It’s great. I had to dig real deep, it took a lot of imagination [laughs] to come up with what that would feel like. I think for me it has more to do with growing up, being a woman, trying to break away from whatever bonds my family had put on me and feeling like now, physically and because of the curse of being a vampire was put on me, I can’t do that. I’m again being restricted and caged in some way.”
Deborah sees Jessica as being literally a “redheaded stepchild” for Bill and Sookie this season. She was pushed on them, and then they had bigger problems to deal with in Dallas, and then once they got back to Bon Temps and saw the havoc that Maryann was wreaking. All of those issues took precedence to raising their teenage “progeny”/”ward”/whatever term they’ve come up with for her!
Deborah‘s family, meanwhile, has been very supportive of her work on True Blood. They have their own viewing parties every week.
Getting the job as a series regular was a surprise for Deborah. She assumed after her small arc at the end of season one, she might reappear for a couple episodes to give closure. When they offered her a full-time role, she saw it as a great opportunity to learn as an actress:
“I always found when I was in theatre, I would do the run, and then it would end, and a month or two later, something new would occur to me and I’d go, ‘Oh, man, I wish I had thought of that when we were working on it,’ because it would be something new to add to it…Working on a role for this amount of time, it’s like that month or two later, when I have a new epiphany about a character, I am still working on it, so I can start to incorporate. There’s never been a moment when I was bored or thought I’ve figured this all out…I am constantly finding new little things that interest me about her and this character and the writing absolutely helps with that. They give you incredibly cool little tidbits that spark your imagination.”
It will be so fun to see how Jessica continues to grow as a character, and how Deborah continues to grow as an actress! This was part 1 of an interview, with part 2 to be published by iF magazine later. We here at TrueBloodNet will soon be featuring our own exclusive interview with Deborah!
(Photo credit: IMDb.com)