Jillian Rose Reed says her ‘Awkward’ character’s short-handed language has become her own.
On “Awkward,” Jillian Rose Reed plays Tamara, a well-meaning, funny-as-hell social climber with a mile-a-minute gift for gab. The role is practically a dream, not to mention a breeze, for someone who possesses the same type of wit, enthusiasm and spark, and now, having had a full season to get comfortable in the skin of Jenna Hamilton‘s BFF, Jillian and Tamara are officially inseparable. In fact, the two recently DTR‘d and decided it’s true love.
We spotted you at the MTV Movie Awards–how was your night?
The most exciting moment for me was seeing Jennifer Aniston accept her award because I’m super-obsessed with her. When she walked out, I turned to my cast mates and was like “Oh, my God, I’m gonna cry.” I couldn’t even believe that I was in the same room as her.
You’ve said in recent interviews that Tamara grows a backbone this season–what did you mean by that?
In Season 1 you see her constantly heartbroken over [Ricky Schwartz] and going back to him, but this season, she learns for herself that she does deserve better, and that she doesn’t want to keep doing that … She’s being open to the possibility of different guys, and I think that’s really good for her.
We recently talked to Matthew Fahey (Ricky Schwartz), who said there’s an upcoming scene where you slap him, and he told you to really slap him. What was that like?
The stunt coordinator wasn’t too happy when Matt said he really wanted me to slap him–actually, I think I did it during rehearsal and then got too scared when the cameras were rolling. I just didn’t want to hurt him. But, yeah, he let me have at it at least once.
You guys have a unique dynamic on an already quirky TV show. Where does that chemistry come from?
We’ve known each other since we were 12 or 13 and there’s nothing that really embarrasses us anymore. We just kind of let loose and do whatever we want. He was one of the first people I had to kiss on screen, so it made it easier knowing that I’ve known him for so long.
Oh, what was that first kiss like?
Well, my official first kiss was actually with Ashley Rickards, but that wasn’t, like, a full-on make-out situation like it was with Matt. I mean, I was nervous, and he was too, but kissing on-screen is never sexy. It’s always super weird, but at least we could laugh about it after.
What can we expect from Ming this season, who was a bit mysterious last season?
There’s a lot more Ming this time around. She’s got a lot of funny episodes where she’s involved with this, like, Asian mafia at school, and because of that, a lot of different things in her personal life start to happen. [Jessica Lu] is such a great actress, and she just brought the funny out this season.
You are one of MTV’s most consistent tweeters–do you enjoy letting fans into your personal life, and what have been some of your favorite back-and-forths?
I love being able to connect with fans–it makes me so happy. I’ve definitely had some weirder experiences with people, though. I’ve been asked out on a lot of dates, but it’s all in good fun. I did get Ben Savage to tweet me, which was really awesome because I love him. I think that was my best Twitter moment. You don’t even understand, Cory Matthews is my dream guy.
Twitter’s also the way we found that topless picture that David Katzenberg took…
Oh, my God. I don’t even care. It was so funny. I don’t get embarrassed by that stuff, but I just have to say I had no idea he took that picture. And I was totally wearing a sports bra, sitting topless in front of all my friends. I loved it. I saved that picture on my computer, for sure.
“Awkward” has spawned so much slang, largely made popular by your character. Can you let us in on any new terms?
Oh, yeah–there are a ton of new words that Tamara unleashes this season that are super funny and no one will understand. One of my favorites was “Frasians,” which are friends who are Asian. That was a good one. And then there’s “A-dora-whore-able,” which is like, cute, but also sort of slutty.
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Photo: Vincent Sandoval
Stylist: Audrey Brianne
Hair and makeup: Allison Noelle-Mua