I have a real treat for you! I had a wonderful interview with actor, Jodi Lynn Thomas, who is currently seen in the series, Preacher. Jodi plays one of the Toadvine girls, named Pearl. Although this part is not huge, this young actress commands attention, when she is onscreen! She is polite and sweet, and so much fun to talk with! I wish I could hang out with her!
“Preacher” follows the story of a preacher in a Texas town who merges with a creature that has escaped from heaven and develops the ability to make anyone do anything he says. Thomas plays Pearl, a symbol of innocence in a world of sin. Following her graduation with a B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Northern Colorado, Thomas went on to work alongside Natalie Portman in “Jane’s Got A Gun“, as well as with Bella Thorne, Kyra Sedgwick and Aaron Tveit in “Big Sky“. In 2015, Thomas starred in the short film “Duality” which won numerous awards at film festivals, including Best Horror and Best Picture at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival and Best Film at The IndieFest Film Awards. Thomas was also named Best Actress at the Los Angeles Horror Film Festival, CineRockom International Film Festival and the Digitalmation Awards. Thomas has also worked in television, with credits including Netflix’s “Longmire” and The CW’s “The Messengers“, and appeared in numerous music videos for artists like 60 Tigres, Schmidt, Jivin Scientists and Horse Thief.
When did you start acting?
“Great question, I started acting in middle school, but professionally, I started acting about 5 years ago.”
What was it that got you interested in acting?
“I saw a play that my brother was in, and when the play ended, I cried for 2 hours straight, the lead actress was my brother’s girlfriend at the time, and she was like, “Jodi, it’s ok, I’m fine”, and I knew
that everything was ok, but I think what I was crying about was that I finally understood what I wanted to do in this world. The play got me obviously too, but I think that also finally opened my eyes to something that was extremely important to me, and that I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
That’s great, it sounds like you really got the calling!
“It felt that way. (giggling)”
You have done several movies and television shows, and short films, what do you like the best, movies or TV?
“It’s a lame answer, I don’t have a favorite, because it’s all about the storyline for me. I’m not so focused on the technical aspects of everything. I love stories and that’s why I’m there. I love characters, and I love human behavior, and that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing. So whether it’s a movie, TV show, short film, music video, I’m there! I just like doing the work, right now I’m booked on a whole bunch of TV shows happening right now, and I see less and less films, but I love them both.”
That is great to know! I want to talk a little bit about Preacher. The series is fantastic and insane an we love it! can you tell me how you got the part of Pearl?
“Yes, they shot the pilot here a year ago, and then we all found out they were shooting the series here, they started holding auditions. It was actually my first audition of the year, and it was small, just a couple lines. I actually had three other auditions for the same episode, so I auditioned for multiple roles. They called me back the same night to read for both the roles again, and they liked my read, and then they had me change it up. And I believe, I think they told me to, `the idea is they are at a funeral. I was tearing up as I was talking about this other girl, and they are like, hold back the tears. So they worked with me in the room, I guess that’s a short way for me to say that. So I felt great. It was one of those moments where I almost knew I had the role, when I was leaving the room, but I’ve had those feelings in the past. So it’s kind of one of those things, where I was like, ‘I feel really good about this’. So who knows, I tried my best to forget about it, and thats really difficult because there are times, I just can’t let go. I started working on my other stuff, I have a class that I take where we work out routines, I was working on a scene from ‘Monsters’, I went to go work on that, and I got the call, I think it was the day or two after, and it was one of those, like,’Yay’ , I kind of had a feeling, but it’s nice to hear the official words. So that is the experience of booking that. Up until my shoot day, there was also alot of anxiety, I was like, ‘it’s going to be a big show’ . I can’t believe I booked such a huge show! It was cool!”
Can you tell me who Pearl is, and what can we expect to see from her?
“Sure, I can’t talk too much about Preacher stuff, but Pearl is one of the whores in Toadvine whorehouse. She is kind of like, what we term her, ‘a symbol of innocence’. Actually alot of the whores in Toadvine are. They kind of play into things hard, because alot of the other characters, are wrapped up in alot of sin. it’s interesting that they chose the whorehouse with a bunch of girls that are more of the innocent ones, coming from a more pure place. I don’t know if you watched the episode, but I think you kind of , I think that episode really gives you a sense of that.”
I notice that you are in 2 more episodes this season…
“I can’t really say, I have no one here that can tell me, what I can, or can’t say, (giggling), I’m just going to say, Yay to that, with exclamation points!!! (giggling).”
Was it fun to work with the Preacher cast?
“Yes oh yes! I really, I can’t express what a relief it is to meet people and hope that they are going to be a certain way and then they are. Everyone that I met and everyone that I talked to, is exactly how I hoped they’d be. They are all really cool! They are like really cool people, they’re the cool kids. We want to hang out with them, it’s like middle school and they’re sitting at the table, and they are those kids. I love that about them, but they’re all, and not in a bad way, they really good way. They were all so kind and funny, and I’m not just saying that cause I probably have to, but because it’s actually, really true.”
It seems that way. It must have been a blast!
“Yes, they are so many moments I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that was really my job today, how wonderful is that!'”
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever had to do for a role?
“Hmm, I’ve done alot of crazy stuff. Alot of my stuff tends to lean towards doing stunts, like I’ve shot a gun in Longmire, and I did a scene in The Messengers where my character killed herself, and there is alot of stuff that I’ve done. I think that the hardest one was Outlaw Prophet, which was a Lifetime movie with Tony Goldwyn. My character gets taken advantage of and I have to giggle because it’s uncomfortable to talk about, and I’m naked, but I’m not fully naked, cause it’s Lifetime. It’s a really vulnerable scene and there were no lines. That was all I was pretty much there for and it was really difficult to do. I have to give props to Tony Goldwyn because he made it, for such a difficult experience to be a part of, he really made it comfortable for me, and really took his time to talk to me before we shot. He took like 30 minutes to ask me what my thoughts were about the role, and to really get comfortable. he is actually the main reason my character has a name in the movie, so I thinks that’s probably the craziest one that I got to be a part of“
What would you like the fans to know about Jodie Lynn Thomas?
“(Giggling) Good question! I’ll do my best here. there is no answer for us actors, there really aren’t. Alot of the crazy job that we’re doing, it makes it really hard because I’ve been through alot of success’s and I’vee been through alot of failures. It’s really difficult to be in that in between time, when you’re not working and you want to be working. I just want to say to everyone,’ just do your best’ and ‘keep going’, because I think alot of the stuff about acting is misunderstood. I think alot of us believe that getting an audition or not getting an audition, means we are a good or bad actor, but it doesn’t have that power. I think we’re, I think we just need to believe in ourselves more. I’m a huge proponent of taking care of yourself, self help, being good to yourself. Because the stuff that we do, regardless of whether or not you’re an actor, It’s really important to love yourself and love others. I don’t know if that says alot about me, but it says alot about things currently.”
You sound like you are really sweet, and a person that would be alot of fun to be around. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you have any long term goals?
I” do! I have alot! This is just funny, because recently I had my high school 10 year reunion. I am looking at my page, what we had to write for ourselves in 10 years, and I’m thinking how strange it is that it’s 10 years later, and it really doesn’t feel that way. I wonder if I’m going to feel the same in 10 years from now. because 10 years seems like so much time. ‘I’m going to be such a different person’, but really it’s like, it goes by really quickly. My biggest goal is to book some role, that is a powerhouse female role. And I hope that it’s in something that alot of people can see, gets wide distribution, I mean obviously there are the standards like, ‘oh I want to receive an Oscar one day, I want to receive an Emmy’, and all that’s true. Don’t get me wrong, I want to do all that too, but I can remember why I am doing this and what this means to me, and why it’s important. I think the biggest reason is that, I saw a role, like that play that I saw. But I also saw a role in Angels in America, Mary Louise Parker, that kind of performance, it changed my life forever. So I guess if I can ask for anything, it would be to book a role where I actually have the power to change other peoples lives for the better.”
Up to today, what would you say is your favorite project that you’ve worked on?
“I love them all! You kinda got to give props to all of them, because they all are different. They come from a different place. it’s like picking a favorite child, you know? It’s like you can’t say, ‘she’s my favorite (giggling), but I also have a son named Jim…(laughing). You can’t really choose a favorite because, if your heart is really in every project that you are in, then hopefully they are that close to you, that they feel like children and it’s hard to pick a child. i would say that the one that I worked on, the most recent, is usually the one that I’m favoring for or obviously just more focused on. So right now, it’s Preacher. I’m watching every Sunday. I reading other people’s Tweets about it, I’m totally nerding out on that aspect. I am trying to see what the fans are saying and trying to see if they are enjoying it as much as we did, when we were there. That’s so much fun for me and it’s really cool, cause I am such a huge nerd. I watch The Walking Dead, and shows like that. It’s cool to be on the other side and see what other people are feeling, and saying. ”
You have played in so many different things, what genre would you say is your favorite?
“I love psychological thrillers, and comedies. Those are my 2 favorites.”
You said that you are a big fan of The Walking Dead too?
“A huge fan. I’m really excited for it to come back right now. I’m sure everyone is wanting to know what’s going to happen next. Definitely, it’s one of the shows that we are talking about. I’m really excited about Preacher, (I really), Sunday night is a new favorite of mine for a whole other reason!”
Is there anything else you would like us to know before we end? is there anything you would like to tell the fans?
“I want to, I’ve kind of been saying this alot in other interviews, but I just want to talk to the actors out there, because I just think that we go through so much doing what we are doing. I just want everyone to remember to be kind to each other. Even if they are in competition, quote, unquote, competition with each other. I truly believe that we need to love each other, more than anything. because, at the end of the day, the other actors are the only other people that can actually relate to what I’m doing, and can understand it., from that perspective. So, it’s hard for me, when I feel like I’m losing friends or losing touch with people because, there has been like some weird vibe that’s come up between us. I just want to say that, ‘let’s be good to each other, let’s be good to ourselves’, I think that’s more important than anything else. It’s more important than careers, it’s more important than TV, and movies. It’s just important to be kind and loving. I think people need it right now, with everything happening. That’s my true feeling about everything right now.”
I am really pleased that I got to talk to this intelligent, sweet young lady. She has a wonderful sense of humor, and her giggle is contagious! She was kind and considerate, and I for one, think she will go very far in life, and career. She has alot going for her, and we wish her all the best in her future. We hope you enjoyed this one on one interview with Jodi Lynn Thomas. Look for her in upcoming episodes of Preacher.
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