Jill Marie Jones Talks Fearless New Role and Career Longevity

Jill Marie Jones Talks Fearless New Role on ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ and Career Longevity

(Photo credit: Brooke Mason)

Why did you take the role as Amanda Fisher?
One of the reasons why I really wanted this role is because Amanda is unapologetically strong and goes for truth. She’s one of the good guys. She’s not waiting for a man to save her and I love that.

Initially, they were very tight-lipped about the script because they didn’t want it to leak to the public. So when I got the chance to read for the character, it said ‘comedy’ on my appointment sheet. I thought it was a typo because there was nothing funny about the script. Moving forward, we were shooting the show in New Zealand. I finally got the chance to read about the other characters and realized it was several other strong women cast for the show. I thought to myself, how ‘badass’ is that? No one else is waiting on a man to save them. It’s a new day for female roles.

Were you familiar with Evil Dead movies?
I didn’t watch Evil Dead movies until I was cast. But, I’m a huge horror genre film fan. I grew up on Poltergeist, The Exorcist, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween – I didn’t get into gore until later on in life.

Although you’ve had many roles throughout your career, one of your most notable roles was Tony Childs on Girlfriends, which is a vastly different from Amanda Fisher on Ash vs. Evil Dead. What types of roles do you most enjoy? 
I’m so blessed. As an actor, if you’re lucky, you get that one role that you’re known for throughout your career. I had that with my role as Toni Childs on Girlfriends. The things that I got to do on Girlfriends is an actresses dream – shout-out to the creator Mara Brock Akil. So many people only get one moment, but I get to do it again as Amanda Fisher on Ash vs Evil Dead, which is another iconic role.

My role on Girlfriends was a shock for me because I didn’t think that I was funny. I never studied comedic acting. During my first season of the show, I would pack my bags every day and never leave anything in my dressing room because I felt like the Executives were going to call me and say, “We found you out, and you’re not funny.” During the first table read, Golden Brooks held  my hand underneath the table because I was shaking like crazy and I was so nervous. Girlfriends was only my third audition in town. I always say I was ‘in the University’ in Girlfriends because I learned so much from the show.

But this character is more aligned with what I have studied all these years. It’s awesome to show people my other muscle with this new action role. I’ve gotten knocked down and bruises all over my body and I loved every minute of it. I’ve also taken arms training to make sure I’m holding the gun correctly because I’ve never held a gun before. I box to workout regularly but we’re also taking MMA training – this is my life and it’s amazing. It’s truly God’s gift.