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Exclusive Interview: Jessica Morris On New Projects – And Kim Fields

Jessica Morris and Kim FieldsJessica Morris and Kim Fields

Actress Jessica Morris is quickly becoming one of Hollywood’s busiest actresses. The former star of One Life to Live has numerous projects going on and she spoke with Entertainment Hub about them.

Jessica Morris Plays Kim Fields’ Pal

She has a role in the Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine) and Kim Fields (Facts of Life) Netflix series The Upshaws. She can also be seen in encore airings this week of The Wrong Mommy on Lifetime Movies.

In The Wrong Mommy, Morris plays Melanie, a woman who is moving up the ladder at work. So, she hires a personal assistant, Phoebe (Ashlynn Yennie), but unknown to Melanie, Phoebe has an ulterior motive…

Lifetime movies tell you exactly what the show’s about.
[Laughs] Yes. Exactly. The title and trailer will give away the whole movie. But that’s the fun. These movies are guilty pleasures.

Often the movies have twists. Some endings are more upbeat than others. I can’t see you playing mom to a teen girl as you did in Poor Boy Nightmare.
Thank you, but it’s not the first time. I am of the age where I could be mom to a teen, but I do get cast a little younger than my age. In a movie I did, Crabs!, a few years ago, I played a mom to a teenager in that. I actually like that. I like playing older roles. I went through a weird phase in my mid-20s where I wasn’t the kid anymore, but I wasn’t being cast as the adult either. It made it harder to get work. Now, I am able to be cast as the teacher, the doctor, the mom.

How did Pool Boy Nightmare do?
It premiered on Labor Day. It did really well, I think, because there was a real-life scandal with a real-life pool boy. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I think it brought in some viewers.

What made you stay with acting during the mid-20s phase where roles were fewer?
I had to be patient. There are dry spells. I thought about moving back to Florida. I started taping auditions and I got close to a role on Brothers & Sisters. Then, I felt okay, I needed to come back to L.A. Once I came back, I felt even if I’m constantly striving for something that I want and was living a life filled with passion for myself that was going to be more important than what other people might call success. Regardless of the result, success means living a life pursuing my dreams.

Once you let go of that, the success comes.

Was it the Emily VanCamp role of Rebecca?
Yes. We’d auditioned for things in the past.

What was your role on the Party of Five reboot?
My role was this woman opposite [Brandon Larracuente, who played Emilio], the oldest brother. He had this relationship going on with the nanny. I came on for two episodes. We started something. I played a bit wealthier single mom, conservative. It was to show how he could have had a different life. I think if the show had gone on, I might have come back and played out a love triangle.

When did you realize there are things in the business you just can’t control?
I don’t know when I first discovered it, but I’m still learning to live with it. I won’t work for a few months and be completely available. Then, without fail, there will be a few times during the year a few projects will start at roughly the same time. So much of that is out of my control. I have my reps help me with [the decision I should make].

What’s your role in the Netflix series The Upshaws?
My character is friends with Kim Fields’ character. I play a nurse friend of hers at work. My character’s a little ditzy, very vanilla. She’s kind of goofy. It’s a really fun role to play. I’m not sure when it’s going to air. COVID may have slowed things down a little bit. We’ll see. I only did one episode, but my contract was supposed to be for two. I’m not sure if the whole thing got pushed.

Were you a fan of Facts of Life?
Yes. I remember watching her when she was a little girl. I ‘fanned’ out on her a little bit. ‘OMG I love you on that show!’

Check local listings to confirm as schedules may change, but The Wrong Mommy is set to air on Lifetime Movies on Wednesday at 8 pm PT and again on Thursday, October 29 at 12 am PT. She is also set to appear in A Christmas Cruise on Friday, November 6 at 7 pm PT on ION.

For more from Jessica Morris about her soap past, check out her interview here.

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